991: 2019-nCoV

Human Corona Virus is in the news, the news is alarming:

nCoV macquette

It is difficult to know the extent of the emergency, the effectiveness of treatment, the vector of infection, the spread and infection rate, the facts.

Social media and websites masquerading as “news” agencies love a good headline, and this mixed with Survivor in the jungle, celebrity red carpets, sham impeachment, Corona Virus “influencers” on instagram and fad diets makes navigating the facts difficult.

Public warnings and travel bans aside, what constitutes a pandemic? What is the appropriate response?

I took a 3×1 rectangle of white/natural Ikea Kraft and … well … doodled and came up with an all too familiar image – a face-masked regular person. In an odd bout of synchronicity, Sebastian Limet (@sebl) had the same idea. His fold, as usual has lots of character.

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723: (173/365) Feathered Tsuru

Few would argue that the Tsuru (crane) is the quintessential origami figure. Everybody starts there, the form is so familiar and the skills necessary to fold it form the backbone of so many models:

While I have tried many variations of this model, few compare to Riccardo Foschi’s “feathered Tsuru”, a glorious and complex variation with such beautiful wings. Continue reading

702: (152/365) Burning Down The House

I have been a fan of Talking Heads pretty well as long as it was possible to be one. “Burning down the house” remains one of the great songs of all time:

This is Martin Wall’s “Matchbox”, an ingenious model folded from a single, much tortured, piece of paper. A lovely little life-size matchbox, folded from a 50x17cm rectangle (3×1), it comprises an outer tray and a movable tray that slides open and closed. Continue reading

685: (135/365) Bug

Old-school origami can still be fun, and this model is no exception:

Eduardo Clemente’s book “Papiroflexia” contains a plethora of old-style 60’s origami, before the boxpleating, tree-maker days. Continue reading

646: (96/365) Paint Tube

Artists would be familiar with the the following model:

This is Guillome Denis’ “Paint Tube”, a lovely bicolour model that has a style and movement to it. Continue reading

623: (73/365) Burro con Carro

Yoshizawa Sensei once said “The Horse and the rider are not one, nor should a model of them be”, or words to that effect and I think this model is an interesting reflection of that sentiment:

This is Eduardo Clemente’s “Burro con Carro” which I think means “Donkey and Cart”. Fashioned from a 3×1 rectangle, the technique involves completely wasting the middle square to provide a join that more or less makes sense between the cart and the tail of the donkey.

The trouble is, the join is so thick that modelling the hindquarters of the donkey is compromised, the cart does not sit quite right and the front of the model is so light that modelling front legs and head/ears is flimsy and a bit of a fail. Continue reading

319: Performing Seal

The crowd gasped and applauded enthusiastically at the task do deftly performed by the seal on display. The seal sighed, feeling that the humans watching it were easily amused and so concentrated on the mathematics of parabolic hyperflexion and existential philosophy to pass the time until the next fish was tossed her way:

This is Fred Rohm’s “Performing Seal” an old-school model that is clever none the less. Perched atop the nose of a reasonably nicely formed seal is a beachball – all ONE piece of paper, some nice bending in this.

This and the “Magic White Rabbit” both make use of a blended waterbomb, should I fold this one again I would ensure it is less square.

Quite ingenious, we use a 3×1 rectangle and tuck most of it away to leave the seal.

I have never understood the justification from animal trainers – the whole “reinforcing natural behaviours” falls flat on it’s face with these sorts of tricks – still, so long as the crowd loves them it cannot be all bad – right?

303: Llopio’s Moment of Truth

The croud erupts spontaneously with “Olé!” as Llopio narrowly dodges the bull calf’s first charge. His grandfather’s matador cap, too loose for him, slips and obscures his vision, there is an amateur swish of a cape as the bull’s developing horns pass too close for comfort, quick step out of the way and Llopio is finally a bullfighter.

This is “Llopio’s Moment of truth” – the reason I bought the British Origami Society’s compendium of Neal Elias figures. There is much to like in this complex box pleat. from one piece of paper emerges a Matador, Bull and the Cape that separates them.

I like how there is movement, you can sense the drama, a fitting end to my exploration of Neal Elias’ work. This fold is challenging, so much of the design is “mystery meat” where you just have to sort of “improvise” – you would not want to fold it much smaller, the manipulation of layers in the bodies is intense and fiddly and it is not immediately obvious what is going to be what until near the end.

Interestingly, only the matador is box pleated – unusually you torture 2 water bomb bases to get the bull and cape so this is a nice fusion between pure box pleating and free-form sculpture. Happy I have folded this, apparently if you fold it with duo paper the cape ends up being the alternate colour – wow.

296: Pas de Deux

In ballet, a pas de deux (French, steps of two) is a duet in which ballet dancers perform the dance together. It usually consists of an entrée, adagio, two variations (one for each dancer), and a coda:

In origami, few designers have mastered multiple figure folding like Neal Elias – this is his “Nureyev and Fonteyn” model designed in 1973 as a tribute to the then “toast of the town” couple as they became an on-stage sensation.

This is a relatively simple box-pleat with some elias stretches to form arms. I found the flrming of her legs the most challenging, tucking it tidily into his trousers so the join between them is less obvious. At this scale, shaping is a challenge, hence her “thunder thighs” and their angular faces. I am happy however with this figurative fold, taken from my copy of the British Origami Society’s publication of Elias’ selected works.

Folded from a 3×1 rectangle (scrap litho paper from yesterday’s squaring), the only pity is that it is not free-standing (but boy would lit look pretty on a card) so I cheated and blu-tacked a paper clip on the back for display purposes.

I was looking for an easier model (because yesterday took so long) -this one fitted the bill admirably.

220: Saint Mary Mackillop

Apparently today is the feast for St Mary Mackillop – the first Australian who has been verified to do enough miracles to qualify as a saint.

Interestingly, I drive past the church school she used to teach in in South Brisbane. I would love to say I actually knew this, but a staff member mentioned it during a meeting so I fired up my collection of nuns for a suitable model to provide the tribute.

A relatively simple box pleating exercise designed by Fred Rhom called “Vera Cruz” this works well for the purpose.

there are a few things you can vary here as most is folded without landmark – the height of the cross, the tallness of the nun etc, nice figurative model.

Tetrahedra Revisited

…so I was bugged that as tiny little triangles, in white, I found it impossible to complete the 5 intersecting shape thing, so I went to the school copy room and asked for some colourful Copy paper – A4.

I got 5 strong colours, cut squares, made them into thirds, total of 6 strips per tetrahedra, 5 tetrahedra – total of 30 bits of paper, 1-2 minutes to fold each unit, 3-5 minutes each to place and lock into surrounding units and it is done.

I find this shape fascinating, and the order of the pattern was only evident after I had completed it – from simple shapes, great complexity and beauty can arise.

73: Panzer Tank

I was leafing through a Robert Harbin book “Introduction to Origami 4” and stumbled across a lovely little box-pleating exercise:

This tank, designed by Laurie Bisman is neat, it is 3d, has a turret, caterpillar tracks and a mobile gun – I wedged a paper shim under it to keep it upright for the photo.

I am actually amazed it worked given the 3×1 rectangle I started with was not entirely straight when I cut it. there are many junctures in the model where there are no measurements and, given pre-folding experience I would have done differently – I un-folded and re-folded the turret 4 times before I was happy with it’s dimensions for instance. Happy with the result in the end – first-fold can be like that.