340: Thorin Oakenstaff

May I most humbly introduce to you, Thorin Oakenstaff Esq, Dwarf, gentleman, most of the time:

I am so pleased this worked, even better than I had imagined. I found a hand-drawn crease pattern by the late, great Eric Joisel – I had been hankering after his dwarves you see and wondered how the heck you could fold something like that.

Well, the crease pattern sort of made sense, and I did a rough test fold on an A4 square only to realise it was waaaay too small to model and copy paper was way too brittle, so thought I would upscale it on brown paper. I cut a 56cm square from plain brown paper and began.

After an hour of pre-creasing, and a collapse from hell, you get a base that has enough bits to model into a human like critter with a tall hat – gnome, dwarf, call him what you like there is no escaping the fact that this is bloody amazing.

I started shaking with excitement about an hour before finishing, realising it was in fact going to work after all (after walking away from the collapse twice) and must say he is lovely – there is character in his face, poise in his posture and a spring in his step.

I feel honoured to have folded something inspired by a drawing done by Joisel – I would argue the worlds greatest character folder – I can see me trying this one again, now I know what goes where – each time you fold it there would be sufficient variables to ensure you never duplicate the little guy – so neat.

As an after thought I decided he needed a walking stick, and then decided he also needed a name – “Thorin” from a LOTR dwarf and “Oakenstaff” because that is what I tried to make him as a walking stick. I hope you like him (anyone actually reading that is) – I think he is amazing.

283: Le Coq De Joisel

It is a year since Eric Joisel passed away in Paris. The origami community still mourns his passing:

This proud and “cocky” rooster is a Joisel masterpiece, I feel privileged to fold it. I had a sheet of A2 architectural drawing paper so made a square from it (nearly 1m x 1m) and folded the rooster from that – it was a tough fold to be honest as so much paper is gathered into the body. So tough a fold in fact that the paper failed on both legs and neck – I will fold this again with more resilient paper I think.

I see so much potential in this model – given thinner, larger paper I can see you could model wing feathers, eyes and more – as it is it has a lovely tail, beautiful chicken feet (including spurs), a glorious comb and an up-turned beak mid “cock-a-doodle-doo!).

You too can have a go at this model here, and learn a little more about the life and times of Eric Joisel here. Few would argue that Joisel was the greatest character folder the world has yet seen. I hope his family and friends take solace in the fact that he added so much beauty to the world over so many years. RIP Eric Joisel.

241: Un Papillion de Joisel

Eric Joisel was a treasure in the paper folding community – this is a butterfly he designed:

A simple fold with much potential for modelling, the body ends up being thick and the wings delicate

Happy with this as a first fold, hope you like it.

228: Wilbur, the Narcoleptic Cat Sidekick

As mentioned previously, Captain Fainty has a sidekick:

Now it must be said that this sidekick is more of a liability than an asset – as is true for all cats really (let’s be honest), and there is little evidence that this sidekick is even remotely interested in being labelled as such. There is even less evidence that this sidekick has actually performed even the minimum of sidekick duties – you get that apparently.

This is a Joisel fold, and I will probably fold it again now I know what goes where, but I am fairly happy with this as a first fold – he looks like he is slinking – something cats are wont to do, prior to a bout of narcolepsy.

A relatively simple fold with lots of potential for modelling and expression, the posture is lovely but the legs are a little dense and fiddly at small scale.

160: Joisel’s Penguin

For those people not in Brisbane, it is unseasonally cold today so I thought that it might be appropriate to try a Joisel model:

This delightful model has very few folds, yet emerges with a fairly normal posture, plump belly, lovely fins and figurative feet.

Joisel is a master, each fold well thought out and I always enjoy folding his models – this model is a nightmare in thirds – most divisions are thus, and really difficult to get right.

On a day like today, this little penguin would be well at home.

120: Joisel’s Goldfish

Ending such an EPIC month, I thought it appropriate to try a model from Eric Joisel – this is my first-fold of his Goldfish:

Now I know I could have modelled the body a little more, and Eric himself poses a design challenge to put in a nice Davor Vinco-inspired eye, but I am pretty happy with this as a first fold – I learned a lot by folding this, and next time I would make it smaller and much more 3d

Folded from an A3 cut square, using an odd asymetrical triple preliminary fold out of an eccentric pony base, the model has a certain fluidity to it, and seems to fold itself in places – true genius of design.

I like that the tail, although again asymetrical, is complete both sides, and there is lots of opportunity to pose fins, and shape mouth, nice

You can have a go at this, it is fairly straightforward (apart from when it is not) http://www.ericjoisel.com/ps_assets/pdfs/fish.pdf

97: Joisel’s Rat

I have been wanting to try this model ever since I saw it:

Eric Joisel designed a lovely, character-filled rodent that was fun to fold. Paws, claws, a stoned/bemused expression on it’s face and lovely ears and tail – what more could a rat want?

You can fold this yourself – Eric, as part of his legacy, publically shared the instructions for this model at http://www.ericjoisel.com/ps_assets/pdfs/rat.pdf

Why a rat? Well, My son turns 23 today – HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATTY – he spent the last 2 years or so of his life studying rats in Macadamia plantations as part of his Honours program but I bet the rats he had to deal with are nowhere near as cute as this little fellow.Hopefully he will find it when he wakes up this morning.

79: Joisel’s Baby Hedgehog

Prepare to be AMAZED – even after 3 hours folding I am!

This is a hedgehog, well in truth the “baby hedgehog” – it has 5 rows of spines (as opposed to the “mother” which has 9). I remember seeing hedgehogs in New Zealand (yes, I grew up there for a while) – shy little creatures you only usually met when you ran them over, sadly. This model is not unlike an echidna, and in truth I fashioned a head that was more echidna-like merely because the instructions stopped with a step “make the head” but no ideas as to how.

I have not worked on a model that resolves, on the fiddliest folds to 64ths until now, it is exhausting. I should have realised that it was going to be tricky when Joisel himself stopped explaining a stage (formation of the first row of spines) saying it was difficult but here is what it should look like when you have finished – lol. I also discovered that Joisel’s favourite paper folding tool – a Japanese chopstick, was needed to combat the fat fingers that would otherwise mangle fiddly pleating.

Eric Joisel was a master of paper folding, arguably the worlds most accomplished folder of human characters. Some of his work defies reality and the techniques he pioneered for paper sculpture are forever his legacy to the origami community. I hope he is smiling at this model, I am so chuffed I managed to achieve it.

You can find the instructions for this and 10 other Joisel Models at his tribute website: http://www.ericjoisel.com/ps.html Good luck, you will need it.

You may applaud now.