859: (309/365) Jumping Frog

The traditional world of Origami has many classic folds, it is constantly amazing to me how few of them I have actually folded:

This is a traditional jumping from – well, at least one version of it. The mechanism is simple and relies on paper thickness to provide a spring on the back legs. You gently press between the back legs and as the paper flips out from under your finger, the frog hops – ingenious. Continue reading

822: (272/365) Excalibur

“The Lady of the Lake,… [angels sing] …her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] THAT is why I’m your king!”:

“Listen, strange women, lyin’ in ponds, distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. SUPREME executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

“Shut up!”

“You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power, just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!” Continue reading

810: (260/365) Pez

In catch-up mode, this is Eduardo Clement’s “Pez”:

A delightful fish fold that is designed for paper that is the same colour both sides. A charming fold from his book Papiroflexia.

relevant because we recently spent time on the waters of Hervey Bay (yes, we did see whales, but yeah)

799: (249/365) Turning over a New Leaf

…shows you the underside of that leaf, really:

This is Naomiki Sato’s “leaf”, a lovely green thing that is destined to be attached to stems holding up flowers. Continue reading

747: (197/365) Root Veg

Winter is for hearty food, stews and seasonal root veg:

With such open food importing and trade however we see every vegetable and fruit available all year round. Peru grows my Asparagus, Venezuela exports my Fennel and China supplies my Carrots at the moment. Continue reading

636: (86/365) Marking

This time of year I add marks to student work:

I want to pretend it is a life-giving activity for me, the teacher. Continue reading

621: (71/365) Little Mouse

Under the weather at the moment, folding while suffering a streaming headcold is not much fun. After 2 model fails, I thought I should go simpler:

I stumbled across an obscure book by Eduardo Clemente called “Papiroflexia”, it is full of historically revolutionary designs I must try. Continue reading

591: (41/360) Miura Ori Fold

Paper-influenced materials engineering has gained incredible momentum in the last few years as ancient and modern folding techniques get applied to modern materials:

The Miura Ori fold is a fascinating corrugation that takes large flat surfaces, divides them up into “shallow” parallelograms, re-arranges the creases into alternate rows of mountain and valley across the folded field to make a self-organising surface. Continue reading

556: (6/365) Tiny Cobra

In exploring the “Tiny Snek” interwebs phenomenon, I stumbled across a money fold that resulted in a simple cobra:

This is a variation on Vu Dung’s Cobra, folded from a 2×1 rectangle. Although relatively simple it was made more difficult by the size of the fold – this is tiny but still has a recognisable hood and lovely mouth/set of fangs. Continue reading

552: (2/365) Tiny Snek

…so apparently, like, on the internets and stuff, Tiny Sneks are a thing, right:

This is Gen Hagiwara’s cartoon snake, a cute little model with lovely googly eyes and a smile.

I made it tiny… because. Continue reading

536: Double Tsuru (2)

Joined at the wing, this pair of Tsuru (traditional Cranes) was folded from a single sheet split nearly in half:536DoubleTsuru

Taken from “Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (The Secret of One Thousand Cranes Origami)” published in 1797. It is part of a series I hope to tackle…535DoubleTsuruInspiration

The trick is to not tear it as you fold it – the paper tension at the split is tenuous, so requires a gently, deft touch. Continue reading

535: Double Tsuru (1)

Browsing the internet, as you do, I came upon a chance find of an amazing archive of pages from what is thought to be the oldest Origami book published – “Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (The Secret of One Thousand Cranes Origami)”, first published in 1797:535DoubleTsuru

Looks like i have a new project, making Tsuru (traditional Cranes) in multiples on a single (cut) sheet – looks like it is going to be a fascinating ride.535DoubleTsuruInspiration

Continue reading


Although I began folding paper when I was 11, I peaked at about 13 (back then, in my own mind) by mastering Jack Skillman’s “Jackstone”:scale

I had bought Robert Harbin’s Origami book series, the model featured in book 2 at the back which meant it wqas hard. It seems the Jackstone was at the time a measure of the complexity of the art and, strangely, the geometry made sense to me – so much so that, for whatever reason I committed it to memory and still fold it today. (read Dave Lister’s BOS account of it)detail

It is a masterpiece of pre-folding – that you unfold, turn inside out and collapse along existing lines – the magic still delights and fascinates me to this day. Continue reading

463: Going Crackers

Contemplating buying Christmas Crackers, you gain a sense of waste and expense – they are hideously expensive and full of stuff no sane person would actually want:

…so I thought about folding some.

