1127: Bin Chicken

The majestic “Bin Chicken” is, sadly, an aussie icon – those black-headed ibis emerge from the deepest, moistest corners of a ripe dumpster, dripping bin juice.

Yes, I KNOW that an Egret is not an IBIS (the beak is different and the body colouration is different… but… creative license). This is Jeong Jae Il’s “Egret” – a beautifully lifelike rendition of an altogether more polite bird. The diagrams, from “Potential Origami” suggest heavier paper, so I trotted out a lovely 58cm square of duo Yukogami to work this model.

The paper is stark white one side, jet black the other, heavily textured and light cardboard in thicknicty, but I thought I would fold until either it was finished or it failed. The only real struggle was thinning down the legs that end up being about 12-18 layers. In finishing, after dry-shaping, I slid a little white glue inbetween the layers then re-formed on my dry shaped form, compressed and found the paper dried solid – an added bonus was I did not need to add wire, she stood on her own!!

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1116: Alas….Homo Papyrus

Things have been busy, lots happening in the real world so it is sometimes nice to get lost in a fold or two:

This lovely fully 3D skull, designed by Naito Yukata and wrangled from a 3:1 rectangle has been quite a journey.

The pre-creasing was fiddly but laid in landmarks that then aided the staged collapse. I found it easier to collapse parts of the model separately, then open the sheet back out to do the next section, laying in the final resting creases as I went – this meant that the “all at once collapse of the top part of the skull was easier.

The teeth introduced a lovely layered pleat structure I had not seen before and the overall shaping is a bit of an art I think.

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1115: Typeface

Determined to fold something, I came across some diagrams in Origami Dan (an origami-focussed Discord) and figured I would give it a go:

Base unit

The idea behind the the fold is interesting – making, from a square, a 3×4 matrix of “pixels” that can be colour changed either whole or in part. From this base you then strategically reveal colour to form letters of a typeface.

Designed by Jason Ku, it is a clever and flexible shape and I then set out to form all the letters of the alphabet and digits of basic numbers.

Some of the letters represented more challenge than others – some had little fiddly 1/4 triangle components, others had reverses contrary to the underlying structure, requiring some strategic swivels and reverses. the more observant among you will realise I stuffed up the colour conventions and got a few letters in reverse colours to the others (I, J and L for those that did not notice) – meh.

The most time-consuming part of this fold was compiling the photo record and stitching it together – happy I managed it however.

1114: Fergus Currie’s 3rd Stellation of an Icosahedron

Just before the Origami Marathon this year, Fergus Curry dropped a free access download to a new hedron that I knew I had to try. I cut the 30 papers and then ran out of time to actually fold them prior to the marathon:

Returning to this fold recently, I went into production-line mode to ensure I had fold consistency for each module given angle construction was a core requirement (ie. there is no “template”, you make the angles fresh each page, twice).

The resultant module have a pair of hinged triangles as faces, and deep pockets and twice bent tabs that, when together, make a really positive join.

Construction was at times painful – seating the modules inside their nearest neighbors requires you insert a tab around a corner that is being pulled closed as you seat it. Early on, mating modules is ok but as you lose access to the inside of the solid, it becomes more and more awkward. I resorted to a symphony of tweezers near the end to close it up.

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1111: Goldfish

Cleaning my desk is an important psychological activity, it helps me “move on” and, oddly, I had not cleaned my home desk since well before I retired … I am not sure why, but I just was not ready:

The cleaning process also de-clutters, re-homes and generates a pile of detritus headed for the rubbish bin. Among the accumulated layers of life I discovered a printed diagram from Pham Hoang Tuan for a lovely ornate goldfish.

I remember being sent a bunch of printed diagrams with a paper pack from him (I won it for … something I cannot remember), and realise I have yet to fold most of that hand-made and hand-coloured paper … must do something about it.

