1013: Tribute to Eric Joisel, Week 2: “Mermaid#1”

My blog suggests that there are mostl successes with my folds, this is far from the case. I had decided some 5 years back, that I was going to master “Mermaid” by Eric Joisel, and indeed I have tried on a few occasions and failed.

4 tries at Mermaid#1 by Joisel
When at first you do not succeed, try, try and try again.

It turned out that “Mermaid#1”, the less attractive of his collection was the subject of Week 2’s intermediate challenge (intermediate they say!!!?!?! Bahahahahahah.). In my confusion, back when I thought it was “choose ONE of thes models and fold it in 4 weeks” I had actually chosen mermaid, because. I recently learned it was fold 1 new model each week, AND copy the work of the master as close as possible. While I am not entirely sure this is respectful, and while I totally fucked this up with week 1 (I did an INTERPRETATION, not a copy, and scored few points for my best gnome ever which was quite disheartening), I am perservering because I like the challenge – it is good for my head.

mermaid#1 fourth try creasing it

This is the 4th model in this batch of folding. It is not perfect, and I will probably not be keeping it, but it is as close to a copy of the original as I can manage. Realistic human figures are hard, curves, breasts and soft tummys with delicate bellybuttons are even harder.

Joisel's "Mermaid#1", or as close as I can come to copying it

She is recognisable, I had not realised how primitive the original face was, quite a step backward, and the hair is short and in a bun. My first 3 attempts were to have long flowing hair – that would have cost me points so I too have short hair – not really my idea of a mermaid, but there you go.

I have learned LOTS about paper in this week’s challenge – having it fall apart in your hands because of being overworked is heartbreaking, when something goes wrong it is often going to get worse when you try to fi it, and proportion is everything. I have struggled with the breasts, and the whole waist/tummy area, I did my best but it is not elegant.

The Master's work
The Master’s Work

I am relatively happy with the tail, and the arms are shaped fairly well I think. Weirdly, the original had no shoulders, but did have a fascinating neck which I more or less completely fucked up.


I generate more landfill than keepers sometimes, but that is part of the learning journey, and the next 2 weeks promise to be real doozies.

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