1125: Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”

After acquiring a copy of “Potential Origami” by top Korean Origami designers, I was struck with a choice – which astonishing model should I try first:

It is well known that i love a bit of classical art, and am fond of a fullsome bosom, so decided on Han Ji Woo’s astonishing design based on Boticelli’s painting masterpiece.

I started with a 90cm square of kraft, and intended to give this a try, fully expecting it to fail. My approach to designs outside my skill range is to “fold until it fails or is finished”. I have used this mantra for decades and, as was the case this time around, I discover I have “levelled up” in terms of skills.

The design here is genius. Although it is a boxpleated model, the allocation of flaps to details and proportion evident, as well as attention to the original artwork is outstanding.

From a single sheet of paper, we have a naked lady, masking her modesty with hands and a wicked hairdo. She is standing on an open scallop shell, because … well … that is how she as a Roman Goddess was apparently born. Clearly a little more is now known about where babies come from but it is a striking model version of Botticelli’s classic painting.

I want to tell you this model came easily, and that the shaping was intuitive, but … it wasn’t. I suck at shaping, so really feel like i have levelled up on this model – making the body luscious (yes, I know the breasts are a little “cubist”, but ample and pointed in the right direction. I am particularly happy with the much layered and frizzed hair.

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“Hydrangea Quilt”

I _may_ have mentioned I am a member of Papermakers and Artists of Queensland (PAQ). I was approached to contribute to a soon to be mounted gallery exhibition entitled “All Stitched Up”.

I had no intention of contributing because … I don’t stitch, and integral to each work needed to be stitching.

Stitch Artist Fee Garrett-Benson approached me and encouraged me to get involved, suggesting a collaboration. After some to and fro of ideas, a “quilt” made up of separate origami elements stitched together was settled upon.

I love Shuzo Fujimoto’s “Hydrangea”, so decided to echo the Crochet squares my Mum used to make into blankets and fold 12 squares (4×3) to suggest a quilt.

Dear friend Janet brought back many glorious papers from her trip to Japan recently, and I remembered a particularly stunning sheet of gold dry-brushed red Kozo which I figured would be perfect. I managed to cut 12 21cm squares from the sheet with nearly nothing left (which was pleasing) and set about folding hydrangea units.

Tentatively I handed them (and some Kraft maquettes) to Fee, we talked threads. Initially I thought gold thread until Fee showed me some luscious red silk thread that was nearly the same colour as the paper and the decision was easy.

After experimenting with typed of stitch and stitch placement on the Kraft maquettes, Fee decided on lovely loose loops to join the quilt units together.

The result is wonderful. I framed the quilt and the WIP experiments in Perspex sandwich frames (from Ikea) and am quite chuffed with the result.

The production fold and WIP bound for PAQ “All Stitched Up” exhibition, soon to be on display at the Gympie Regional Gallery 22 Feb – 23 Mar 2024.

1124: Vase Algorithm

I recently opted in to a “fold along” workshop (at 1am-3am local time) with Gerardo at neorigami.com and a number of guest demonstrators. The first model was a square “Vase” designed by Saburo Kase:

The process, starting with a “preliminary base” got me thinking about generalization of the algorithm to other regular polygons. The corner treatment is radially symmetrical (ie. you do the same thing on each corner), and has 3 “about here” judgement folds that all combine to control the final shape of the vessel …. so….

I cut an equilateral triangle, a new square and a regular hexagon, then formed “preliminary bases” from each geometry.

Next, I followed the corner algorithm on each of the 3, 4 and 6 corners respectively to see how it behaved. I now regret not also using a regular pentagon, as I think it would possibly be a “sweet spot” for the organic shaping … maybe some other time.

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Fueled up and having an extra sheet of tissue from the shirts I bought yesterday, I set about being more deliberate in my crumpling.

First up I scrunched the sheet up tightly and randomly, then flattened it – I regret not doing this on the previous square field crumple as it helps refine the end texture I found.

Next, I chose random bits of crockery of different radii, placed them in an aesthetic grouping and then gently eased the paper around the different circumferences (to mark the circles is all). I then removed the china, flipped the sheet and set about HARD creasing the circles.

Next, I gathered all the sharp circle creases together, encouraging the remaining tissue back, away from my gathered edges. I did the same for the smaller circles and brought them together with the large circle edges, then hard crumpled everything (like seriously squished it) back away from the circle edges.

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Square Field Crumple

I bought some new shirts yesterday – interleaved inside was some lovely white tissue. I folded it into 3rds, then half to get a square, then half, then half and kept going until I had a small, multi-layered square about 8cm on the side.

Next I crumpled that so the centre of the square was a point. It was tough as there were so many layers. I then opened the last halving, reinforced the valley between, inverted one of the points (as one was up, the other down), and re-crumpled the points.

Repeating this technique, opening a layer, reinforcing the valleys in-between each point, inverting half so they all pointed the same way and re-crumpling, allowing the crumples to become more random as they thinned out.

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