514: Convertible

As a member of Origami USA (OUSA), we get access to some member designs and this one stuck out as something fun to try:514Convertible

Jason Ku’s Convertible uses some standard (and not so standard) box pleating tricks to sculpt a fully formed car from a flat sheet. Continue reading

471: Folding Chair

Needing to clean my brain, I looked for some box-pleating (as that is absorbing, fiddly and it is difficult to to do or think anything else while doing it):

I came across a design for a folding chair, folded in 24ths and decided to give it a go.

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438: Jason Ku’s Bicycle

Perusing a Tanteidan, I noticed a crease pattern challenge, set by Jason Ku, and filed it as a “that’s impossible” fold:

Needing to unwind from a hectic and punishing term at work, I cut a 55cm square of light weight Kraft paper and set about working out, geometrically, where the myriad of creases were.

Although there was some regular geometry to place landmarks, there were some “mystery meat” creases that I just sort of fudged really – professionals would have measured it but I know I am an amateur.

Continue reading

437: Perambulator

When I first saw photos of this model, I could not believe it was folded from a single sheet, without cuts, folds only:

In case you were wondering, this was WTF (What’s That Fold?) # 8. I was determined to give it a go. Noticing it was made from hundreds of pleats, and given the crease pattern folded down to 64ths in places, I upscaled the suggested paper size (to a 70cm square of 80GSM brown Kraft) to allow for my fat, clumsy fingers to make the creases.

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436: Sydney Opera House

Anyone who knows me understands my fascination with the Sydney Opera House, as a kid I saw the sails of it being built:

Set magnificently on Bennelong Point right in the heart of the harbour, it together with the Sydney Harbour Bridge (no, do not panic, I am not making that) are quintessential Australian icons.

Googling one day I stumbled across a design idea from Gerwin Sturm (2007) for a box pleated version of my fav building on earth, and some vague explanations of how it “should be possible to collapse and shape based on a 32×32 grid”. Continue reading

435: Satoshi’s Phoenix 3.5

There are a number of models in the origami world I see as “legendary” – the Phoenix (version 3.5) is one of those:

When I bought Satoshi Kamiya’s works book volume 2 I knew I would one day put myself up against this challenge, I also knew it would take me a while to master it.

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.

406: Zombie Uprising

Trapped in a particularly uninteresting supervision (I am a teacher, sometimes we have to supervise other teacher’s classes), I began bending paper unsure what I was going to make.

First I fashioned a hand, devising some lovely slender (skeletal almost) hands and looked at the paper I had left and then it came ot me – zombie hand emerging from a grave.

After much experimentation on the tombstone mostly, abandoning a full cross (yes, I did successfully box pleat one but in the end it seemed unnecessarily fiddly for the concept) I settled on a simple headstone.

This is the second time, whilst doodling, a new model has emerged (the other being superdude) and I am quite chuffed with it.

If you KNOW what you are looking at, it is obvious: basic scenario of undead digging themselves out out the grave; but honestly I had some hilarious guesses from passers by who noticed I was folding and wondered what it was.

I have included the dev sequence in 2 parts (partly because I wanted to document it clearly enough so someone else could have a go at it and partly because I wanted to remember how I did it – the box-pleat on the tombstone is neat, but I have not yet come up with a scheme to eradicate the seam down it’s face.

This is a little early for Halloween, but would love someone else to have a go at folding this to see if the photsequence is stand-alone or needs extra annotation.

Any takers?

403: Lang’s Organist

I was reading the chapter on “box pleating” in Robert Lang’s “Origami Design Secrets – 2nd Ed” (one of my cherished origami books) and came across the chapter “homework” which is this Organist seated at her Wurlitzer:

This model is astonishing for a bunch of reasons. The design is clever – one piece of paper to fashion the player and the instrument, the details of both the player and instrument are well controlled, efficiently use paper and are clearly recognisable.

I upscaled, starting with a 128x32cm piece of brown Kraft paper, used a tape measure to lay in the landmark creases (although I could have folded them, it would have resulted in much more disfiguring creases in the end model so I am glad I did). In retrospect, working much smaller would have been very difficult with my fat, clumsy fingers as some of the pleating becomes very fiddly indeed (32nds and 64ths)

Initially, working with paper on this scale is problematic – simple things like “fold in half” take on epic proportions and introduce inaccuracies which seem slight at the time but compound in such a convoluted model.

There was an “ahh” moment when the box that is the body of the organ swings into place, making the keyboards and footpedals slip into place that was very satisfying.

I enjoyed folding this model, probably will not fold it again, but learned a bit about paper properties and wrangling pleats that will make future folds better I think.

What to do with her? there is the question – the resultant model is quite large (16x14x14cm) and in some places one layer thick (others much more so), but it is stable and surprisingly strong. It even has a music stand atop the organ that even “Barry Morgan” would appreciate. Suggestions?

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

399: Golden Snitch

Exploring an Origami Tanteidan Convention book I came upon a model designed by Peter Farina I just had to try:

Being an out and proud Harry Potter fan, I know that the golden snitch is an essential component of any game of Quidditch, this one is a beauty.

