In an age of great confusion and concern over health, safety and social distancing, it is interesting (nay, alarming) to see the spike of “fake news” relating to the current Pandemic:
We learn via social media that Covid-19 was man-made, released as a viral payload from some weaponsied experiment (gone wrong, or not), is transmitted via 5G, and is defeated by injecting disinfectant and drinking bleach. We hear and watch idiot orange leader lie, contradict himself, blame storm, underfund, over-claim, then go and play golf while his country suffers.
We learn that some ffolk, tired of being “isolated” for a week or two in one of the most virus-ravaged countries chose to riot (hence magnify the problem) for their right to congregate, despite social distancing suggestions in place to save their lives – and we see them turn up, enraged, with guns, like they can shoot the fucking invisible enemy.
We hear from celebrities, entombed in their mansions, doing it tough because they are down to only domestic champagne, we hear of crop circles, conspiracies, complete shit uttered by people with access to the greater public, in the end (like this post) it is all NOISE, no SIGNAL.
It appears scientists and health workers DO know how to mitigate spread, that social distancing IS effective at arresting spread, that outbreaks are inevitable but manageble if there is a healthcare system in place applying rational and reasonable steps, and that the world will return to some version of normalcy slowly and cautiously.
This is “Zenith”, a 30 piece kusudama, designed by Xander Perrott (from his eBook “Folded Forms”), folded from duo red/natural Kraft. It is reminiscent of the shape we are seeing of virus (cells?), it was folded during a telly binge, it helped to calm me down when I think of work Monday: I am a teacher, for the past few weeks I have had had nearly normal classes (I teach mostly year 11 and 12, they were back in F2F after an extended period in ISO). This coming week, all students return to a tiny inner-city campus. 1700 boys, 120 staff, no room to swing a cat, social distancing impossible. Happy days.
The story of the moment is COVID-19, and the unprecedented effects the global pandemic is having on “business as normal” across the world.
In out little corner of the planet, things continue to be weird. As a teacher, I am still at work, with 1700 boys in a fairly confined space. The current government position is that it is “business as usual” for schools, as we gear up to deliver online learning as part of our “continuity of learning” plan. I want to say I feel good about things, but we all deal with uncertainty our own way.
Riccardo Foschi frequently shares crease patterns for his new designs on social media. When I saw “Mushu” I knew I had to try and fold it:
It is rare to find a “happy” dragon, but this one beams a positive energy that makes you smile. There is lots of detail to take in – the head has branched horns, smiling eyes, lovely colour-changed curly whiskers, nostrils, teeth, a lovely wiggly tongue, lower jaw and a beard. A lovely set of back spikes, each leg has 3 toes and the beautiful fan tail caps off the beastie.
Made over a period of a week, from 5x 2:1 rectangles of odd spotty black Ikea Kraft. Sections form variously tail, legs, body and head modules, all of which ingeniously interlock without the need for glue. Riccardo also states that it can be made with a single 10:1 rectangle, but I thought that would be too wasteful when cut from a paper roll, so decided on the modular approach.
My problem with crease patterns is that, although they show the major creases, they do not really hint on the shaping or fold order. The head, in particular, took me a while to sort out. I decided, contrary to the designers photo, to fold the legs differently – I think they look more natural this way (but I folded forward, backward, forward and back many times before deciding on this configuration).
For the last 10 or so years, I have used Origami as a pastoral care group “getting to know you” exercise, encouraging the students in my care to get involved, learn something new, and share the skills.
The WHOLE is greater than the SUM OF THE PARTS.
I laminated red and black paper, then sliced it up into 2:3 ratio rectangles. I taught some kids, they taught others – together we made the 30 modules necessary to make this spikey ball (a stellated icosahedron).
The modular construction is an interesting exercise in 3 and 5, and because the paper is quite rigid, the resultant kusudma is lovely – it joins a nice collection of similar of collaboratively constructed modulars – a testament to the power of the idea, the value of being open to new things and the willingness to have a go.
Being a member of a professional association has many advantages. I maintain memberships with Japanese Origami Society (JOAS) and Origami USA (OUSA) because they offer members fabulous access to new designs:
This is the recycling logo, internationally recognizable (although if you are observant I have folded a Möbius strip version of it). Designed by Sharon Turvey, recently the diagrams for this lovely model became available via “theFOLD” – one of OUSA’s publications.
As a modular, this design is clever, it’s careful definition of symbol and colour change faithfully renders the logo with relatively few folds. 4 different modules (2 different corners and 2 different white connectors) make up the model.
