962: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Head

In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.

Ryujui 1.2 head

I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.

Ryujui 1.2 head views and detail

For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.

I have access (via an extraordinarily generous mentor, Mr Daniel Brown) to some of the design aspects of a 2.1, so thought I would start with the head, and see where that led me.

The fold ate a WHOLE DAY. I looked up, it was after midnight and in my hand was an astonishing detailed head of a dragon. I love it when you can get so lost in something that time goes away. My fingers are bruised, eyes a little bleary but feel mentally refreshed, which I guess was the aim.

Ryujui 1.2 head development

The detail here is amazing, difficult for mere photographs to capture, but we have eyes under menacing brows, 3 set of horns, a lovely set of antlers, jowls, teeth, a tongue, double beard, scaled neck and … all the non-red paper is neatly tucked inside the model. Wow, just WOW.

Logic tells you, as you are folding this, that what you are doing is not possible. Pre-creasing took 3 hours, then after another cup of tea I began the collapse. Neck scales first, then the pleaty gathers necessary to raise a dense tuft of convoluted paper with dozens of stickey-outey bits that are then massaged into place and become features.

Now I know the head takes a day to fold, you get a sense of the scale of the whole model, of which the head is a relatively quick part. Might leave the rest to a time when I have a few weeks with nothing to do.

Ryujui 1.2 head scale

I am really happy with this, my first fold. It is different to the head of a 3.5 – I think it’s facial features are more distinct, but perhaps it is just that I have become a better folder since wrestling with the 3.5 that the result is just cleaner – who knows.

I will add this, and a couple of other dragon head studies to the window of wonder I currently have on show at my school. I wonder how many kids who have never folded before will ask if I can teach them how to fold it (I get that a lot).

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