882: (332/365) Brian Chan’s Fiddler Crab

…yes, I know I am behind, but I have been busy and my brain is fairly broken. As part of the cleanse I took a 35cm sheet of washi and decided to try Brian Chan’s Super-complex “Fiddler Crab” model, never entertaining the notion that I would achieve the model, but rather just to fold for the love of it:

My fold-philosophy on this gig was to faithfully (well, as faithfully as I could) follow the hideously complex fold sequence and sort of just stop when I could go no further. Step 53 alone took me over an hour and a half to achieve – I just could not get my head around what was happening in the sparsely diagrammed model. Continue reading

845: (295/365) Leaf Katydid

Insects seem to be a fascination among origami designers – at the height of “bug wars” when designers were competing for the most intricate designs that were  complex, had lots of legs, were thin and realistic renderings and really pushed the boundaries of existing techniques:

This astonishing model starts as a frog base. Through a torturous set of point isolation and narrowing, we get the impossibly thin legs and a lovely set of antennae. Halve this, now fold that in half, then do a double rabbit ear, now halve that … thank goodness for thiiiiin paper and accurate folding. Continue reading

444: Wolf Spider

I have these lovely bits of Lotka and was looking for something to be my first fold with this new paper:

I chose Brian Chan’s Wolf spider partly because I had not folded it before and partly because the “milk chocolate” fibrous nature of the paper reminded me of the natural colour and texture of the spider itself.

The first cut is more painful than the first fold on a sheet that is roughly rectangular – the issues with most hand-made papers include rough edges, uneven thicknesses, odd fibre bundles in unfortunate places and a lovely mottled colour distribution.

Continue reading

407: Chan’s One-Sheet Rose

Browsing Origami Tanteidan 12th Convention, I noticed a seemingly impossible fold:

Brian Chan is an amazing designer (Attack of the Kraken is one of his) and this flower is an ingenious, if intense, use fo a coloured square of paper.

If the paper was coloured green one side, red the other, then the way this design turns out the green bits of the flower and the red petals sort themselves out appropriately – amazing.

I only had some glossy red (a cheapo pack of coloured origami paper that loses colour all over your fingers) but persevered with it, despite the mess and the tiny size.

I still have to master the flower shaping, it sort of looks correct (and I have no doubt if i wet-folded or used methyl cellulose I could mould it more naturally , but I am happy I have got the hang of the fold. 

I used a 25cm red/white square and that is hard work – some of the accordion pleats are tiny, but it worked out ok. My second fold was a 45cm brown kraft fold that was easier to complete.

Interestingly, the box-pleating technique to raise the leaf is similar to the “dollar flower” I have been folding from the cut-offs from A3 squares, so found that part of the model really easy. The technique of raising the colour-changed petals for the rosebud is ingenius.

400: Attack Of The Kraken

There are many of what i would term “legendary” folds in the origami community – few more daunting that Brian Chan’s sculptural masterpiece “Attack Of The Kraken”:

I first saw pictures of this model when trolling around the internet looking for paper challenges: one piece of paper, you bend both a masted ship and a sea monster ripping it asunder – impossible surely. Amidst the turmoil there exists tiny details also – one tentacle contains a shard of ship rigging, another grasps the terrified yet defiant Captain – look closer, is that Captain Jack?

Annoyingly there seem to be no instructions on how to fold this thing – there was, however, a crease pattern adapted from a schematic Brian Chan tantalisingly left beside a display copy of his model so I started working on that. I photo-enlarged sections of the crease pattern and repeatedly folded them until I had discovered what to fold, in what order to make that section of the model work Continue reading

309: V for Vendetta

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

As a kid I remember cracker night – well in truth, it was cracker week because you could buy fireworks and we used to spend the week blowing things up. In retrospect, all that messing around with gunpowder was really dangerous, but apart from some occasional superficial burns and the odd scorched letterbox we came to no real harm.

I am generally not a fan of Natalie Portman – the Star Wars prequels put me off a lot but she has been outstanding in a couple of subsequent movies – “Black Swan” and “V for Vendetta” for example. This is “V”, the psychopath in the Guy Fawkes mask and I am pretty happy with the result.

Designed by Brian Chan, it is an exercise in restraint, as you have a black/white paper and fold all the black inside, then, later, carefully reveal tiny hints of it – very clever design actually. you get eyes, a rather splendid nose, pencil moustache and goatee in a lovely mask shape, nice.

You can have a go for yourself – it is fairly easy and totally appropriate for Guy fawkes day

295: WALL-E

I am an out and proud Pixar fan, they make movies where animation is almost amazing as the story telling and characterisation:

This is Brian Chan’s WALL-E – a lovely model that has taken me simply an age to complete for all sorts of reasons.

I started with a 52cm square (yep, over a half a meter) and a dodgy folding guide (as opposed to complete diagrams) in RUSSIAN and quite frankly I struggled with this one. I must find a way to buy a book that has this model in it, to see how Brian Chan suggests you fold it because I ended up improvising when there were no instructions that I could follow.

I walked away from this model 3 times, unfolded and re-folded the most complex parts a total of 4 times as I tried to make sense of the next stage. That said, I think the final model is quite remarkable. He is free standing (on stunning caterpillar tracks), has the most amazing head/eyes, is just under 10cm tall and I am totally chuffed with how he turned out.

That you can coax a square of paper into such an intricate and completely detailed model is nothing short of amazing – even if it did take me 5.5 HOURS – yes, that is actual folding elapsed time. Words fail me to express the delight when I finally realised he was going to work (having seriously contemplating abandoning the model twice).

This, for me, is a REAL achievement given how much I had to just work out for myself. Folded from my last piece of lithographic paper (thank you school art department). There was NO paper fatigue and that is astonishing given the lengths that the design requires you torture the paper. I must have some more.