I approached this model like most – I first grabbed my goto test-fold paper (Kraft), decided to try a 30cm square and set of, reasoning that I will either finish it or fail trying – both are useful journeys.

Like many diagrams from Pham Hoang Tuan, I found some inconsistencies between what was being asked and what you had to do that with, but as a reasonably experienced folder I was able to “creatively” step over those weirdnesses.

This model is lovely, and screams for pretty, textured, thin paper – so I must re-visit it with the same. Like Ronald Koh’s Goldfish, this model is volumetric (it is chubby), has a profusion of fins and the shaping requires a deft, delicate touch. I love the formation of the eyes and separation of the fins, a symphony of bizarre genetic engineering designed to create fan-tailed delicate ornamental goldfish.

It contains a number of seemingly impossible closed-sinks to shape the body and create volume, but the net result is quite beautiful – one I will return to.

1078: “Tallneck” from Horizon

There is a series of games in the Horizon series, set in a dystopian future where main opponents are robotic dinosaurs. My son plays, I am amazed by the complexity and richness of the game world.

I saw an origami “doodle” by Tetsuya Gotani of a “Tallneck” published on his instagram feed – a sort of brachiosaurus with a spaceship for a head. Thanks to the power of the internet, I reached out to see if he could give me guidance on how to fold one:

Tetsuyu Gotani's "Tallneck"

After a while, Tetsuya replied with a diagram series on how to fold it, newly drawn for me to test-fold. How amazing is that???

I hope he publishes the diagrams, the fold is challenging and the result is familiar to many gamers, and I am sure there would be interest from other origamists (and gamers) to fold it. The Horizon series of games has many robotic dinosaurs that would be perfect subjects for super-complex origami designs (hint hint!).

in-game image

I started with a 40cm square of metallic green/black duo paper (I think it was shadowfold??), that was really thin but strong (it needed to be, because of the torture and final torsion of the outer layers over a bulky solid body. Characteristic of the game critter, spikey bits and a flat-top head emerge from deft manipulation of layers. The bulk of the paper lies in the neck, making thinning it difficult, and the resultant model has a neck that is a little too thick, compared to the slender game critter’s – but this is a minor quibble.

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1070: Massimo’s Western Dragon

It is not every day you open your email and find a gift from a design legend. Friday Francesco Massimo sent me the diagrams for his Western Dragon, and I knew what I would be folding this weekend:

Francesco Massimo's "Western Dragon"

Having folded many dragons (western and not), I was keen to explore the morphology and layer management of this new model, and pretty soon realised paper selection is REALLY important for success with this model.

Essentially a “birdbase”, 2 structured have been grafted on (a Lang “KNL”-style dragon head, and a luscious set of wings), meaning that the “legs” would emerge from the centre of a tangle near the middle of the sheet, accumulating layers as they were formed.

Francesco Massimo's "Western Dragon" views

I decided to fold a maquette from thin crispy Kraft paper first – there were LOTS of baffling manipulations and I did not feel confident to risk nice paper on a first fold. In wrestling with the maquette, I “made good” the wing connection and body trimming, learned about initial angles of things like the neck (deciding I did not like the designed angle, changing it in my final fold), and the sequence for the collapse of the head – the pre-creasing strategy is prone to gross inaccuracies that impact the look and sit of the features, so adopted more of a CP mentality when I knew what was being used for what.

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1062: Omicron

Having recently purchased a bumper pack of 6″ duo paper, I was itching to fold something with it. Given we are in a new wave of Covid-19 (Omicron), I thought a virus-like kusudama was in order:

Xander Perrott's "Minaret"

This is Xander Perrott’s lovely modular design “Minaret”, a 30-piece ball of wonder.

Each piece is based on a 1: root(3) proportioned rectangles, intricately collapsed into beams with tabs/pockets on each end.

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I am trying to get my brain back – the term has been brutal so I decided some paper therapy was in order. I originally folded this model back in 2011, on tiny paper, and the resultant mess was posted as part of that year’s 365 challenge.

