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?

318: Dromedary

On review, I have not folded many camels – I have no idea why this is:

This is John Montroll’s “Dromedary”, a one-humped Arabian camel and there is much to like about the model, if not my first fold of it.

Lovely ears and face, curious sunken hump, legs more or less in the right place.

I might fold this one again, I learned much on the first time through, and it was a mashup of his “camel” instructions to a modified base, so I did not really know what was going to be what until fairly late in the piece (hence the disoriented development pictures).

Busy times, lots to do, spent waaaay too much time on this, you get that.

312: Gerboa

Now in arid areas of Australia life is hard. Some animals never drink, some come out an night, some live underground – the gerboa does all these things and more:

Sometimes called the “Kangaroo rat” because of its rather splendid tail and hoppy back legs, it has always fascinated me.

When I saw this model I knew I would have to try it – copy paper, to be honest, is a terrible media for this but I soldiered on and am actually very happy with this as a first fold.

An ingenious use of the bird base, I will fold this again – it is poseable, has lots of character and the most lovely feet and tail – very clever design.

297: Taxi!

In old Chinatown, when someone wanted to travel in style, they hailed a “coolie” pulling a rickshaw:

This picture was common in days gone by, these days the hustle and bustle of bicycles, motorbikes and tuk-tuks has replaced the hard work.

This is Neal Elias’ “Coolie and Rickshaw”, designed in1967. An ingenious box pleat using a square and tidily fashioning a running man and a 2 wheeled buggy behind, replete with lovely conical hat, wheels and canopy.

I have been wanting to try this for a while, just because really. Taken from “Selected works 1964-1973” by British Origami Society. I am happy with this as a first fold. I modified the body and legs a little to add a sense of movement, and re-worked the wheels so they were round (the original design had them nearly square).

293: Kawahata’s TRex

It was late, I was tired, and this model did not come easily from a baffling set of instructions:

I will fold this again, but for now this is my first fold – rough but the vestiges of a row of teeth, sort of arms, nearly toes and a good tail/body – plenty of scope to improve.

Folded from “Origami Fantasy” by Fumiaki Kawahata, this model is tough at this scale.

292: Montroll’s Rhino

I have been exploring the work of John Montroll, and came across this little beauty:

A lovely Rhino, dual horns, lovely ears and a splendid tail, I am impressed with the rhinocerosness of this design, you get a sense of the armor-plating, power and posture of the beast.

Some clever pre-folding and some interesting sink folds to tease stickey-outey bits from flat edges, and the collapse for the head is interesting indeed.

Happy with this as a first fold, my pick of the rhinos folded so far.

290: Dachshund

Awoke with a banging headache, have laid low for most of the day, decided I needed something simple:

Little did I realise how un-simple this model was. Not hard, just lots of steps really and the end result is a lovely “sausage dog”.

John Montroll is a design genius, and this model uses his “dog base” to sculpt a rather nice dachshund from a square – lots of modelability, plenty of character.

Taken from his book “Origami Sculptures”, this is a keeper, hope you like him too. It uses a stretched variation of his dog base. Try it: sausage

Nice to see readers having a go. Here is Everett’s fold:everett

287: Fuse Box (Small Flowers)

Tomoko Fuse is a genius in designing intricate boxes:

this is called “Small Flowers” because of an incidental pattern the overlapping edges make, sort of looks like aflower. I made it in colour only because a monochrome version would not have been remarkable.

The lid and the base are each comprised of 4 pieces of paper, an interlocking modular that is fairly rigid and would make a nice stocking case or filled with some sweet treat.

Why a “Fuse Box”? Well, Energex had a transformer on the street go pop and our school spent the day without power – all interesting. I thought a paper play on words might be fun.

278: Passing Notes

Now those who know me realise 2 things – I love music but I cannot read those little black dots on the lines for nuts:

It was doubly problematic when I was in a choir as all those around me were able to sight-read and I … sort of … faked it (I have good pitch and developed a skill of singing along).

