948: “Snow Crystal” Hex-box

I have been looking for tidy self-contained folds based on A4 paper that hides the raw edges, so I could try my lovely thistle-based hand-made paper (from the ladies at Paper Makers and Artists):

snow flake box complete

This box looks like a traditional fold, but seems to be credited fairly recently to Sweet Paper, a paper art shop/tutorial site I stumbled across in my musings. Not sure of the attribution however, as many of their featured designs I have seen (and folded) from other artists.

lid and base. Lid is 3/7ths of the sheet, base is the rest

The paper, with lovely rough chopped scotch thistle fibres and other pulp is fairly crisp, fairly thin but had raggedy (beautiful) decal edges that I did not really want to have to chop off.

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749: (199/365) Oyster Box

David Mitchell is a legendary origami designer, responsible for countless geometric wrangles:

This is an “Oyster Box” – a box that resembles a bivalve, that locks together rather satisfyingly and opens to reveal a spacious interior. Continue reading

402: Washi Hex-Box

This model combines two things I love about Origami:

The geometry of Fujimoto’s Hex box is wonderful, it provided me the perfect excuse to do that which I have put off for far too long. A colleague (thank you Mrs Erizabreth) gave me a roll of hand-made Washi she brought back from Japan many years ago. She had never worked out what to do with it, having fallen in love with it in a shop, bought it on impulse and had it squirrelled away in a cupboard packaged up as new.

She asked if I wanted it, I said yes (having no idea what I was in for). When she left it on my desk and I unfurled it for the first time I was speechless – hand-made, hand-block-printed, with gold and silver foil, the front face is glorious. Flipping the “paper” over, the texture of fibres is also glorious – both sides a work of art.

I have AGONISED about what I would do with it, and today I finally cut it – it was an important moment in my life. This might sound melodramatic, but I have another piece of washi I bought myself 3 years ago, black with gold calligraphy, that I can still not bring myself to cut. there is a special sort of reverence in beautiful things I think.

Anyway, I decided to fold a lidded box from the first cut pieces for 2 reasons – the hex box is my favourite and the paper makes it sparkle like a jewelled box.

I had a little panic, so mocked up the fold with some scribbled on copy paper – it occurred to me that I had NEVER folded this model with coloured paper – I just sort of assumed it worked itself out and the coloured side would show whilst the non-coloured side would hide itself away. Thank goodness, with a little tweak all worked out well.

There is so  much to love about this fold – it is teachable (I taught my Origami Club how to do it – year 9 boys managed it admirably); all it’s raw edged tuck away inside the body of the model, it’s top and bottom are folded slightly differently but nest inside each other beautifully; the top hex twist is lovely – with this paper it appears puffy and sort of quilted.

I am very happy with this, my first really expensive paper box. It is a gift, I envy the receiver but at least I have more of this lovely paper to obsess about.

385: Beer Mug/TeaCup

… so I was thinking through a waterproof container, being inspired by a paper cup I dismantled from a water cooler, and came across this design:

Working with an A4 page, and inscribing, via a simple half-third intersection and some simple geometric construction, an octagonal base, sides radiating from it and pleats to tuck away the excess paper, a container was born.

Because the base was centred 1/3 of the way down the page, there was, by design, enough paper to fashion a rather nice handle.

Very happy with this – rare that a design in my head so closely matches what later manifests on paper, and I might get around to diagramming it someday – the basic form however is pretty obvious in retrospect.

By varying the size of the base you get a taller or squatter container. By flaring the radiating sides, the container is more conical than cylindrical – all interesting. Mastering the pleats necessary to make the handle is interesting and as an added bonus the ends tuck away locking in position inside a facet gusset – neat indeed.

I trialled it in clear plastic, scoring the creases with a stylus before reinforcing them – tough going actually as the plastic had memory and continued to try to unfold. Interestingly, the finished article was waterproof and strong enough to be held by the handle while containing water so it is functional as well as pretty beautiful.

