1135: Steven Casey’s “Seamless Chessboard”

Colour-change models are astonishing to me, designing models that use colour change are something special:

I have folded a number of different models like this, nothing quite like it however – what sets this model apart form any other is that each “tile” on the board is a seamless square.

Folding this from a SINGLE UNCUT square ends up being a bit of a brain-fuck. The paper was blue one side, white the other (actually cheap and nasty 70cm wrapping paper from my local dollar store). Distributing the “colour” is achieved, mostly, by bringing the sheet edges up through pleat bundles using a variety of techniques.

You can see the final location of the 4 corners of the original sheet in this development photo:

Planning/designing of a model like this is beyond me – pre-preparing the colour changes means that every bit of the paper has a job – either visible “tile”, spacer, flipper, mover etc to get the bits of colour to get where they need to go. Fold accuracy is the make or break of such designs – novices who use a “near enough is good enough” approach will not succeed here.

I was asked to test fold this, by Steven Casey, prior to publication. The diagrammed sequence is intense, starting with a 40×40 grid. Most of the folding is working on the wrong side, creating interacting pleat stacks that sit flat but that strategically manipulation pleat order. The run towards the “checkerboard” effect happens around the edges first, they they are migrated further towards the centre (although really only in a 4-unit strip around the periphery.

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1120: Steven Casey’s “Numbat”

Occasionally I am privileged to be asked to test-fold new models, and I jumped at the chance to fold this Numbat:

As far as I can see, this is the first depiction of this native Australian insectivorous marsupial in origami and the design captures the morpohology and proportions really well.

Starting with a preliminary base, then folding a skewed birdbase, the side stripes naturally emerge in cleverly controlled colour changes, along with the legs, neck and ant-eater-like snout, along with a lovely bushy tail.

I folded this chap from a 40cm square of white/natural Kraft paper (some of my last from the Ikea stash – I wish they sold it again, great stuff) and the fold sequence was fun – some really interesting moves and a good range of skills necessary to complete the model neatly.

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1100: Steven Casey’s “Clownfish”

I have the privilege of being asked, from time to time, to test fold origamists new models. Steven Casey (designer of the BEST origami echidna there is) asked me to test his new design for a clownfish, naturally I jumped at the chance:

I took a 6″ square of regular origami paper (orange on one side, white on the other) and, armed with disbelief that this was the suggested paper size, began folding.

My fold approach over the years has changed markedly – I fold until either (1) I get to the end or (2) it fails, and I learn something. I FULLY expected this to go wrong – my fat clumsy fingers do not normally fold those small squares of origami paper people keep giving me (with every good intention), and for LOTS of this model I resorted to my favourite set of bent-nose tweezers just to keep it sharp (and not mush with said fat clumsy fingers).

It became pretty apparent early on that the fold sequence was entirely achievable with 6″ (15cm) squares, resulting in a charming little totally recognizable nemo. I made a few cosmetic suggestions to the diagram set (sometimes the designer lets me edit their diagram directly) and repeated the fold on 17cm square – I liked the smaller one better but it was prolly because I rushed the second fold while paying attention to the telly instead. I would like the head/gills to lock on to the body a little more and the fins also to stay together, but these are minor unimportant quibbles.

I am hoping Steven is planning a book of his new designs, this one is lovely and reminds us all that “you just gotta keep swimming”.

Their Lives In Our Hands

Much has been made in the media about the current bush fire situation in Australia. Truth is the scale of devastation is impossible to grasp, in terms of sheer acreage of scorched earth, number of homes lost, lives lost and livelihoods ruined. When we add the effects on environment, habitat and wildlife (flora and fauna), the effects of the 2019/2020 summer will have long-reaching and potentially permanent ramifications:

their lives in our hands

I want to say that our leaders are on top of this, but have never had confidence in politicians, and am not convinced any can see past getting re-elected to make the hard decisions necessary for our continued existence. Indeed, when our PM chooses to go on holiday during the worst of it, when he and his colleagues continue to deny climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. They display a vandalistic attitude to environmental policy, and offer reckless abandon to fossil fuels and non-sustainability.

Their lives in our hands. “They” are our children, their children, the animals and plants that make up the biosphere in which we live. The “they” are US.

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Santa/Satan – Ho Ho bloody Ho!

Curious things parents, we present certain things as fact and then later we say that they were little white lies, but truth is a slippery thing indeed:

Easter bunny, collector of kiddies teeth, stranger in a red suit causing toddlers to scream in terror when they are perched on their knee in supermarkets – what an odd tradition.

Lovely “santa” re-fold, faux 3D, designed with some lovely colour changes by Steven Casey – ’tis the season.