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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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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1134: AMOS

1: Knock knock.
2: Who's there?
1: Amos
2: Amos who?
1: A Mosquito. <insert hysterical laughter of a little kid (me) amused by the first dad joke he can remember his dad telling him> True story.

I have bought many sheets of the most amazing paper, all dutifully stored in my “cave”. Over 10 years ago, I purchased a full sheet of black Unryushi single tissue because I HAD to have it, but having NO plan to use it.

Unryushi tissue is beautiful, painfully thin (24GSM) but gloriously adorned with visible mulberry fibres. It comes being about the stiffness of facial tissue – I misted a large window with water, rolled the sheet onto the wet glass (shiny side down) and then added a coat of MC (Methyl Cellulose) to the back side, removing air bubbles from the centre out.

Even wet, the Unryu is really strong, but to make it foldable I needed to crisp it up. I managed to cut a 60cm square, leaving a >12inch selvage for another project.

The latest Tanteidan magazine had a enthralling Mosquito design by Yoshio Tsuda and I knew I NEEDED to try it, but lots of the model is 12+ layers thick, I knew I needed some crazy thin paper … hence the Unryu. I decided to fold Version 1 of the Mozzie, knowing that Yoshio also published a crease pattern for his revised design – that will do for another day.

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Lang’s “Green Tree Frog”

Good paper is such a blessing. I took a long-stored square of olive Vietnamese Dó paper and attempted to fold a “Temple Dragon” – got most of the way through and realised the paper was too small/thick to complete it. Rather than bin the model, I carefully unfolded it, ironed it flat and … the paper had a new life:

Folding paper can damage it – wood-fibre-based paper takes damage (I call it paper fatigue) because the folding process can break the fibres along the crease. SOME paper has strong, flexible fibres that bend but mostly do not break, and Dó paper (made from bark of the Rhamnoneuron balansae tree) is astonishingly resilient.

The colour reminded me of something, as a kid, I used to see all the time – green tree frogs. Naturally I returned to Robert Lang’s “Origami Design Secrets” and re-folded his Green Tree Frog – I no longer had in my stored folds a copy of this lovely model so figured it was time.

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1133: Pelican

Perusing origami books, as you do, I chanced upon a delightful little pelican:

Designed by @tommy03, making use of a beige/white duo 6″ kami square, this delightful model captures the essence of a pelican better than any other I have seen.

“What a wonderful bird is a Pelican – whose beak can hold more than it’s belly can.” – A rhyme my mum used to say to me as a little tacker – hoping to gift this to another mother tomorrow.

Sometimes simple is stunning too.