I know a gnome that needs this, so the next step was to make one to size and put it in his hands:

Squiffy now has his pint.

328: Superdude

Now I tried something, for the first time ever. I planned a NEW model, then folded it in prototype, then adjusted the proportions and now there is a NEW ORIGAMI FIGURE in the world – cool hey:

I must admit to giggling when it just sort of … worked. I then got the class (who had finished and had their papers collected) involved – “look up there in the sky, is it a bird, a plane? No, it’s Superdude“.

I had a clear idea in my mind, rare that it coalesces so perfectly.

This is “Superdude” – like Superman but not yet franchised. He is inspired by “Girl in a dress” by Stephen Weiss and the box pleating work of Neal Elias, but I can find nothing quite like him anywhere but at my place, right here, right now so I will claim copyright.

I was messing around with proportions of an A4 sheet – not having any scissors (I was in an exam supervision and someone carelessly left an un-written on sheet lying around) with out cutting. The basic “S” bend, when combined with a 1/16th pleat provides the frame for this model.

You then tease out the “cape”, splay each ripple a little, box pleat some arms and a head one end, legs the other and you have the base.

Shaping the arms, neck, head and legs gives you a nicely proportioned super being in mid-flight (although someone should tell him that capes are so 90’s – no one wears capes these days)

269: Brill’s Dolphin

Now I am going visiting to the Sunshine Coast today, so thought something marine would be appropriate:

This lovely dolphin reminds me of “flipper” who appeared to frolic in the sea. The sad truth about captive dolphins however is that they lead miserable, confused lives and have a really short lifespan due to stress and noise in their tanks. There is increasing and justified pressure to release dolphins and orcas from captivity as it is inhumane.

The design for this model is ingenius, the body is triangular in cross-section, lovely tail flukes, sharp dorsal and pectoral fins and a beak, with open mouth.

It was difficult to photograph this model, so I perched it (via a blob of blutac) atop a mangled paperclip. Well dome Mr Brill

154: Draft Donkey

…so I am marking Drafts, dozens of the things – life goes on hold for a while and I feel like a bit of a work-horse:

This is supposed to be a donkey reading a paper – I sort of get it, hope you do to. ears and head are nice, I like how the paper is held also but would remodel the “hands” to hoofs if I were to fold this again

150: Trophy for Matthew

My son has recently graduated from his Honors program and as part of his Thesis, he had to compose a poster summarising his paper and findings:

So good was this poster that tonight he was awarded “The Alan Bailey Prize” for top student project – yay Matty.  I thought it warranted a shiny thing, so invented one

Using Brill-like techniques, I formed a cylinder then pleated and twisted a stem, quite happy with the result, hope Matty likes it – so proud.

127: Baby Elephant

This lovely baby elephant approaches the form from an A4 sheet, uncut:

I like this model a lot, the shape, position of trunk, tail and ears remind me of a young elephant and there is lots of paper so the potential to massage in detail and character are rich – very clever.

Why a baby elephant? We helped daughter daughter and her fiancée move into their first unit last night – she has always loved and collected elephants and so it seemed right to send her off with one. The house will be quieter and less interesting without her around. Love you Liz xoxo

You should try this one for yourself – be careful, the instructions are in Danish – I love the google translation engine – littoral translations are often hysterical – my favorite “45: Inner Crack rump and tail.” which means “reverse fold the tail” but it works for me on a bunch of levels.

99: A DNA Double Helix

Talk about “life, the universe and everything”, this model is an intriguing exercise in pre-folding:

Organised ridges, counter folds of diagonals and the model seemed to curl in on itself in a magical sort of way. Interestingly it is composed of 42 base pairs – I wonder if that is a coincidence?

Folded from an A4 page, strangely, the resultant model is huge (as the reference stage suggests, but is has an inherent strength and rigidity that I found surprising.

You can try this one for yourself: http://erikdemaine.org/thok/dna41.html