I’ve been almost constantly playing with a simple fish form I discovered a few weeks ago and have finally began to understand the geometry of it. You may laugh, but it has proved quite tricky to pin down and even my mate Wayne agrees 😉
One thing I’ve tried is using 60 degree geometry and this has produced a fish that is quite flexible in terms of how the flaps can be arranged. Here’s a crease pattern and a few of the variations. I’ve sent a copy to the wonderful Bob Neale in case he can come up with story to go with it. The final variation (lower right) is in fact an equilateral modular, complete with flaps and pockets!
I recently recorded a version of a Christmas carol to send to friends and then realised it would make a suitable backing track for a festive video. So, out came the trusty digicam, suspended overhead using a trip and gaffer tape.
I decided to demonstrate my “Simple Santa” from the WBO book. It’s a one-take job, full of clumsy technique, but should do the trick. Plus, if fitted the length of the music perfectly 😉
Feel free to “like” or otherwise comment on it! Matthias Eikel (from Germany) has adapted it for use on a Christmas card, cunningly adding sheets so the model becomes a 3D pyramid – I was delighted to get this through the letterbox today!
In a fit of inspiration(?) I’ve posted several youtub videos of my designs – see the “videos” link above.
I’m working on a possible project based around “Alice in Wonderland” and have been revisiting my entries for the International Alice in Wonderland Origami competition, run by the BOS in 1992.
I’m still faintly embarrassed to recall that I won three of the five categories and no sooner had I sat down for the first, than I was called out again. I ended up with three hardback editions of the “Collected works of Lewis Carroll” (and promptly gave two away).
Robin Macey (origami photographer extraordinaire) still has photos of the event filed away somewhere, so mebbe he’ll share some as a festive gift!
Anyway, my winning entries were Cheshire Cat (here are diagrams for simple and complex), plus Tweedledum and Dee. There’s also an image of the complex cat (aren’t they all?) on Gilad’s amazing gallery pages. My “Caterpillar” was beaten by Momotani, if I recall.
I’m officially certified
They haven’t worn too badly and it’s fascinating to compare my style with that of 15 years ago. It’s perhaps helpful to remember that they were created “to order” and that normally I don’t create that way, preferring to simply “discover” models lying in wait within the paper.
I’ve decided that the lower jaw of the simple cat just doesn’t work and so have folded it underneath. I’ve also tried adding creased teeth, which I think works.
I’m currently working on creating an iguana for a client. It’s going to be a multi-piece solution, with separate head, body and legs. The head has been the most challenging, but as is often the case, working towards a specific target has produced unexpected results in another area.
I’m using a variant on a fish base (see CP, right) to provide a slightly open mouth at one end and the rear flaps folded forward, opened and squashed to produce eyes. I noticed at some point that there was the basis for a simple and elegant fish, shown in the photo.
The upper and lower corners can also be sunk (and easily locked together) to create quite a streamlined shape. I don’t yet have a location for the internal diamond (created by folding corner to corner twice, then folding over the right-angled corner) and it interesting that even subtle vaiations create noticeably different results.
I had an email recently from a PR company (Bonfire – read their own write-up) with whom I worked in 2009, reminding me of the fun we had. The project was to fold 650 odd elephants and encase 100 of them in a block of acrylic. They had been at work on the project with another paper-folder for about a year, but decided they wanted fresh input and approached me.
The design they were using had no clearance from the Japanese creator, so I came up with an original model for them. Perhaps a little contrived (ie. not something I might have created for my own pleasure) but effective enough. This was printed onto paper so that the logo and various mottos were visible in the right places. It was important we got this right, since they were printing onto special paper that would withstand the heat of being encased in acrylic.
Eventually we decided everything was correct and the paper was shipped out to various folding colleagues around the country, who had offered to contribute a certain quantity. We agreed a price per unit with the client in advance. Without this, I would probably have refused the work – I find bulk folding soul-destroying, even for money 😉
I took a photo of my portion of the job (below) before carefully packing them into a trunk (geddit?) and sending off. The client was delighted and asked for a video of the folding sequence, for which I also wrote a piece of original music.The encased ele arrived, beautifully packaged and quite a conversation piece (which of course, was the idea!).
This particular model had slightly splayed legs, and wasn’t one that I’d folded (when you’ve folded 200 odd, you get to recognise your own work) maybe some slight padding inside might have helped, but this wasn’t something we could have anticipated and it’s an issue only an experienced folder would notice. I don’t know if this is the first acrylic origami, but it’s certainly something I’d like to try again at some point.
I’ve known Jens Boll (from Germany) for many years now, having met him at many UK conventions as well as several German ones. He is a genuinely warm and unselfish person, often spending large amounts of convention time helping Silke or Ian with their supplies duties.
In addition, he has the kind of technical folding skills that I can only aspire to. Here’s a photo of a Fujimoto design he folded many examples of at the BOS convention in York. I added the one penny coin for comparison. This one was folded late on Saturday evening, in a room that wasn’t lit very well. I realise practise plays a large part in skill like this, but I just feel some people have a natural gift for it, Jens being one!
I’ve been investigating and enjoying puzzles, illusions and the like for many years. My good mate Mick Guy is of a similar mind and he keeps sending me his latest ideas.
I’ve started to produce diagrams for several of mine, maybe working towards a self-published book at some point. Here’s an “invisible star” using 3 squares of black & white paper. I have variations to produce squares and a few other shapes.
I find these designs are as interesting conceptually as they are origamically (is there such a word?) but as always, I strive for an elegant folding sequence that is properly locked together.
One contribution I’ve had for the BOS model collection is a 2-piece Flag of the Czech Republic. It’s elegant, but somehow I’m not overly impressed. Before I make a decision, I’d appreciate people’s thoughts about origami flags. Clearly, a Union Jack is going to involve some relatively interesting folding, but a lot of flags are just “stripes”. This design is two stripes with a triangle on it.
I’m thinking that people seeing it in a collection are unlikely to say “hey, I must fold that” (unless they are Folding Vexillologists). So is it worth including? Is there a place in any collection for relatively mundane objects? Or am I being too commercially driven, hoping people will buy the collection?
In the UK, a traditional second wedding anniversary gift is made of paper. Curiously enough, it ‘s a first anniversary in America. So, from time to time, I receive requests for origami from romantic relatively-newly-weds.
One such came recently – the husband sent me photos from their wedding and wanted paper versions creating. Purity wasn’t an issue, so I tried to combine elegant folding with a multi-piece approach, using different coloured papers to match the couple’s wedding garb. Much of it could have been folded from fewer sheets, but would have made for thick figures, which wouldn’t have looked as elegant.
The client requested them to be delivered firmly sandwiched between thick cardboard, for him to place in a suitable frame. We were both pleased with the results. Ideally, I would have gone for a slightly bustier dress (down boy!) but since it was to be framed, decided against.
Wayne and I have volunteered to put together the BOS model collections (formerly known as “convention packs”) for next year. So, this is a formal invite to deluge me with diagrams of your best models, or any favourites from other people where you have the permission of the creator and diagrammer for their use.
New or old, computer or hand-drawn, all welcome, but ideally they should not be well known models. If you don’t know my email address, there’s a contact link above, send me a quick mail and I’ll reply with an address so you can forward the diagrams.