581: (31/365) Brian

“He’s not a messiah, he is just a very naughty boy”. “Crucifixion? Good. Line on the left, one cross each”:

In my opinion, “Life of Brian” by the Monty Python team is close to perfect, such a beautiful play in an otherwise familiar ancient world, full to the brim with some of their cleverest work. If you take nothing else from that move, “always look on the bright side of life”. Continue reading

448: Cutting a Rug

I am old enough to remember the “good old days” when partners dance WITH each other as opposed to the modern trend of dancing AT each other:

Flicking through a yellowed and falling apart copy of “Origami 4” by Robert Harbin, I came across a Neal Elias figure I had not remembered nor tried.

Using duo coloured paper, from a simple bird base, we tease a dancing belle and her suave suited partner as they “cut a rug” together. Continue reading

381: Rodin’s Reader

It is little known (partially because it is blatantly not true) that Rodin, prior to sculpting his masterpiece “The Thinker” had an altogether different idea:

Our school library is celebrating the National Year of reading by exploring a different theme each month – March is “think” so I put 2 and 2 together and got 17.3.

Based on Neal Elias’s box pleat, this little model is cute with a Brill “Spelling Book” on his lap.

Will not be around for the next couple of themes so this will have to do for a little while

347: Tree Topper

So I was putting up the tree again this year and remembered we had nothing to put atop it:

I remembered an “angel” designed originally by Neal Elias, reworked by gabriel Vong that I had put in the “must try this sometime” pile, so set about folding it.

A nice figurative angel, hands clasped in prayer, lovely wings and a nifty gusset at the back to allow you to insert some foliage at the pointy end of your tree.

You should try this, it is actually fairly straight forward. I had a sheet of gold metallic paper (but wrapping paper would make the fold even easier) and bent it laboriously (it was almost card, so the folds around the hands, shoulders etc were hard going – thank goodness for fingernails as my finger tips are bruised and sore from the continued 365 onslaught).

Atop the tree she is lovely – this is an A4-cut square, prolly a little big for our small tree but ideal for a larger one.

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.

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.

259: Stag

Barbz asked me to make a deer, I decided to look for a stag (antlers etc) and found one by Neal Elias:

I like this model – out of a severe box pleat a fairly graceful body, legs and head with lovely ears and antlers emerges.

This was a tough fold – the thicknesses near the nead are really difficult to fold, but the result is quite satisfying as a forst fold – hope you ike it Barbz.

I have also found a bunch of deer-like animals, will experiment more with the form.

258: Rodin’s Thinker

When I think of my mate Mike, I think of Rodin’s “The Thinker”:

There are many reasons, including his stunning good looks, poise but most of all because he is a thinker – he considers everything deeply, his responses are considered, balanced, always truthful and often factual 😛

This is a Neal Elias designed model, interesting use of an off-centre waterbomb base and trademark elias stretches to make the arms, I think it is particularly clever that the pose is fairly accurate, it is self-standing (well, ok, sitting), complete with all the body bits and perched on a pedistal to finish.

This is the second model I have folded from “Neal Elias – Selected Works 1964-1973” compiled by Dave Venables, purchased through the British Origami Society. As a founder in the box-pleating techniques that have been more popular in recent years, the shape is figurative yet evokes the object it was mimicking well I think.

I Think, therefore .. umm … what was the question?

240: The Stork Brings Babies

That’s right children, when the mummy and the daddy love each other very much, the stork visits them and brings them a baby:

Such a strange lie so often promulgated in years gone by to obviate an awkward conversation about the details of how birds and bees … well, you know … actually, that is even more confusing than the facts when you think about it – and what have birds and bees got to do with the process anyway?

This  is a simple and cute origami model to celebrate the many recent births (Dianne, Amanda, Brendan) – now the adventure really begins for these parents.

This is an old-school origami model that would probably be labelled “Kirigami” (a model that involves a cut sheet of paper) from Neal Elias – essentially it is 2 bird-bases grafted together via s split, allowing the 2 parts of the model to be folded carefully with each other.

Taken from Robert Harbin’s “Secrets of Origami”, a book in much need of repair nowadays as it’s binding is failing. Today’s folders would look to see if they could achieve this model from one sheet, with some clever box pleating to boot i suspect – interestingly no one has tried as of yet (well, that I can find at least).

New parentage – I remember those years with great fondness – that exhilarating (and daunting) moment when you realise that pink, wrinkled alien is relying on you totally for love and attention. Cherish the time you have with your kids – they grow up all too fast.

