1129: Blastoff!

Grommit, you forgot the crackers!!!

Scrolling through this year’s JOISEL AWARD entrants, I noticed a lovely little Rocketship designed and folded by Zhu Yandan, from China – it was released with a crease pattern (CP) so I thought it worth a try.

I used a technique called “Ghost Creasing”, where ONLY the needed creases are transferred via careful embossing using a stylus. This eliminates the excess grid creases, making the fold cleaner.

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1105: En Garde

It is a wonderful thing when designers share their processes, crease patterns and diagrams. Boice Wong is one that readily shares the CPs of his amazing designs, and when I saw “Sword and Shield V2”, I knew I had to give it a go:

Although I have been folding for decades, most of what i have folded has been from DIAGRAMS (step by step folding guides). By far the MAJORITY of origami out there does not exist as diagrams, but a larger proportion exist as CPs (crease patterns). I have been, over the last few years, working on my crease pattern solving skills.

This model is based on Boice’s 24 grid CP, and the collapse is relatively straight forward. Sometimes CPs give you crease orientations (red=mountain, blue=valley), sometimes not. The skill comes with deciding which creases to impose first as part of the collapse. Sometimes it does not matter, most it does, some you can derive based on “knock on effects” on one crease that causes the orientation of a sequence of subsequent creases. Sometimes it is pure witchcraft.

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1085: Eric Joisel’s “Birth 3”

Eric Joisel was rare in the Origami community – he was a sculptor first, paper folder second. To him, concept was king, technique secondary – saying that however, few breathed more life into paper than him. The “Birth” sculpture series is particularly interesting as the subject is META – arising from the flat sheet , a figure fights to be born – pure genius in his hands.

Joisel's "Birth 3"

“Birth 1” was an abstract humanoid scrambling from the middle of a rectangular sheet, “Birth 1” was a prototype Gnome, and “Birth 3” was one of his signature Dwarves emerging from the edge of a rectangle. I have found no clues as to how Birth 1 or 2 were achieved, but, with some assistance (and a possible CP shared by @fishfolder I was able to have a stab at “Birth 3”.

The journey for this particular fold started in 2019 – our last International travel prior to the pandemic. We travelled to Hanoi in Vietnam. One of the pilgrimages on that trip was to a small outlet store for a village collective who were revitalising the art or making traditional Dó paper by hand. I bought a sheaf of sheets, all natural dyes from Zó Project and carefully shepherded them home in a postal tube safely tucked into our suitcase. I now had a perfect sheet for this model: Natural Dó with leaf inclusions, an almost fabric-like sheet 60x40cm. I needed the shave the deckle edge off one long side to give me a “square” reference, as the sheet was deliciously wonky – this left me with a sheet close to 1.8×1 in proportions.


Next, the protracted and painful process of laying in the creases to allow the base collapse. The first cut and the first fold are the hardest, as there is no room for error. I was determined not to lay in any unnecessary folds, to allow the otherwise untampered paper to shine. I used the 28 grid version of Joisel’s Gnome, because I like the proportion of arm:body:legs you get at this grid, but accurately laying in 28th-based creases was an exercise in measured mister really.

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Solving CPs

Crease patterns, photo sequences and diagrams are the primary way of communicating the complexities and details of an origami model. While I am fairly capable of faithfully following even the most complicated diagram sequence, but still consider myself a newbie at solving CPs:

Origami-kimiro's CP

Sometimes the job is easier – lines are indicated as mountain/valley (red/blue or dashed/dot-dashed lines), other times you only get the major creases of the “base”, from which you then shape and tease the details from.

Origami-Kimiro, a Discord user on OrigamiDan released a CP for a simple domino toppling, and I knew I needed to give it a try:

my fold of Origami_kimiro's CP

Using 12″ duo Indigo Tuttle paper, I laid in the creases, oriented them in mountain/valley and marvelled as the paper collapsed into a base that was pretty close to done. Finishing the hand, colour changing to get the coat sleeve, posing and done.

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1061: Bone Dragon

Looking for a model to welcome in the new year, and also to further my Crease Pattern solving ability, I hoped this model would serve both purposes:

Bone Dragon

Part of a book I have helped edit prior to publishing, this is 1ctzH8jm0N2’s “Bone Dragon”, a CP and photodiagram sequence from the forthcoming book “Ori-Fancy 6”.

I started with a 90cm square, I divided into a 32 grid, then located the required diagonals, then begin allocating mountain and valley orientation to the creases before attempting the collapse.

Bone Dragon Views

There are lots of details here, and the initial collapse generates most of them – I buggered up the head collapse (rather I found the intricate point in point structure that would eventually become the horns too hard to do initially) but found it easy to do post-collapse, and was initially flummoxed by the feet structure until I realised a series of sinks needed to be closed-sinked, and another set needed to be open-sinks (hopefully this will be made clear in the final photo diagram annotations).

The body ends up being 30+ layers, making the necessary crimping for shaping really difficult with thick paper (I used natural Kraft paper) – there is a nice “bulk” to the body, and the body feels solid – thinner paper would make shaping less torturous.

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