Dover Publications : ISBN 0-486-43292-0
This boxed set by Dover contains three 48 page softback books previously issued by John Montroll; Easy Origami, Birds and Favourite Animals in Origami, plus a pack of paper that looks suspiciously like Muji. Montroll fans will have these volumes already, so there’s no need to cover their contents. I have to say that this package is a fairly unsubtle attempt by Dover to cash in on existing products. I’m not questioning the value for money – at £15 it’s excellent value, even if you can buy these books on Amazon in sets of two for the equivalent of £3.15!
However, to use phrases such as “fun kit for beginners”, “great starter books” and “you can do origami – right now!” implies that the models are carefully selected for a beginner. Whilst “Easy Origami” clearly caters for this market, the other two contain models that are mostly of intermediate complexity and don’t offer any kind of controlled progression. There isn’t even anything on the box to suggest in what order these books should be tackled. So, as a cheap way to build your Montroll collection, top marks. As a fun kit for beginners, it leaves a lot to be desired. I doubt the author was consulted on this release, but a little input from an experienced paper-folder could have improved this package no end.
Augustus Verlag A4 hardback 72 pages ISBN 3-8043-0962-3
Fun for Children is the title of this book from Hatman Sallas, crammed full of simple designs aimed at children 4 years and upwards. Many are traditional, the others designed by Joan. The book is in sections; simple figures, flying objects, water craft, instruments, small art objects, and “always in motion”. All are drawn with Joan’s exceptional graphic ability and include a difficulty rating and suggested paper type and size.
Few books are genuinely suitable for younger folders, they usually present classic models and assume they are suitable. Joan has carefully chosen ideas likely to appeal to youngsters (if you’ve ever met him, you’ll know he is young at heart himself!) and come up with a winner. His only regret is that he was led to believe that the model on the cover of the book (Kissing Lips by Soon Lee of Korea) was traditional and so didn’t give proper credit. Despite this oversight, the book is excellent value at 11 euros and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys simple yet intriguing origami.
Brincando com ISBN : 85-260-0779-3
This 74 page soft-cover book is devoted to simple origami models, created mostly by Rita, but with some traditional models and a contribution from myself. The text is in Spanish and the diagrams are clear, if somewhat static. As the title suggests, many of the designs are decorative in nature, including several simple modular folds and an interesting modular ring (step 5 and the finished model are shown – can you recreate it?).
This is a good purchase for lovers of simple designs, since there are quite a few originals in there, always refreshing in books of this genre. I’d imagine that you can buy this book through the internet. Rita is to be congratulated for spreading the word so effectively and enthusiastically in South America.
Published by Art Market Australia Pty Limited
This book by Ms Aoyagi is perfect for anyone wanting simple, festive designs. The 60 page A4 book is ring-bound and uses landscape format, allowing easy access to the diagrams, which have been neatly and clearly drawn by Justine Pitt. All the usual suspects are present, Santas, snowmen, cards, present boxes, angels and so on. There are ideas for presentation and plenty to do for younger folders. Some of the projects use glue, but it is in keeping with the intended age range.
Shoko herself is a member of both the BOS and NOA (for whom she is a qualified origami instructor). She works as a concept designer and producer of commercials in Tokyo. In places, the language is a little stilted and might benefit from the odd bit of anglicising, but this is a minor carp and I wish the author every success. Many thanks to the publishers for a review copy, sent to the BOS library.
illust. Carla Mihelich. ISBN 187918175-4 A4 hardback 48 pages
Subtitled “An origami Fold-and-Tell story, this is a richly illustrated guide to making the Flapping Bird. Each double page has an evocative and colourful illustration on one side and steps towards the Flapper on the other, accompanied by prose which relates both to the folding sequence and the large illustration. There is a set of concise instructions at the end, and a page about the “lessons of origami”. One of these is “to make each and every fold a contemplative and willed act of beauty.” Now wouldn’t it be nice if we all considered that whilst folding?
The authoress has worked as a speech pathologist, using origami to foster the development of her students’ skills. She also discovered that origami “nurtures spiritual growth”. Overall, I feel the book is a little “new-age” for readers who may be looking for a quick origami fix, but more thoughtful children (and adults) will enjoy the luxuriant images and the gentle, spiritual approach of the book.
Published by Airstrip 200 pages soft cover A5 format ISBN 978-0-9757463-1-8
As one of the youngest origami societies around, Folding Australia seem to be showing the rest of us how to present origami. Their website is superb and this is one of the most attractive convention books I’ve ever seen. This is largely due to the inspired graphical work of my Trinh Ha, ably assisted by Matt Gardiner, Darren Scott and Mike Hopkins. Why do I like it so much? 1) A5 format 2) It has an attractive colour cover and a proper spine 3) the printing and binding is of the highest quality. 4) the layout is consistent throughout 5) 200 pages allows a good selection of models.
The BOS once experimented with the A5 format, (Bristol 1990) but it only lasted for one convention, much to my disappointment. Providing the printing is clear, diagrams are perfectly legible at this size and the package is far more convenient for carrying, storing and posting. The weight is halved and less paper used. Inside the book was a postcard with a hand-written note of thanks, then I saw that the page for my model had a colour bookmark inserted – a most thoughtful gesture. Although I was involved in the BOS council decision to send CDrom versions of our own collection to contributors instead of printed copies, when I see the efforts other societies make, I sometimes wonder whether it was the right decision.
