Trafford Publishing, softcover 120 pages ISBN 1-4120-4789-7 $19.99, £11.26
The author has been folding for 21 years and is a member of OUSA and kindly sent the BOS a review copy of his new book. What you get for your money is 20 or so pages of techniques, symbols & introduction, followed by eighteen (non flying) origami aircraft, all of which fall into the high-intermediate category. To quote the publishers “The wait is over! Art imitates life, but for this book, paper imitates the beauty, versatility, and potentially destructive power of man’s flying aircraft.” Hmmm.
The designs are all accurate representations (as far as my limited aircraft-spotting skills go) and the diagrams are accessible to anyone with a reasonable origami ability. They are not for beginners. What lets them down (and this is something you see quite a lot these days) is the resolution at which they have been exported from the graphic program in which they were created. Edges are jagged, even the text shows clear signs of pixellation.
To my mind, there’s no excuse for this – it’s a technical issue that publishers should be in full control of. To compound matters, the images for basic techniques have been stretched so that what should be a square is in fact a diamond or a rectangle. Basic proofing should have picked up on this.
However, let’s take it in context. The typical origami/airplane nut will happily ignore such problems and simply fold the designs. If you fall into that category, go buy this book – you’ll love it. There’s lots of technique to go at and the fi nal results are suitable militaristic. For a newcomer or anyone looking for elegance and beauty, this isn’t the book for you, but neither does it pretend to be. It seems to me that Tem has put a lot of time and effort into this book, only to be let down by whoever printed/published it, which is a huge shame – with a few technical improvements, the book would have looked great. If you’d like to buy a copy or read more details (including sample pages) visit www.trafford.com.