1035: Hand and Boat

It is the days you do not look in your mailbox that mail arrives – I arrived home from work to find an astonishing collection of paper from Pham Hoang Tuan’s origami shop, and a couple of his diagrams, all screaming “fold me!”, so I started that journey:

"Hand and Boat" by Pham Hoang Tuan

I had only ever seen this model complete and in CP form, failed at solving that CP 2 times and had given up folding it for now, then it arrived in diagram form to my delight.

The diagrams, on reflection, are really hard to follow – I failed twice to follow the layer management and in the end free-styled to liberate the fingers (using equally spaced Elias stretches) about half way through. At 110 steps, this diagram is complex, but I think there may be mistakes making some collapses and the management of layers not match the steps in many places.


The concept is really interesting. Form a simple origami boat in the centre of the sheet, then use the surrounding paper to form a hand – palm, wrist and fingers complete. The concept is easy, isolating the paper in ways that you can get all those details is really challenging, but I am happy with the result.

"Hand and Boat" by Pham Hoang Tuan concept

After a conversation with Tuan, I selected to fold the model with ITA CRUMPLED PAPER. Ita paper appears to be 2 thin sheets of different colour Unryushi tissue laminated. It seems to have no grain, folding evenly in all axes, both sides are slightly rough (a little like size residue on fine mesh screen). It is a thin, wiry paper that takes precise creases well (hard work on fingertips, great with a bone folder). It has good memory and reverses accurately. On this model, the hinge between the boat and palm has more than 30 layers – manageable but heavy going. I re-worked the boat many times trying to reduce thickness and relocate layers without visible signs of paper fatigue

Ita Paper

After my 2 attempts I had come up with a workaround and then committed the Ita paper to the 3rd fold, being careful and accurate (and hoping I did not bugger up). The end result is charming and a testament to the designer. The bundle of pleats and creation of the wrist are ingenious – I can see much potential here, lots of different things in the hand of the folder.

I have more paper, and some more diagrams from Tuan, so look forward to trying new folds with new types of paper.

3 thoughts on “1035: Hand and Boat

    1. I wish the diagram steps were clear (I secretly think there are actually errors in my version) – I found myself freestyling on many steps to achieve overall morphology because I could not replicate the step itself.

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