My usual line “if you find interesting paper, get it and I will make you something out of it” has been the start of many fascinating journeys:
Peter and Majella travelled to Japan, and found some lovely paper – one, a sheet of hand-made natural Kozo with botanical inclusions screamed out for something delicate and textured. I had intended to return to Mikiller觅晨’s modular dragon, having already folded it large, I thought it might be interesting to fold it tiny and trap it in a shadowbox frame.
A colleague brought me back some Hanji paper from her visit to Korea, and I was wondering what to fold with it when I stumbled across a post on Facebook describing a modular money dragon fold.
Designed by Hieu Dang, modified & diagrammed by Lien Quoc Dat ( tutorial: youtube.com/c/LQDchannel ) to be folded from 10 x bank notes, and thought it was worth a go. When I wrestled with an american dollar, deciding it too small for me to fold, I scaled up and cut 10 x 1:2 rectangles from a burgundy sheet of Hanji, and began folding.
This reminds me a LOT of Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 3.5, but not as many scales, still, it s a time-consuming fold, and many of the techniques are repetitive, but manageable. I found the diagrams on the head really difficult to fathom, and the low resolution images made it difficult to to work out what’s what. See for yourself.
Cruising around on Fakebook, as you do, I came across a module that seemed really familiar. I am sure I have seen it elsewhere, but am not able to find it (I think it is a Bascetta variant?):
I decided to give it a whirl – nice and simple, and quick to fold, it locks nicely with a positive paper tension keeping groups of 3 together, then you group the 3-unit points into clusters of 5 and you get a nice positive curvature. Using other combinations I can imagine zero curvature (6 modules) and negative curvature (7 modules) … hence a torus is possible?.
Riffling through boxes of stuff from our kid’s Kindy years, we came across a cache of artworks my Son painted. Being too precious to throw out (and long since removed from the fridge), I set about cutting it up into 2:1 rectangles – LOTS of them:
I then arbitrarily folded them into a modified unit based on one I used that was designed by Tomoko Fuse.
As part of the Sydney Origami group’s weekly challenge, we were tasked with a modular:
This is Regenbogen, designed by Maria Vahrusheva, described in the following Youtube tutorial video
The units (you need 30 for a ball of this configuration) are quite easy to fold (I managed to teach them to my Pastoral Care group kids – their version of this fold is still a work in progress … yes, I have folded nearly 2 of these now) and luckily (for boys at least) consists of mostly folding in half – something most people can do.
I have seen amazing geometric models based on Heinz Strobl’s strip-based modular technique called “Snapology”, and thought it about time I gave it a try:
Starting simple, I divided A4 sheets lengthwise into eighths, then gridded squares on those strips. I used grey for the core, 6×1 strips were cut for each triangular core. I used red for the connectors – 4×1 strips were cut for these.
The locking mechanism is simple, and in situations where the modules are tightly packed it just sort of holds itself together, but I can see how, with small extensions to the connectors you could easily and securely lock adjacent modules more securely. Continue reading →
Assignment time at school is fairly boring, for the most part, for a teacher. Students have lots to do, you need to be available to help on demand but there is a fair bit of sitting around waiting to be needed:
I had found a bunch of PDF’s explaining briefly how to fold parts of what I had assumed would eventually be a dragon. After trial folding the head and a foot I thought it was something I could do in stages. I (arbitrarily) decided my “standard square” would be the biggest cut from an A3 page. Most parts were then made using this standard.
Origami purists would probably have issues with this design, as there is an element of paper craft in some of the details, the head, for instance, is actually 1 standard square and 6 other bits of paper, folded and (shhh) glued in place. The body was made from 7 separate standard squares, 6 of which were the same, the tail segment was a little different to create the fan end.
The international origami community recently learned of the death of Frances Ow:
Francis was an active and beloved member of the Singapore Origami group, and sadly I never had the privilege of meeting him in the real world. But, via the magic that is the Internet I have been personally encouraged and supported by him over both of my recent 365 challenges. You can try this Tsuru Wreath for yourself – one of many designs he shared freely. Continue reading →
Interestingly, paper folding developed independently in most countries that made paper. In China, traditional folding included objects like this:
This is a modern interpretation of a Zhen Xian Bao – a traditional thread case. Even cursory research on teh interwebs reveals astonishing combinations of these little compartments, nested in other compartments.
This fold was designed by Paula Versnick, and has 7 separate compartments of varying size, that all lock together into a charming little book. Continue reading →