The Gardener

People with “green thumbs” are a treasure to behold.Gardiner

As someone with a not-quite-green, more of a dirty yellow thumb I am in awe of people who delight in growing things.

Our College gardener/groundsman John has retired, while I am as jealous as anything, I know he will have a fabulous time. Ever friendly, it has been a pleasure to share a workplace with him. The College will miss his charming style, happy greetings and zeal for gardens.

He retired on the sly, which is the right way to escape our asylum – the exit rituals can be exhausting so I understand he went on term break and retired earlier than first advertised – good on him, I will probably try to do the same.

I made this figurine for him, as a way of saying thanks. I hope i get a chance to give it to him. Enjoy retirement John, may your gardens bloom and be ever greener on the other side of working life.

The Teacher

Luds is taking some leave, we all wish him well. I was approached to see if I could come up with some bent paper as an ooroo gift – this is what I ended up with:teacher

In this shadowbox, we see our favourite “bad santa” clutching a Chemistry book, in front of his beloved Electronic White Board, pen in hand.

This little chap, a Joisel-inspired Dwarf took a while to emerge from the page, but I am happy with this little diorama and I hope it beings a smile to Lud’s face – take care mate.

531: Joisel’s Horse Head

Many beauties reside in Eric Joisel’s folding legacy, most have no hints as to how he achieved them. The “Horse Head” design exists as an obscured crease pattern from his original notes:531JoiselHorseHead

A friend of this blog (Hi Jean-Baptiste!) offered his interpretation of the crease pattern and invited me to try folding it as he was having trouble with the collapse, so I thought why not. I need all the practice I can get on interpreting CPs. Continue reading

528: Joisel’s Pangolin

Few Origami models reach Iconic status, few have the charm and grace of Eric Joisel’s Pangolin. I thought I would have a go at this fold:528Pangolin

Based, in part, on a field of diagonal graduated pleats that are “popped” into scaley plates, shaped simply to suggest tail, head and feet, his folds have a unique life breathed into them. Continue reading

Joisel in Memoriam

On the 10th of October, 2010, the origami world lost a living treasure and master of the art of Origami – Monsieur Eric Joisel.MrDanny

To “breathe life into paper” is something I am inspired to do as a DIRECT reaction and influence of his work. To think more about the art and less about the technique is challenging, but a worthy struggle.

Eric Joisel – your legacy lives on. May all paper folders learn a little from your art, be inspired by your spirit and fold from the heart.

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

456: L’essence d’un escargot

I was exploring a corrugation technique I last used with Eric Joisel’s Bandoneon and stumbled across a sort of plan to fold Joisel’s Snail:

You start with an extraordinarily long (my estimate – 3.25m) and narrow (in my model 9cm) strip of paper, then start folding slanted lines (using a 3:1 gradient) in both directions

Continue reading

404: Joisel’s Bandonéon

I first noticed this lovely little fold nestled amongst the masterpiece that is Eric Joisel’s Musicians, and decided that i must try to work out how to make it:

Now the “purists” amongst you will recognise this as a “Concertina”, but that is splitting hairs, given a “Bandonéon” is square, this is clearly hexagonal, but I digress.

Presenting a tantalising hand-drawn crease pattern idea on his memorial website, I decided to try and work out a method for this fold.

Unlike the original, my design is based on a 32 x 20 grid, making an extra gather in the bellows section (which is not a bad thing) and a simpler join along the long seam (which, sadly, I still needed to use double-sided tape to close).

The geometry of this model is really nice – the bellows almost fold themselves when the creases are laid in – I experimented with the seam in and thought it looked better with the strappy seams out in the bellows.

fashioning handles at the end happens quite naturally if you have been neat, and folding it without any extra creases is possible if you concentrate, making the presentation fold very tidy indeed.

I have folded many of these, they are lovely and, now I have a handle on the scaling factors and geometry there is a knack to making them that is quite easy to pick up.

On the same hand-drawn crease pattern, there is another that supposedly makes a saxophone – might give that a whirl as I seem to be in a musical instrument frame of mind at the moment. very happy with this one however, and need to move on from it.

401: Spike the Echidna

Ladies and Gentleffolke, may I introduce to you Ms Thelma Tiggywinkle – Eric Joisel’s Adult Echidna: 20120817-163036.jpg

I had folded Eric Joisel’s “Baby Hedgehog” early last year and noticed as part of the instructions that a scaled up version (9 ranks of quills instead of 5, based on 32ths instead of 16ths) would result in a “mother” and he was right – what a mofo of a fold, honestly!

Starting on Friday evening with a 60cm square of brown Kraft paper, I started pre-creasing – dividing up into 32nds vertically and horizontally, then diagonal creasing to create hex-grids which ended up tiny.

I had long been fascinated with the process of forming the quills – crease-crimp/collapse diamonds and then making a zig-zag trough beside one row to raise the next results in lovely paper geometry both on the outside and the underside,

After over an hour each rank of spines, the resultant paper is box-pleated into legs and the ends inside-reverse folded into toes.

The ranks are then teased out to form tail and face – a lovely fold that is soooo very cute although it is punishingly time-consuming.

Very satisfying – folds ONLY, no cuts, no glue, she needs some “wet folding” shaping but she is already very echidna-like. No idea what we will do with her, but for now she is snuffling around our house. Hope you enjoyed the journey as it played out on facebook.

394: Fagus “Scruffy” Poplar

Ladies and gentleffolk, may I introduce to you Master Fagus Poplar, Scruffy to his friends:

this little chap is but 20cm tall, toes to tip of hat and is quite lovely, in the eyes of the folder.

Folded, from memory, trying a new technique for coat, shoulders, hat and arms, I quite like the fact he is waving. My hope is that he will stick around at the Origami exhibition that opens in the Holland Park Library this month. Continue reading