I have been on a mission for months now to try and render a tiger as realistically as I can in paper. Apart from being feline in shape, tigers have stripes – finding a model that has these stripes was difficult:
I bought Satoshi Kamiya’s latest book because of the tiger diagrams it contained – on flicking through the 200+ steps I initially thought it too difficult to try. But try I did, initially with large format red-natural Ikea Kraft paper. I was surprised that I was able to make it through the most torturous steps, so set about re-folding it with black/natural, ensuring the black was the stripes, natural was the residual body colour.
The genius of this design is the subtle and precise control of both sides of the sheet – the stripes are the result of folds, not cuts. The model requires you manipulate raw edges (the sheet border) fan-folded, while wrestling all the other details (legs, head, tail) from the INSIDE of the sheet – quite amazing.
I love a well-designed model and Fumiaki Kawahata’s T-Rex is no exception:
Folded from a 50cm square of medium green Tant paper, this lovely snapper has a splendid mobile jaw with teeth, fabulous feet and tail, and frustratingly useless front legs. The result is a fantastic free-standing model that looks simultaneously cute and terrifying.
The model structure is intense, this is the smallest I have tried it, and at this scale the pre-creasing is torturous (to be polite). The folds that raise the teeth from a series of accordion pleats are ingenious and tough work for fat clumsy fingers.
I have folded this before, and will probably return to it, as it is a great exercise in accuracy and patience – really good fold-therapy for a fragged and shagged brain.
…so, as part of a commission, I decided to explore the concept of “pride”, using a feline metaphor:
I folded a family of lions, designed by Lionel Albertini, and then posed them in a Daiso display box. “Pride” is an interesting concept – we see the lioness, as the head of the family, provider, strong, carer. We see cubs looking up to her. We see the Lion, in the background, as supporter and partner.
I like the minimalist composition of this piece. I used crumpled VOG paper as “grass” and have resisted adding any other decoration, because everything I have tried added makes the family grouping less powerful.
Completing the theme of “pride”, these adorable Lion Cubs are part of the set designed by Lionel Albertino, from his book “Safari Origami”:
I like how the proportions of the cub suggest younger, cuddlier, clumsier bodies they have yet to grow into. This fold uses a completely different base to the parents, and I managed to pose one standing and the other sitting.
Exploring the theme of “Pride” some more, the lioness is the worker of the group, mother, hunter, general all purpose carer:
Lionel Albertino’s Lioness is an interesting fold, made from the same base as the Lion, you manage the head completely differently. I like the strong haunches, shoulders and noble head. The tail structure is fun and there is some pose-ability about the body. She looks like she is ready for anything.
Folding feline shapes is hard work, making them look realistic is harder. This is the first of a series of Lion studies, designed by Lionel Albertino from his book “Safari Origami”:
Colour management here is lovely – folded from natural/black Ikea Kraft, hiding away the black except for the mane and tip of tail is hard work. When I close up the seams and pose it he will be tidier, but “folds only” it is a stable, self-standing model.
Continuing my journey into the world of Origami Foxes, I came upon a folding sequence from Hoang Tien Quyet:
This is a vixen (the quaint name biologists call a female fox, not sure why) – quite fluid, feminine and organic – compare it with the previous post and you will see a stylistic difference, but also a similarity in the colour management.
This was a really tricky model to fold, lots of paper packed away in very sophisticated ways, I love the serpentine backbone that ends in a beautiful bushy tail.
This feels much more modern a fold, HT Quyet is known for his curved folds, this was fun yet a real challenge to work on the proportions. The body has a real volume and movement about it.
I have been looking for foxes, long story. I stumbled across Roman Diaz’s Fox from “Origami Essence” and thought I should give it a try:
This is a lovely stylised model, careful management of colour, nice big tail and some solidity to the body.
In many ways it feels like an “old school” model – flat, angular and difficult to balance the curved folds that define the face with the otherwise flat structure. I was also surprised it stands, but hte weight balance is good, he stands regal and magnificent.
In need of an elephantine fold, I remembered proof-reading a diagram set from Tetsuya Gotani’s latest book “Origamix”, and remember a test fold that went awry, so decided to try again:
What a lovely sequence – some complex layer manipulation and need for accuracy early on pays off later when shaping.
There is lots to love about this model – lovely big ears (an African elephant then?), trunk and tusks, lovely bum and fabulous sturdy legs. A test of a model is how it is with folds only – you can see an inherent elephantine shape that is stable and free-standing.
I will do some posing, and tidy up some gaping seams, otherwise there is little to do to make this a presentation fold. I really like this model – my pick of elephants (perhaps even ahead of Sipho Mabona’s) so far, and I have folded LOTS of them.