It was/is a frustration that is heightened when I am confused, tired, stressed and … well … pretty well all the time really.

This model, designed by Jeremy Shaffer is a neat little cluster of notes and is very tidy, considering it came from a square there is lots of tough hiding of paper inside to make a polished model.

WHY fold this? Well, today JJJ released a new radio station – “Unearthed” that promises to give a whole bunch of unsigned bands a place for their music to be broadcast – this is a wonderful thing IWHO.

271: Pelican

I have been looking for a nice pelican (yes, I know that is an odd thing to say, but good pelican origami models are hard to find):

This is the best I have found so far, and although it is not free-standing, contains much that is pelicanny.

Lovely bill, nice feet (if a little thin and spindly) and the vestiges of nice wings, I think I will keep looking.

Folded after returning home from a conference (lots of nice people sharing). Busy times, sometimes you get that.

270: False Teeth

Anyone who knows me realizes the terror I experience when visiting the dentist:

Don’t get me wrong, our dentist is awesome, and very aware that I have an irrational fear that I cannot control when being worked on.

A red frog (chewy lolly) was the latest culprit, taking away most of a huge filling on one of my molars so today I face a molar re-build and thought origami teeth – there’s an idea.

This delightful model is a compact little box pleating exercise designed by Robin Glynn. When folded from an A4 cut square they turn out essentially lifesize, although they have much fewer teeth than a real set, they are demonstrative of form and look a lot like those chattering teeth wind-up toys sold in joke shops.

Quite happy with this as a first fold.

267: Nollentonk

When my sister was little, she used to call elephants “Nollentonks“:

No idea why, the name just stuck. My daughter also likes elephants so i am on the search for a good one. This little beauty measures in at 8cm trunk to tail.

This is John Montroll’s African Elephant. A lovely model that I now regret folding at this scale (I am running short of A3-cut squares, so used an A4 instead). Getting the elephantine proportions and general shape were tough work at this scale, but the model is a good one and the inner nollentonk shone through in the end,

Lovely ears and tusks, waggly tail and nice solid body make this model a winner, one I will fold again.

264: Stinkbug

I mowed yesterday, and noticed my citrus trees were once again infested with stinkbugs:

I would dearly love a solution to this annual pest – not only do they smell, they damage the new growth of the tree and mark the fruit. Worse, I am allergic to the stuff they spray in defense when disturbed – I come up in horrible blistery sores that take ages to heal.

The trees are quite large, individually picking off the bugs is impractical, I am open to suggestions.

This little bug was very badly diagrammed (sorry whever did it), I had to improvise at many junctures and would fold it differently if I were to fold this again – you live and learn however.

Morphologically, this is a fairly good stink bug actually, just a pain to fold at this scale.

259: Stag

Barbz asked me to make a deer, I decided to look for a stag (antlers etc) and found one by Neal Elias:

I like this model – out of a severe box pleat a fairly graceful body, legs and head with lovely ears and antlers emerges.

This was a tough fold – the thicknesses near the nead are really difficult to fold, but the result is quite satisfying as a forst fold – hope you ike it Barbz.

I have also found a bunch of deer-like animals, will experiment more with the form.

258: Rodin’s Thinker

When I think of my mate Mike, I think of Rodin’s “The Thinker”:

There are many reasons, including his stunning good looks, poise but most of all because he is a thinker – he considers everything deeply, his responses are considered, balanced, always truthful and often factual 😛

This is a Neal Elias designed model, interesting use of an off-centre waterbomb base and trademark elias stretches to make the arms, I think it is particularly clever that the pose is fairly accurate, it is self-standing (well, ok, sitting), complete with all the body bits and perched on a pedistal to finish.

This is the second model I have folded from “Neal Elias – Selected Works 1964-1973” compiled by Dave Venables, purchased through the British Origami Society. As a founder in the box-pleating techniques that have been more popular in recent years, the shape is figurative yet evokes the object it was mimicking well I think.

