wtf?

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What’s That Fold?

The folder and his 365th Fold on New Years Eve, 2011.

I am Peter (wonko) Whitehouse. I am a husband and father, a Teacher, Author and out and proud Geek. I am @wonko42 on twitter,  www.facebook.com/wonko and can be contacted via email on pwhitehouse [at] optusnet[dot]com[dot]au

I have been folding Origami since first introduced to it as an 11 year old who was entertaining a house guest at the time. Matsumitsu Inada, then a young chap out of college in Osaka came to stay for a while – he sat down and taught me the crane which was my first foray into paper folding, like it is for so many.

I fold for many reasons. More recently it is (after much reflection) to prove to myself that I am still in control of my hands – it was not always like this. I suffered spinal chord trauma that gradually robbed me of feeling in my fingers and made moving my arms really difficult. The solution was spinal fusion in my neck to relieve the pinching from a herniated disk and a lower collapsed disk – the result is a titanium plate that keeps my head on (good to know my head really is screwed on tight now). I have some residual nerve damage but am using folding as physical therapy to keep the muscles and nerves working. It seems to be paying off. Everything blogged here was folded post-op, everything. I look back in wonder and amazement and deep gratefulness for having the ability to do this at all – it was no certain thing pre 2011.

I am an enthusiast, would not consider myself an expert but like to push my own knowledge and try things that look tricky. I have found learning by doing the most effective way unlike my approach as a kid, there are few models I shy away from this time around just because they look hard.

Always on the look out for new designs, this blog will hopefully capture some interesting models. I vow to try and include the first fold only, practically, sometimes the instructions are so complex or incomplete that I may have to try aspects of them first to even have a fair go at achieving the model, so forgive me occasionally – no idea if that will result in a pile of crumpled rejects or not.

books

Some of my Print Reference Library

This blog was originally titled “Origamiphemera” because that is what origami is – made from impermanent materials, brittle and delicate, the finished models are not with us long – I like the idea of ephemeral beauty – this sort is designed to give away – I hope to share some with you.

In 2011 I resolved to fold a different model every day for that year (yes, 365 different models) I kept all models for the year, keeping the month’s models in a large shoebox and the rest in archive in a large tidy box. I was organized and did a monthly group photo of all models folded that month as well – they look really impressive all out on display. the year’s folds made up my 365 project – one a day for a year is a punishing schedule but rewarding in it’s own way.

In 2017 I am sort of contemplating doing this again – this is complicated by the fact that I have to FIND another 365 models I have not folded before and can achieve on a one-a-day schedule. We shall see.

Posts that contain NUMBERS at the front are, for me, new models. They are in no particular order of difficulty but for me they are new – usually the numbered post is the first fold of that model. Subsequent folds might appear as folds but are not numbered posts. Just in case you are wondering.

The nomenclature in 2017 will be more complex as I have 550 models in the blog so far: 551(1/365) will be 1/365 – 551 is the overall new model number, the bracketed number is the yearly model number(1-365 hopefully) if that makes sense. Wish me luck, I may need it.

For reference, I will including bases the models are derived from. A BASE is a common starting point for many folds, usually having roughly enough flaps to cope with the demands of the model – origami enthusiasts get to a base and shape from there – things like bird base, waterbomb, turtle, pony, windmill etc – these are standard forms that you can google if you want.

My growing tool collection

For reference, the “tools” I use include my fat, clumsy fingers and fingernails, a ruler, japanese chopstick (to get into those really tight corners), a bone folder (crisp creases), stylus, scalpel, crease splitter, collection of tweezers, bull dog clips and a digital camera.

Folder – with beer and asp

A GALLERY of the 2017 challenge is compiling nicely here: http://www.wonko.info/365origami/?page_id=6284

A complete gallery of images only is also being compiled at: http://neubauten.deviantart.com/gallery/28292036

A video presentation of some of the original 365 collection can be found at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUhi7vY7gms

I kept track of what I did in 2011 using a spreadsheet at:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjCUWfazDAWDdGhsTmlWVGtTemIzc2U3eFhlcXBjNVE

To keep track of my 2017 attempt, I will be using a spreadsheet at:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CfJilbZ0JQZzDvte8aF6CoEKgfTOZP97QJxIe7F-6f4/edit?usp=sharing

20 Comments

  • Lindy Orwin says:

    Wonderful to see the asp-iring folder at work!

  • Erin says:

    Salut!