209 Elias’ Bull

When I bought “Selected Works” by Neil Elias, I was delighted with teh collection of box pleating models from the founder of this technique

After watching masterchef tonight I thought “What a lot of bull” – judges and contestants sprouting such a lot of false sentimentality the model I decided to fold was really obvious (at least to me)

there is much to like about this model – it looks stroppy, like it is readt to charge – head down, horns to the front, nice. The hind quarters are also good except the back legs seem an odd proportion to the rest of the model. Knowing how hard it is to plan and design a mode however I will forgive Mr Elias.

Very happy with this as a first fold – I must explore more of Elias’ work, many amazing figures from an origamist before his time. Not a good sign that the wife could not pick what the animal was (I think it is relatively obvious – maybe that is just me)

100 Last Waltz (Revisited)

…so I made a second fold of Elias’ “Last Waltz” figure on the day of Lindy and Randy’s wedding, and visited Australia Post …

packaged ever so carefully, bubble wrap and box, sent to the other side of the world

…dancing all the way to Silverdale US, to the happy couple themselves.

So glad it arrived in one piece, so glad they like it. Fitting wedding present. What a handsome couple, the people are not a bad match either 😛

Now the couple live in a lovely glass pavillion:

100: Elias’s “Last Waltz” for Lindy and Randy’s Wedding

Lindy and Randy get married today, which is actually yesterday (curse this linear time) and as a MILESTONE fold I thought I would attempt Neal Elias’s “Last Waltz”:Fittingly it is a bride and groom dancing at their wedding. there is much to love about this model – it WORKED first fold, contains 2 figures (joined at the hip) and they have a fairly natural posture, are both dressed formally (him in a suit and her in a meringue) and it is free standing.He has his hands on her shoulder and waist, she is reciprocating and the model withstands viewing from all angles.Made from a 3×1 rectangle cut from white wrapping paper (testing it out for a larger snake project later), when made with 2-sided paper he ends up a different colour to her – very clever indeed.

A joy to fold, another joy to attend Lindy and Randy’s wedding via UStream – hope this is a fitting wedding present.

82: Scottie Dog

Looking for something that was quick, as I was out for most of the day, I came across a rather charming Scottie Dog:

This model by Neil Elias looks more like a pug puppy, but it could have been how I folded it – cute as a puppy, sitting, in profile however.

75: Knight In Armor

Now Jo is researching Castles, we aim to stay in one when in England next year (for my Long Service Leave) and it occurred to me that a knight in armor was possible:I would like to pretend this was my first-fold – in truth however, it is the first SUCCESSFUL attempt after long abandoning it as a younger Origamist. I have less than fond memories of this model – it is from the book “More Origami” by Robert Harbin, a fold I never prior was able to achieve – I had given it up as “too hard”. Interestingly, when I tried it today it seemed easy – my skill level must have improved I guess.

I admire this model, a Neil Elias classic, because the arms seemingly come out of nowhere, you crimp a flat flap and suddenly you have elbows, arms and hands – neat. It is also free-standing also which is nice.

71: Oarsome Eight

Now I have nothing but respect for rowers (and their poor exhausted parents) and this weekend is the annual “Head of the River” regatta, battling for a shiny thing, so I thought I would do a rower. Our rowers (like many Brisbane-based rowing clubs) have had a really broken season – their shed was destroyed by the floods, they were banned from the river because of water contamination. They did all sorts of non rowing exercises to keep in shape for when they were able to get back on the water, albeit in another school’s shed (many thanks go to Lourdes Hill here). Win or lose, they have already overcome enormous obstacles to even make it to the race.

In first-fold tradition I initially worked on a model by Neil Elias called “Hiawatha in a canoe” but modified the boat, the indian (gave him a cap instead of a feather and made him look like a schoolboy) and the oar. Quite happy with a “single scull”, I realised that he only has ONE oar, and that would result in him going around in circles I began bending and torturing it further.

It occurred to me that a modular (multi-part linked together model) might be possible based on this figure, as there was some symmetry and I could determine which side the oar was formed, so set about making eight. Because each was folded separately, they all have slightly different postures, I like that. On the back end, I sort of bent a “cox” but there was not much paper so he is a little wee fellow (which coxes are apparently).

I tried to work out a way of joining them into one shell – really I did. I have to admit to cheating (a little) – I used some staples to keep the model together, it is as long as my keyboard and totally unstable without being fixed, so I hope my faithful following (lol) will forgive this transgression because it is so oaresome.