Essentially using overlaying fan-pleats, you create the wings and enough paper to tease and shape round to make the body. Initially, my test fold was done in white paper and I found I had to be very careful (copy paper is so brittle) not to tear/split it – the middle section gets really damaged. Continue reading

341: Jolly Roger

Now I do not know much about pirates, nor why a skeletal chap called Roger should be jolly, but there you go:

When I first saw Hojyo Takashi’s 3d looking skull I knew I had to try it. A torturous box pleat in 12ths, the collapse to get the face right was nearly as complicated as the pre-creasing.

Saying that, the resultant model was screaming out for a set of cross-bones, so I sort of improvised them from a second sheet of A3 split lengthwise.

I think this turned out splendidly – amazing given the copy paper was disintegrating in my hands due to the high humidity (it is miserable, cold and grey outside – odd for summer, but there you go) as the paper is hygroscopic and kept going limp. I was sure it was going to split at the bottom of the eye sockets where the most difficult pleating takes place, but no.

The beautifully proportioned skull is 3d up to a point – it is backless, but none the less lovely – I love the eye sockets and nose hole, the teeth are also nice (but if I had folded it bigger scale I reckon I could have crimped some gums and gaps between them also.

Why a “Jolly Roger” I hear you ask – WHY NOT says I.

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)

327: Octopus

Now normally, there is a set of directions that I follow to make someones model – we origamists call them diagrams. Sometimes diagrams have yet to be made for a model but some enterprising designer unfolds their creation and traces all the folds as a starting point – we call this a crease pattern:

This delightfully devious and slippery fellow was folded from my first crease pattern – you can see it here: octopusCP. Naturally, folding from a crease pattern is much more challenging as there is NO indication as to what folds are done first.

Sipho Mobona is a masterful paper engineer and is responsible for beautifully naturalistic models but finding diagrams of his models is really hard work, so you sort of have to … improvise.

Had I not done the Hoodie, all those months ago, I would not have had a hope in hell of achieving this model – pre-creasing into 32ths was painful, literally, then crumpling along selected folds was problematic (I originally crumpled it inside out, only to unfold and re-crumple the right way round).

The details here (pity the photos do not really do it justice) are amazing – we have 2 lovely bulbous eyes, a siphon (the thing they jet alone with when in a hurry), 8 beautifully curly tentacles and a pendulous and tasty-looking body. genius from one square of paper, no cuts, no glue, no shortness of swearing.

Very happy with this fold – I learnt a lot along the way but he is soo cute, very octopi-like and I could spend hours just re-positioning the tentacles for lifelike crawley poses – very cute.

You may applaud now, and pass the lemon and cracked pepper – delicious on a bbq’d octopus indeed.

326: Rough End First

All too often we feel like we are dealt the “rough end” of the pineapple:

It is a curious expression that, I think at least, has something to do with inserting said pineapple in a pineapple-unfriendly place (makes my eyes water just thinking about it).

This is a pleated structure designed by David Petty and it contains techniques I will use elsewhere.

You can see the pineapple-like structure (squint, close one eye, through a mirror) … yeah, there it is and this design is meant to be folded with duo coloured paper, as the top would then be a different colour to the bottom – neat.

I have seen much larger paper sculptures using this “stretched pleated rib” technique and now I know how they were made, which is a good thing.

Paper and folding is taking up waaaay too much of my life right now – have other things I HAVE to do but will somehow muddle through,

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.

302: Pereira’s Jack In The Box

If you were ever after proof that “magic happens”, here’s your proof:

This masterpiece of design by Hugo Pereira is a Jack-in-a-box, complete. those who have been keeping up with this blog will remember a previous Jack in the Box by Max Hulme and I must admit I like this one better.

The design engineering alone in this model is breathtaking, from the box to the spring and then to the jack, the details here are lovely and structurally amazing.

So many technical elements here, from intense closed-sinks, folds that cause automatic puckers in the spring and just when you think you are near the end a tight pair of accordion folds to make the arms in almost Elias style.

I am so stoked with this, as a first fold. After an hour of pre-folding, the actual collapse took relatively little time considering the complexity of the model. I had relegated this model the “yeah, prolly not” pile because it just looked too hard – indeed, some of the manoeuvres only make sense if you look before, after and what that part will eventually be used for.

Sense of achievement – tick 🙂

298: Violinist

When I saw this design I knew I had to try it:

Made, oddly, from a “T”-shaped box pleat, designed by Neal Elias in 1971 to celebrate the then popular violinist Yehudi Menuhin, this is a masterpiece of miniature modelling.

We have a violin perched on a shoulder, being held by that hand, a bow hand complete with bow, a serious head tilt, trousers, coat and even shoes! He also free-stands, which is all the more remarkable.

Seriously happy with this fold, I was convinced it was going to hell in a hand basket at 3 junctures when the instructions did not patch what the model had (flaps and creases in different orientations), but in the end it just sort of worked.

Interestingly, it was not all that hard, well, it seemed that way to me – given I had never attempted box pleating before the 365 challenge, I guess my skills have improved, which is a good thing.

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).

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.