    Do you mind if I provide a link to the moose in our August newsletter? The Canucks in Australia would love the Canada Day mascot!

  • tieler says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! you are VERY good, I love making origami

    • Ela says:

      I made a thousand cranes once. It took me about two years although I probably made far more than that over those two years, but I kept losing them. They’re in a box that’s been covered in kanji, and I used the smallest paper I could find. I carry origami paper with me just about everywhere, and so when I’m bored (or drunk), I just start folding. While I don’t only do cranes, I’ve gotten to the point where I can do them blindfolded.

  • I’m glad I came across your blog. I am also an amateur origami folder who enjoys some challenges! I was away from origami for years (kind of against my will – long story) but am getting back into it more and more.

  • jack gibson says:

    Thank you. your photos are motivating. I’ve been down a similar life path and have been interested in Origami for nearly 50 years. I am working on Neals Elias bull and your photos help me see where I needed to begin. Saves me time from trying to locate my copy of the 1982 Origami USA convention. Some day I’ll attend one. For now, I’m going to enjoy frequenting this site. Please keep posting photos (and if you could, please list the title, author, and page along with the image) Rougemont, NC, USA

  • Giselle says:

    Dear Wonko, I’ve already discover your blog. I want to know where can I get the diagramas of Neil Elias’ work called “Hiawatha in a canoe”. My brother rows an his birthday is coming on April. I was looking for a rowing boat when I found your blog.
    Thank you so much.
    Giselle

    • wonko says:

      That model is diagrammed in a book by Robert Harbin entitled “Secrets of Origami” – my copy is on loan to a relative in Florida, sorry. There is also a rower and rowboat diagrammed beautifully in “Brilliant Origami” by David Brill

  • Kade Chan says:

    Very nice website!

    I dare you to fold my capricorn.
    I hope you enjoy and feel free to do…

    Chan Pak Hei, Kade

  • Hi Wonko! Is it okay if I use your origami robin as the basis for a digital version? I’m doing the Advent Challenge 2014 and today’s prompt is Robin Redbreast. I made one of a penguin for one of the earlier prompts and would like to do the same for today’s. I’d also love to include a link to your website which I think is really wonderful. If you don’t mind, I’d like to also share the link on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/paperwitheverything).

    Thank you!

    • wonko says:

      That is fine, taken from an old Robert Harbin book I have, I am not the designer, merely folded it – credit for the design goes to J Homewood. Adaptaion is fine, link is fine.

      Your papercraft on facebook is interesting, particularly the hand-colouration, your artwork and illustration on your website is amazing

  • Won Park says:

    Hello Peter,

    Was browsing the net and came across your site.
    I enjoyed looking thru all the models that you made and
    appreciate the fact that you take the time to cite the artists
    of every model.

    I’m very happy that you enjoyed folding my models. I love to
    see the work that other people have made of my models.

    Keep folding and “May the folds be with you”

    Won Park

  • Nomer says:

    Hello Peter,

    I’ve really enjoyed visiting your blog. I feel your origami journey is similar to mine but a few years ahead. It has been suggestive to me about what is possible with persistence and patience (I’ve conquered Maekawa and Komatsu, and recently a few of Kamiya’s designs). Perhaps one day the ryujin 3.5 may be the ultimate challenge. Thank you for the inspiration.

    You mentioned queries regarding what to fold. My suggestion would be to try a real classic like Kamiya’s ancient dragon again. I’ve made about 3 myself and found each one much better than the last. I wonder how much better (and how much fun) you might have folding it again, four or five years on from your first posting of it, with new skills and experience. Just a thought – thanks again for the blog

    • wonko says:

      You are right, I should have another go at Kamiya’s “Ancient Dragon”, I have yet to fold it to any level I am happy with – similarly I should re-try the “Western Dragon” by Shuki Kato – the head on that one always beats me.

  • Patricia says:

    Hello Peter
    I was browsing about Hojyo Takashi Aquarius and I found your website. I enjoyed your models and comments. Thank you for the pictures! They are going to be very useful.
    The Origami fever came to me after (also) a health problem and now is my “therapy”. Every model that I start is a challenge and I hope one day I can design my owns (a very far away day 🙂 )
    I made a list of the models that I want to fold and slowly the list is getting longer and longer. There are so many beautiful ways to see a different animal or object, and every author shows their own idea. Fortunately with long winters I am really busy folding. Thank you again

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