You can see the list of contributors and order the book for the Aussie equivalent of £19.50 at this site www.papercrane.org/index/Shop/109
Published by Modern Science 180 pages soft cover 18*25 cms ISBN 978-85-7393-630-8
This is an interesting format for a book. It’s essentially a model collection, properly bound, with a colour cover, but published and marketed as a book. There’s an introduction and section on symbols, but the diagrams are still in the original artist’s hand. Some have (Brazilian) text added, some are shaded, others not. To those of us used to the collections published for conventions, this isn’t too odd, but were I to buy this expecting a typical origami book, I’d probably be a little surprised!
The creators featured inside are Andre F. Sánchez Restrepo, Ary Fialho, Boleslaw Gargol, Bruno Ferraz, Francis Ow, Greg Suarez, Hideo Kumayama, Jeremy Shafer, Jorge C. Lucero, Jose Tomás Buitrago, Karla Matos, Lena of the Foldings (whoever she may be!), Mari Kanegae, Mukhopadhyay, Rita Foelker and errr Nick Robinson. It’s an interesting venture and with the increasing availability of “print on demand”, I suspect we may see more of the same in the future. If you can handle the distribution yourself, it’s now possible to produce a professional-looking book without selling your soul to a big publisher. Nic Terry has produced many books using similar tactics and Bruno is already working on a follow-up volume. You can see the contents and buy a copy ($30 including postage) at this site http://brunoferraz.googlepages.com/home
Published by CreateSpace, 114 pages softback, 8.2 x 8.2 inches, ISBN: 978-1438218045
As the author of a book felt by some to be “near the knuckle”, I thought I’d probably be a suitable person to review this book. In terms of content, it’s past the knuckle and halfway up the arm, but the title doesn’t mislead and more sensitive folders will undoubtedly pass hurriedly by. The cover shows a playboy bunny, but most of the contents are indeed hard-core origami. I won’t dwell on specifics, but the models range from intermediate to advanced in terms of technique, are excellently diagrammed and the photos give a clear guide to the standards you can achieve if you use the right material to fold with. There’s useful information at the end about foil backing and wet-folding.
I hope and trust that origami in general is able to handle this type of book – the wider world of art has long since come to terms with erotic material and so, in my opinion, should the world of origami. It’s niche stuff, but deserves its place. Certainly you wouldn’t show it to children (and some adults) but that’s not a criterion for rejecting it out of hand.
Editorial Salvatella ISBN 978-84-8412-446-7 56pp hardback 10”x9”
It’s always frustrating when you discover an excellent book that has somehow fallen under the radar – this one came out in 2007 but I’d never heard of it until Edwin Corrie graciously sent me a copy. What we’re in fact looking at is basically a book of Edwin’s work; 15 models, alongside a single model by Ivern, Caboblanco, Arroyo and Derudas and a trad design. Whilst the other designers are talents in their own right, I’d have been tempted to make it exclusively Corrie – he surely deserves it. Most of Edwin’s models in the book, if not all, have been previously published, and the artwork is a line-for-line trace of the originals, but that should prevent you from tracking down this book, since it’s a real delight to see his work in glorious colour and in hardback format.
A new book of original designs is always to be enjoyed and Edwin’s work is recognized the world over as top class material. The other designers work fits into the general theme and overall, it’s a fine collection, attractively presented. Vicente Palacios has worked tirelessly for many decades to present quality origami to the world and he’s succeeded once more! It seems to be available only in Spain at the moment, for just under €16. Don’t get confused with a similar title by a different author!
Trafford Publishing 122 pages US letter size, softback ISBN 142513421-1
The second book on the subject of “realistic” flying planes by Tem, it follows the pattern of the first book – complex (but not overly so) designs that actually look like modern jet planes. Over half are imaginary, the rest well-known models such as the F16, Mig, Sukhoi etc. The designs are made entirely from half a sheet of US letter paper (8.5 * 11 inches), giving proportions of about 1 : 2.5. In the introductions (which covers history, flight theory, flying tips etc) the author says each of the designs has been tested to fly between 30 and 70 feet indoors. Not living in a mansion, the models I made easily made it from one side of the room to the other.
The use of a strip of paper allows relatively complex looks to be achieved with relatively modest folding abilities – a big bonus for younger or less experienced folders. You can both buy the book and fold a sample design on the publisher’s website (http://www.trafford.com/07-1310) but I’m sorry to say, as with the previous volume, that the resolution of the printed diagrams is poor. What looks perfectly good on a website at 72dpi becomes pixelated and unattractive when printed at high-res. This doesn’t present any problem in following the diagrams, but these days I can see no reason why diagramming software can’t output at high resolution. I can only think that this will reduce sales, which is such a shame since the models themselves are excellent. I urge Tem to look into this before volume 2 (I may even be able to help) and do himself justice in print. It might make the price of £14.73 ($28) excluding postage slightly more palatable.
To buy or not to buy? If you like folding paper planes and have a supply of US paper handy, go for it. If presentation is important to you, then probably not. Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy to present to the BOS library!