Priceless Artwork

Culling stored stuff, we came across things we had kept from my daughter’s pre-school years. Folios of precious artworks that, 25 years ago, adorned our fridge:

Spikey ball of love

Glorious and colourful explorations of paint, colour and form, painted, using bubbles, marbles, brushes and other techniques, using really strong colours that have remained so all this time.

I chose 10 of the most colourful paintings, cut 3 x 1:2 rectangles and set about folding a nice spiked ball with them.

I love the result, for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because it is made from materials created by someone I love. So much better than sending it all to landfill.

947: Parquetry Ball

Procrastination aside, folding units for a new kusadama is always an adventure. This “parquetry” ball looks like it is made from strips of machined timbers. I decided on 3 colours, reasoning that I should be able to evenly spread the edges around the ball:

parquetry ball

Due to the interconnections, the plan nearly worked, but the ball is lovely none the less. I really like the locking mechanism – the resultant ball is rigid and self-supporting.

Continue reading

915: (365/365) Chris K Palmer’s “Flower Tower”

I have a long and terrifying “fold me” list of models I will one day get around to – this was on it:

An excruciating fractal tessellation that eats paper like few other folds, based on spiral collapses of a dodecagon that then gets turned inside out to make the next level to collapse.

The unfold and re-collapse stages (I did 3, but theoretically could keep going getting smaller and smaller) looks like it is going to hell in a handbasket, then it sort of just sorts itself out in a magic sort of way. Continue reading

897: (347/365) Deathstar

Tomorrow in Oz the next chapter of the Star Wars saga opens in cinemas. I am not likely to see it until the crush of “real fans” abates but thought on the eve I would fold something relevant:

This I have labelled “Deathstar” because it bears an uncanny resemblance to the space station the Liberator encountered just out from Far Point, while captain Mal and his rag tag band of cylons, and their computer Aurac, cruised the belt looking for replicants (how many scifi franchises are hinted at here? :P). Continue reading

673: (123/365) Longhorn Beetle

Itching to dive into some thing complex (365 challenges are lousy for this, the one fold a day schedule makes longer hauls really difficult), I decided on an insect from Robert Lang that I had not folded before:

Folded nearly life-size, this is a longhorn beetle, a lovely little bug with seemingly ridiculous antennae. Continue reading

519: Before the Big Bang

Curved creases seem to do interesting things to stiff paper.519twist

Paper tension that has been tortured by curved folds tends to force planes into curves and distorts geometry in interesting ways.519Snail

I had a huge offcut of Canson watercolour paper and decided to try Thoki Yenn and Josef Albers “Before The Big Bang” – an odd collection of concentric creases, alternating mountain and valleys. Continue reading

477: Rooster

I want an origami rooster (in red) to live somewhere in our new kitchen, so set about exploring rooster form with a pair of masters and their individual approaches to rooster form:

I “warmed up” with an Eric Joisel “Le Coq” – a fold I had tried years ago and not really mastered so I patiently and carefully folded from a 60cm square a lovely rendition (well, in my eyes at least). the Joisel model is economical with paper and seems to focus on the feet and tail, with an almost caricature head comb and waffle.

I then, after a cup of tea, girded my loins and set about folding Satoshi Kamiya’s Rooster. Using the same size piece of paper, there are hundreds of steps, many of which were astonishingly complicated 3d collapses that had originally scared me away from trying it – indeed 2 years ago I would not have been able to fold it at all.

There is much to admire with Kamiya’s vision of the bird – body and head with comb/wattle are amazing,  full wings and a suggestion of a tail are wonderful, legs and feet seem (to me at least) almost an after thought, although the legs do have spurs and the right number of toes, I found them less generous than they needed to be for the proportions of the model – the poor chook would not be able to walk or perch. Even posing it I had great difficulty propping it up on the little spindly toes. It appears to have “barbie” syndrome – you know, Barbie the doll has impossible proportions, right? Continue reading

474: Six Intersecting Squares

While browsing an origami forum I frequent, I came across a modular that I had not tried, based on 120 degree units:

I have a stack of oddments (the ends cut off A4 sheets when squaring them up) and decided to see if they were close enough to the right size for this module (it called for 2 1/5 x 1 rectangles, my odments are more 2.5×1) Continue reading

Hideo Komatsu’s Owl

You find wisdom and counsel is the most unexpected of places, people can be wise beyond their years and offer you more support and encourage than they realise.

I was asked to fold an owl, simultaneously, for two completely different purposes. (1) A good mate wanted to give an Owl to someone who had helped him out with some well chosen words of wisdom. (2) During the World Origami Days event organised by MiniNeo, I was challenged to fold an Owl by Sebastien Limet. Continue reading

“You Shall Pass!”

Sometimes we all need a little magic in our lives:

If anyone can get us past the Balrog and on beyond Mount Doom, Gandalf can.

Made from a square (and the scrap cut off to make it a square to make the staff) for a friend who, like all of us, is a valuable and important part of this world.