1136: Tsuru-Jin

As lightning crackled from the raging thunderstorm above, the electrodes sizzled, the smell of burning flesh hung damply in the air as the creature stirred on the table, accompanied by a mad cackling laugh interspersed with hysterical cries of “It’s Alive!!!”:

Apologies to Frankenstein lovers, but let us face it, this model is a bit of a Frankenstein. It is the result of putting a Satoshi Kamiya RyuJin 2.1 dragon head on a classic Tsuru (Crane)’s body. Nuts – right?

I first saw the CP (Crease pattern) for this on one of the Origami Discord servers I frequent (RyuCentral), and thought … how odd, how hard could that be??? Stupid man!

Dividing the paper into quarters and half along one diagonal, I reserved 1/4 on the diagonal for the crane and then set about laying in the graft CP for the dragon head in the remaining 3/4. It needed a 23 division grid that intersected at the square opposite the crane. Accuracy was the key. Grid laid in, I then started setting the pre-creases necessary for the head – stupid man, fucked the first set up twice (because I did not count), finally, pre-creasing done the collapse began.

I have folded many Ryu Jins, many versions, many times, so it was like returning to an old friend, interestingly muscle memory helped me not find the horrendously complex manipulations difficult at all (or maybe my subconscious was blocking the trauma) but to my surprise the accuracy I obsessed over early on paid off later allowing a pretty tidy collapse and NO damage to the reserved 1/4.

With the head collapses through early base, late base and shaping, I isolated and shaped the little arms and then set about working out how to fold a crane with the head as the head. Annoyingly I chose the wrong orientation first (der) and the head was upside down and backward. Just when I thought I would have to perform an infamous “neck twist” (interestingly NECESSARY on full RyuJins), I tried unfolding the crane and reversing all the creases (ie. folding it inside out) – to my delight that solved the problem (and THEN I remembered CPs are usually drawn WHITE SIDE UP – what a dickhead!!!).

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1055: Hermann the Hermit

Looking for something to de-stress and unwind to after a brutal term, I turned to “The Works of Satoshi Kamiya II”, and a model that I was astonished to find I had never tried – his hermit crab:

Satoshi Kamiya's Hermit Crab face to face

Starting with a 70cm square of natural/white Kraft paper, the fold was challenging as you allocate one side of the sheet to the crab, the other to the shell. Via a fabulous fold sequence, you tease legs, claws, antennae, eyes and mouthparts while delicately colour-changing the rear and then spiralling a shell as his home.

Satoshi Kamiya's Hermit Crab  views

This is, (der), genius design – I always am amazed with Kamiya designs, and the elegance of the developmental sequence – as if the journey is every bit as delightful as the destination.

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‘Sus

I am trying to get my brain back – the term has been brutal so I decided some paper therapy was in order. I originally folded this model back in 2011, on tiny paper, and the resultant mess was posted as part of that year’s 365 challenge.

I had vowed to re-fold it with better paper, and I decided to do that today.

Pegasus - a proud horsie

I cut a 50cm of pearl coloured Lithography paper, and carefully followed an instruction set that only lasted 103 steps or so (quite quick for a Kamiya model).

I love how this horse seems to emerge from an otherwise non-descript tangle, with glorious and sensibly placed, appropriately muscled wings.

Pegasus, wing view
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1048: Satoshi Kamiya’s “Cat looking in a stove”

There were 4 hours allocated for the teaching of “Dog”, we finished in about 3 so Satoshi decided to teach a simpler model that he said was the most “realistic cat” he knew – modelled after his own pet apparently:

Satoshi Kamiya's "Cat looking in a stove"

A simple fold sequence, we have the back of a cat staring intensely away from us, just wonderful. I have seen other session attendee’s models where they added details to the front of the cat (when I re-fold this I may too).

Again, the sequence was fluid, and a joy to follow along with, interjected with banter and casual observations by the master – such a privilege to have been able to fold along.

1047: Dog

The star drawcard (for me) was an opportunity to fold along live with Satoshi Kamiya – he taught 2 models and I managed to follow along with the broken English, translator and zoom limitations:

Kamiya's "Dog"

The sequence of most of Kamiya’s models are delicious – so natural, logical and a totally different/unique style.

This is a generic dog, different to the one most recently published and I can see how you could vary the base to get really nicely shaped dogs of many types – this one is a little “husky” like.