I am fond of a twist, and whilst exploring the maths of a hex  twist, I discovered a method for making a pentagon-based twist with rolled seam and nice turnovers that seems to do the job admirably and also naturally results from a square. Continue reading

330: Billfold

There is something I have learned about Australian paper money – it is NOT paper and it does not want to be folded. So I entered a little bit of a counterfeitting mode and made some paper money out of images and paper:

This is a billfold – one of HUNDREDS of models designed to be folded with an American $1.

Many are intricate and detailed, this one is merely figurative and works on many conceptual levels – making money work, making dollars with dollars etc.

I wonder what “greenbacks” are like to fold – the paper must be pretty strong to survive circulation and for there to be so many designs devoted to the medium I imagine it folds pretty well.

I miss paper money, I miss lower denomination coinage – as we jettison it, prices go up, value goes down, inflation goes crazy and exchange rates go through the roof.

A wise man once said that there is much unhappiness in the world because people spend most of their lives chasing little bits of coloured paper – this is odd because, on the whole, those bits of paper are not the least bit unhappy. DNA, I miss you.

325: 3 of 11 Dimensions – XYZ

Now in my understanding, life/existence as I know it exists in 4 dimensions (X, Y, Z and Time):

I am trying to understand physics, it does my head in when they talk of strings and the need for 11 dimensions to make sense of them.

Busy day, a modular to bridge the gap. This nice little modular by David Petty.

Happy with this as a first fold. Other things in the pipelines.

279: Computer Mouse

It was announced today that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer passed away today after a long battle with pancreatic cancer:

It is my considered opinion that Apple Computers lead a revolution in personal computing for many reasons, an important one being the re-introduction of the computer mouse as an integral pointing device for a graphical user interface that drove the computer.

They did not invent it – that particular landmark belongs to Douglas Engelbart’s computer mouse, whose patent was issued in 1970 for a X-Y Position Indicator For A Display System, but I think the Macintosh computer helped popularise it and it seemed to take the PC world years to catch on to this great idea – Jobs saw it immediately.

The world needs visionaries – good visionaries persist as figureheads of successful ventures and Apple’s success in part is directly attributable to the charisma and marketability of the man. Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

A more complete photo diagram is here:

Have a go at it using this diagram

202: Ninja Star

When I was a kid, an old black and white telly series from Japan called “Samurai” captured my attention – corny stories of good guys in white versus ninjas in black:

They threw star knives as one of their many skills (jumping, film reverse, back up into corners roof corners was another). A year 6 student brought me a ninja star he had made for him (mum or dad folded it) after I inquired if he could teach me.

After a small amount of deconstruction, the elegantly simple construction was evident – strength and simplicity in what looks like an intricate machine. I liked it so much I made a coloured one, using some lovely little washi squares Mary bought for me (love your work Cass’)

Happy with this, particularly as the star moves upon itself and the “blades” retract into a lovely octagonal ring – very clever

170: The Happy Couple

Another parental milestone today. We are going with our daughter and her fiancé to look at a wedding and reception venue:

Lots on, important however to attend to that which really matters – family and friends.

Designed by Joseph Wu to me folded at the reception of a wedding (to give the guests an “ice breaker” activity to get to know the people at their table), a figurative “Happy Couple” – nice and simple.

159: Harbin’s Bat

Going batty here trying to decide what to fold, late after a QSITE meeting … so:

I folded a Bat – quite a tidy model, plump little body and nice wing span

Unusually made from an equilateral triangle, relatively few folds actually for a well proportioned bat