I Think, therefore .. umm … what was the question?

255: Turtoise or Tortle?

I have never been able to discern the difference between a tortoise and a turtle:

Sure there are superficial morphological differences but they both are reptiles, both carry their shell around etc.

This is Robert Lang’s turtle and it is a lovely, simple, figurative model that abounds tortoisness. I like the simple curve of the shell, the hint of claws and the expressive neck/head.

I deliberately folded this small scale for two reasons – (1) I used to have a “penny turtle” called, sadly enough, “Myrtle” – I actually found her in a creek near home (I grew up in Maleny); (2) shits and giggles – you get that.

Slow and steady wins the race is where I was going here – hare and tortoise/turtle/whatever – so much to do, so little time, procrastinator set on full and we are away.

247: Alix’s Giraffe

Now I have been on a mission to find and fold Alix a giraffe for her birthday (Happy Birthday Alix!) and the model had some criteria:

  • * it needed to look “giraffey” – so many do not
  • * it needed to be achievable with  square of cardstock I found in a Landsborough scrapbooking shop (don’t ask) – the giraffe hide was tough to fold, so the model had to be simpler- No margin for error, you cannot re-fold this stuff as the design is only screen printed on so cracks when you fold it
  • * it needs to stand freely

Voila! We have a Giraffe – I found these instructions on the interweb but no credit was given to the designer – can anyone help me here?

I rejected models by Peter Engel, Robert Lang, John Montrol for one or all 3 reasons above having folded them and barely achieving an acceptable model using plain copy paper (which is much more forgiving that the giraffe print I had).

It was an interesting investigation – there will be more giraffes to come – the challenge is to adequately represent the “spirit” of the animal rather than necessarily be accurate with the morphology as they are such an odd collection of animal bits really (almost as odd as a platypus). No model I found had the lovely long knobbly kneed legs and the vaguely trapezoidal body for instance but various models had aspects that looked correct.

To get the long neck and distant body when using a square so much paper has to be tucked away that it gets really dense, but it ends up with lovely ears, and vestigial “horns” which I have never worked out what they do.

Hope Alix likes it;

Happy Fathers Day also to all those Dads out there, hope you also have a good day.

235: Charlie the Unicorn

Now I have been told off by Dr Winston O’Boogie for folding creepy crawlys and scary things and was told I should concentrate on unicorns and rainbows:

This is John Montrol’s Unicorn – a relatively simple fold with a nice horsey shape.

So much paper folded inside, it ends up having a plump body and very thick legs and a lovely twirly unicorn stickey-uppey horney thing

This will do me for unicorns for the moment, although I will be on the look out for another one as the horse shape is one much folded by origami designers as it is quite difficult to capture the equine profile.

231: Tomoko Fuse’s Snail

Now I found a collection of spirals and boxes by paper legend Tomoko Fuse, and the snail looked hoopy, so I decided to fold it:

A relatively simple fold, with an elegant curved pleat forms the shell and a simple shape for the foot topped off with lovely eye stalks.

If I was to fold this again I would use less symmetrical pleats, so the creases get closer together as the shell gets smaller, still it is a lovely bit of geometry.

Was puzzling what to do as today’s fold, glad I chose this.

228: Wilbur, the Narcoleptic Cat Sidekick

As mentioned previously, Captain Fainty has a sidekick:

Now it must be said that this sidekick is more of a liability than an asset – as is true for all cats really (let’s be honest), and there is little evidence that this sidekick is even remotely interested in being labelled as such. There is even less evidence that this sidekick has actually performed even the minimum of sidekick duties – you get that apparently.

This is a Joisel fold, and I will probably fold it again now I know what goes where, but I am fairly happy with this as a first fold – he looks like he is slinking – something cats are wont to do, prior to a bout of narcolepsy.

A relatively simple fold with lots of potential for modelling and expression, the posture is lovely but the legs are a little dense and fiddly at small scale.