I had vowed to re-fold it with better paper, and I decided to do that today.

Pegasus - a proud horsie

I cut a 50cm of pearl coloured Lithography paper, and carefully followed an instruction set that only lasted 103 steps or so (quite quick for a Kamiya model).

I love how this horse seems to emerge from an otherwise non-descript tangle, with glorious and sensibly placed, appropriately muscled wings.

Pegasus, wing view
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1047: Dog

The star drawcard (for me) was an opportunity to fold along live with Satoshi Kamiya – he taught 2 models and I managed to follow along with the broken English, translator and zoom limitations:

Kamiya's "Dog"

The sequence of most of Kamiya’s models are delicious – so natural, logical and a totally different/unique style.

This is a generic dog, different to the one most recently published and I can see how you could vary the base to get really nicely shaped dogs of many types – this one is a little “husky” like.

I really felt lucky to have been present, I am a bit of a fanboi, but it was intense and wonderful. Matching the master, fold for fold was a rare pribilege. I must re-fold this (as I am not really happy with the head I folded).

1039: Jang Yong Ik’s “Smilodon”

Whilst being eliminated from the Origami Tournament, I am still interested in the models being folded by surviving contestants. This week’s challenge was Jang Yong Ik’s :Smilodon” – a “sabre tooth tiger” like critter from time gone past:

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon"

The fold sequence is intense – this model ate up a 70cm square of black/natural duo Kraft paper like few other models. The body is thick and heavy, some sections had dozens of layers.

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon" view

I took my time, considered as I went, determined to succeed on my first fold. In retrospect, using thinner paper would have an advantage in that the layer management would be easier, but the legs would be flimsy and require wire supports – tough for a designer to distribute paper structurally.

Jang Yong Ik's "Smilodon" scale

In the end, we have a crouching toothy fossil, it was an interesting exercise and entrants did some good shaping to personalise their folds. I enjoyed exploring the sequence.

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.

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1030: Satoshi Kamiya’s Horse

Further exploring all things equinine, I realised I had never folded Satoshi Kamiya’s horse:

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse

Central to this horse design is a lovely mane, but the volume and proportions of this model are amazing, the base it originates from is immediately “horsey”.

Shaping matters, and I think I have been a little clumsy, but I suspect some of the fat is the paper – crisp 70cm kraft – I think if I had used a thinner/more textured paper the result would look less like a plastic horse.

There are lots of really challenging moves in this sequence – gathering the pleats to allow you to fan out the mane while not distorting the outside layers in mindboggling – there is LOTS of paper hidden, and I think my accuracy for this, the first fold, was pretty good.

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse scale

I must chase up a copy of Issei Yoshino’s book – that horse has a mane that apparently inspired Satoshi to design this one.

1012: Cluster

If one word sums up 2020, it has to be “cluster”. Sadly, in the Covi-19 era, we find at the centre of most clusters is a cluster-f*ck:

Xander Perrott's "Trillian"

In desperate need of a fold, I turned to Xander Perrott’s e-book “Folded Forms” that I bought a while ago and settled on “Trillian” – a glorious 30 unit modular cluster that looks a little like a flower ball.

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1010: Foschi’s “Black Widow”

Determined to work on one of my known folding weaknesses (solving crease patterns), I decided to have a go at Riccardo Foschi’s “Black Widow”:

Folded from 4×1 rectangle, box pleating teases out lovely long legs, cephalothorax and abdomen. With a little magic I managed to extend some pincer-like jaws also to use up some of the paper that was otherwise lurking in the transition between the body and the legs, which was quite pleasing.

Riccardo Foschi's Black Widow

Half the job is the collapse – working out what should be mountain, what should be valley, and the order of the collapse. The rest of the work (some say the hardest bit) is in the shaping as, often, the base you collapse to only roughly corresponds to the morphology of the final form, you then need to primp, tease, thin and pose to gain model finesse.

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