1117: Mod on a Moped

When you talk of “box pleating”, the young kids in the origami design sphere seem to think they invented it. I was fishing around on the web, for origami-related things as you do, and stumbled across an astonishing scanned page from Neal Elias’ notebook from 1968 that features box pleating:

This is Neal’s “Boy on a motor scooter” – an amazing proto-design from 1968!!!!! (this is all there is, you have to fill in the gaps – it was his personal notebook, the diagrams were all HE needed to fold the model) but what an historical gem of a design. It is doubly interesting because it was designed 3 years before I began my journey in origami as a wide-eyed, clueless 11 year old.

Further research suggests this page was “ripped” from a BOS Publication Booklet 35 (still in print?) called “Neal Elias Miscellaneous Folds – II “, edited by Dave Venables. I have purchased the previous Neal Elias volume but was unaware this treasure exists – it has prototypes of some very famous and completely revolutionary designs indeed (like “The Last Waltz”).

Back in the “early” days of western origami, Elias was a pioneer, realising that by gridding a sheet of paper, then using gridlines and 45 degree connectors you could pleat astonishingly complex structures that could then be shaped into complex figurative models. As a kid, the few models I had access to from him were like crack to me. I mastered the “Elias stretch” (these days I think they call it a ‘pythagorean stretch’) and “Elias base”, making skiers and knights in armor, all from squares.

Many of his designs use odd shaped paper – this model uses an 8×22 grid, and the colour change base is particularly wonderful, leaving all the bits of a person in one colour and a lovely long pleat bundle of alternate colour emerging from him. I can see so much potential of all sorts of things here.

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598: (48/360) Neal Elias’ “Rocking Horse”

This model is testament to the design genius of Neal Elias:

Taking the bird base, and a colour change, we fashion a jockey (with the cutest little cap) atop a rocking horse. I love the detail here and will probably fold this again, only with a slightly bigger bit of paper.  Continue reading

593: (43/360) Neal Elias’ “Andres Segovia”

When a member of the British Origami Society, I purchased “Selected works of Neal Elias” and continue to find gems within it – this is one such treasure:

Modeled after a classical guitarist in 1970, this model starts with a 3×1 rectangle (8×23 to be exact) and, via miracles of box pleating (a pioneering technique back then) we tease an artist and his instrument. Continue reading

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