I really felt lucky to have been present, I am a bit of a fanboi, but it was intense and wonderful. Matching the master, fold for fold was a rare pribilege. I must re-fold this (as I am not really happy with the head I folded).

1030: Satoshi Kamiya’s Horse

Further exploring all things equinine, I realised I had never folded Satoshi Kamiya’s horse:

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse

Central to this horse design is a lovely mane, but the volume and proportions of this model are amazing, the base it originates from is immediately “horsey”.

Shaping matters, and I think I have been a little clumsy, but I suspect some of the fat is the paper – crisp 70cm kraft – I think if I had used a thinner/more textured paper the result would look less like a plastic horse.

There are lots of really challenging moves in this sequence – gathering the pleats to allow you to fan out the mane while not distorting the outside layers in mindboggling – there is LOTS of paper hidden, and I think my accuracy for this, the first fold, was pretty good.

Satoshi Kamiya's Horse scale

I must chase up a copy of Issei Yoshino’s book – that horse has a mane that apparently inspired Satoshi to design this one.

1022: Ryu Jin 1.64

This started as pure procrastination – I had marking and reporting to do but ….

ryujun 1.64

Folded from a “live guide” photodiagram series produced by Daniel Brown, as part of a channel in a discord from another planet, irresistible as it is yet another variation of eastern dragon I knew I HAD to fold,

ryujun 1.64 development

This little fellow is nearly naked – apart from some glue to hold in a wire spine and wires for arms and legs, he is otherwise folded only (hence some of the wayward seams and flaps). I quite like this unfinished appearance and think he will stay as is.

ryujun 1.64 views

Folded from 90cm natural Kraft, it starts with a therapeutic 64 grid on the diagonal and goes to hell in a handbasket from then on. The basic folding is quite straight forward (as a Ryu master), this variation is a bit of a mashup between a 1.2 and the head of a 2.1 – the result is wonderfully complex and beautifully “Kamiya” in intent.

ryujun 1.64 scale

I decided to fold it in plain (both sides same) paper as the bi-color fold has a large gash of reverse side colour along the underside – I have used this to effect in both a 1.2 and a 2.1, so thought I would go differently this time. Interestingly (to me) this little chappie is folded with a sheet exactly 1/4 the size (and from the same paper roll) as my original 3.5 (a little Ryu Jin nerdistry there).

1016: World Origami Days – Bahamut

World Origami Days is a period end October-beginning November that is an international celebration of Origami. I decided to try a super complex model (fold until it fails) and successfully folded Satoshi Kamiya’s “Divine Dragon (Bahamut)” on the first attempt:

Satoshi Kamiya's Bahamut

Rarely does a first fold work out but I kept folding and it did, much to my surprise and delight. The fold sequence is particularly punishing and describes a bit of an enigma of a model – the balance between paper thinness and size. I chose 80gsm 100cm square Kraft paper and at this size/thickness it was tough going in places indeed. The body and legs are incredibly thick compared to the single layer wings – a bit of a puzzle if you wanted to fold it small.

Satoshi Kamiya's Bahamut Views

A “Bahamut” is a monster from the “Final Fantasy” franchise, and is an odd mix of a lizard, dragon, Godzilla…thing.

The detail here is terrifying. Thick, muscular 4-toed feet, thick dragonny tail, chest sporting a 6 pack (make that a whole slab), arms with 4 claws, complex and snarly horned head and glorious wings with an extra set of hands atop them – quite a formidable beastie.

This fold took me the best part of the weekend to complete, and I used a little glue (shhhh!) to tidy gaping seams and a little MC to stabilise his (? only they would know the gender) posture and basic body morphology.

Satoshi Kamiya's Bahamut Scale and detail

If I were to fold this again I would use thinner prettier paper, but there are sections where front and back are visible, so the model is not really suited to duo paper – perhaps double tissue or unryu. I had forgotten how satisfying Satoshi Kamiya models are to fold, and how wonderful it is to just get lost in the folding process (I took no progress pics, soz) – it was terrific paper-based therapy. There are so many complex techniques here to isolate and separate body elements, genius design indeed.

985: Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1

Some folds are quite the journey, Ryu Jins are no exception. I have already folded the 1.2 and the 3.5, but had not tried the 2.1, relegating it to the “when I have time” pile:

2 point 1 - model

Holiday time is a time of recharge, paper folding therapy is my thing so I embarked on the super-duper-complex journey with HUGE bits of paper. I decided to fold it in 2 halves (two 140 x 70 cm rectangles of red duo Ikea Kraft paper).

2 point 1 - CP

As a bit of paper engineering, Ryu are masterpieces of fitting so much on a single square. The 2.1 is laid out in a similar morphology to the 3.5, with 2 halves of the model on opposite edges of the paper. The Ryu 1.2, in contrast, uses the diagonal and is symmetrical about that.

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983: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Tail

I have begun the (some say perilous) journey to realise Satoshi Kamiya’s Ryu Jin 2.1. I have previously achieved the head of this model, and there is more work to do to become familiar with the other components, but this is a nice next step:

2.1 tail

The tail of the 2.1 is different to the 1.2 and the 3.5 in that it is more of a fan blade, to get there, you need to fold a small section of the scale field, and pack away a bunch of the paper inside the body.

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982: Satoshi Kamiya’s “Tiger”

I have been on a mission for months now to try and render a tiger as realistically as I can in paper. Apart from being feline in shape, tigers have stripes – finding a model that has these stripes was difficult:

Kamiya's Tiger

I bought Satoshi Kamiya’s latest book because of the tiger diagrams it contained – on flicking through the 200+ steps I initially thought it too difficult to try. But try I did, initially with large format red-natural Ikea Kraft paper. I was surprised that I was able to make it through the most torturous steps, so set about re-folding it with black/natural, ensuring the black was the stripes, natural was the residual body colour.

The genius of this design is the subtle and precise control of both sides of the sheet – the stripes are the result of folds, not cuts. The model requires you manipulate raw edges (the sheet border) fan-folded, while wrestling all the other details (legs, head, tail) from the INSIDE of the sheet – quite amazing.

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Tazzie the Lotus Dragon

…so I was approached by a friend who wanted to spring a surprise on his partner for her birthday. He said she liked dragons, immediately my shagged and fragged mind (marking makes me a disagreeable troll) jumped and I committed a huge bit of metallicised paper to fold Shuki Kato’s “Western Dragon” … because I had achieved it once in the 5 times I had attempted it. That failed.

Tazzie scale

Not deterred, I chose a lovely sheet of block printed blue mulberry paper (printed 2 tone with gold and white lotus flowers), cut the biggest square I could and set about folding Satoshi Kamiya’s “Ancient Dragon” (having achieved it once (in 7 attempts) – what could go wrong?

tazzie's new home

As it turns out, all went to plan – even thought he paper was smaller than recommended, I was able to tease, gradually, all the design features and “Tazzie” was born.

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962: Ryu Jin 2.1 – Head

In a bid to calm down and relax after a brutal week at work, I took a 60cm square of red/natural Ikea Kraft paper and started folding… and folded, and folded and folded.

Ryujui 1.2 head

I have been lured back into the fold (as it were) of Ryu Jin folders (nerds who attempt to fold Satoshi Kamiya’s devilishly difficult dragon series). Having already folded a 1.0, 1.2 and 3.5, I noticed that I had never attempted a 2.1.

Ryujui 1.2 head views and detail

For the uninitiated, the numbers indicate refinements, with the 1.0 being vaguely dragon like and the 3.5 (the culmination of this design process) being the most astonishingly detailed design imaginable.

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961: Drogon, The Black Dragon

The lure of Satoshi Kamiya’s Dragon set is alluring. Recently I was invited into a community that celebrates the RyuJin series. Having folded a 1.0 and a 3.5, I thought it time to fold another:

Drogo, Satoshi Kamiya's RyuJin 1.2

This is the 1.2 – a refinement of the 1.0 and I had fun shaping the head as per a guide by Daniel Brown – a luscious and generously shared photodiagram set that I really enjoyed following.

My 1.2 is actually based on almost an identical crease pattern to the 1.0 I folded back in 2013, but back then I had NO IDEA how to shape it, and sort of made up shit as I went along.

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903: (353/365) Slippery Little Sucker

I must admit to being a bit of a fanboy when it comes to the works of Satoshi Kamiya. His designs are genius, fabulously complicated to fold and make good use of the sheet:

This is his Octopus – an amazing fold from an octagon that yields lovely little legs, a beady set of eyes and a pendulous 3D head/body with a modicum of paper torture. Continue reading