Saturday, April 29, 2006

K9 - Flett

In honour of K9's return to Doctor Who in the new episode entitled School Reunion today on the BBC, I decided to try and make a little Origami K9. He's folded from a Bird base, and isn't all that detailed. But still, he's a first attempt and I wanted to post something.

You can't really tell from the photo, but the sides of him are an isosceles trapezoid.

I know I can come up with a better K9 with some planning, so keeping watching my blog.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Husky - Montroll

This is Husky, a dog from John Montroll's Origami Sculptures (1989). I never feel I get this model quite right, but that's because dogs are challenging models to fold. Even more challenging is trying to get a specific breed right!

While the Dachshund seems a perfect representation, Husky I'm not so sure about. Even so, I still like the Husky model. It's folded from yet another variation of Montroll's dog base. This time, you fold a horizontally symmetrical version of the base, so that the part that is to become the head and tail are the same size. I'd really like to try and use this variation of the dog base to make something else, as it's unusual and I'm sure there is something it's just perfect for.

The model in the photos is folded from a standard sheet of 15cm square Origami paper.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Unicorn - Momotani

This is Unicorn from Shin Origami Rando: Doubutsu no Origami (New Origami Land: Origami Animal Vol. 11) by Yoshihide Momotani, published in 2001. The book is written in Japanese, but the diagrams are very good so no English is needed.

This model is folded from a standard Fish base. I was very surprised about the base used, because I don't usually see animals folded from that base. I think it works fairly well. Origami unicorns are tough to get the proportions right for some reason, and often don't look very horse-like. I think this one looks a little more goat-like than a horse, but you be the judge.

The model holds together very well, and won't unfold over time. Event though the back legs are just pinched to make them, they still seem to hold up the model very well and stay together.

I really do like the horn on the head, as for unicorns, that is a tough thing to get right. The horn has a very sharp and solid appearance, and is pointed at the correct angle.

I've thought about trying to round the trunk of the model to make it less 2D, but I there isn't really enough paper there to make it work (the trunk would be really skinny and it would look like a emaciated unicorn/goat thing).

I folded the model from a standard 15cm square sheet of pink Origami paper.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Frog with Toes - Montroll

This is Frog with Toes from John Montroll's Animal Origami for the Enthusiast (1985). In the first three photos, the model is folded from a 25cm square sheet of Origami paper.

This model has long been a favourite of mine. There is a simpler version of the frog without toes, that I can make in under 10 minutes. It was this model pictured here though, with all of its
detail, that solidified my love of Origami in my youth. I vividly remember seeing this frog in a photo on the cover of the book in the shop at the Ontario Science Centre and knew I just had to fold it. It was so hard waiting hours to get home before I could make my first folding attempt.

For me, this was the first model that had everything the creature should have. It had eyes, a full mouth, and three webbed toes on each foot! I was in Origami bliss.

The basic architecture of the model is one half Waterbomb base, and one half blitzed Preliminary base. It was so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it. The back legs are folded very similarly to the traditional frog I'm sure many of you have made.

The toes though, start off before any of the rest of the model is folded. The edges of the paper are folded in to create mini Preliminary bases on each corner, so the three toes are created before any of the rest of the model is folded at all.

In the last two photos, the model is folded from a 15cm square sheet of paper backed green foil. While it's tougher to fold the model out of the smaller paper, it turns out very well; even when not made from foil.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rabbit - Momotani

This is Rabbit from Shin Origami Rando: Doubutsu no Origami (New Origami Land: Origami Animal Vol. 11) by Yoshihide Momotani, published in 2001.

The book has some really cute animals, with some really original proportions and architecture. I definately want to obtain some more books by Momotani, including one called "Cute Origami" (so the models in it must be cute too, wink wink).

I found that I didn't get this rabbit folded right until the fourth try. You have to eye the proportions when you fold the model, with very few marking folds to help you along the way. But folding that way a good thing to know how to do, and this is a great model to practice it on. And since you'll get two rabbits out of one square of Origami paper, you'll have plenty of paper to get this model right.

The model is folded from a 2:1 rectangle, cut as half of a 15cm square of Origami paper. It ends up very small, and cute! I've already given the earlier versions away, so no photos are here; but even though they were a kind of freakish menagerie of misproportion, they were still cute perched together in their rabbit sort of way (so don't get discouraged if your models don't come out right).

In the last photo, I have a larger version of the rabbit folded from two sheets of 15cm square Origami paper. For most models made from a 2:1 rectangle you can't use two separate sheets to fold them, but for this one the front and back parts of the model are pretty isolated. It was no problem to join the two part way through the steps. What do you think of it?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tyrannosaurus - Montroll

This is Tyrannosaurus from John Montroll's Animal Origami for the Enthusiast (1985).

The model is folded from a standard Bird base, and is something that can be folded fairly quickly. The model has a nice balance between detail and time taken to fold, making it a good model to fold for the little ones in your life.

This model shown here was folded from a standard 15cm square sheet of Origami paper. The book also has a Brontosaurus in it that I'll be posting soon.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Elephants - Kawahata

These are some cute and relatively easy elephants from Fumiaki Kawahata's Origami Sekai no Yasei Dobutsu (Wild Animals of the World) published in 1996.

The models are folded from a custom base that mostly just starts from having both edges folded to the center to make a rectangle with flaps. The legs are essentially large pleat folds.

The pink elephant is folded from a standard 15cm square sheet of Origami paper. The blue elephant is folded from a 25cm square sheet of Origami paper.



I think these elephants are really cute, and work best as a pair. Later on, I'll be posting a more complex model known as the Kawahata Elephant, so watch for that!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pig - Tuyen

This is Pig, from Wild Origami: Amazing Animals You Can Make (1996) by P.D. Tuyen. I got the book for only a few dollars used, not knowing what to expect from it at all. Little did I realize that Tuyen creates his animals from his own bases, and some are pretty darned neat.

Pig is folded from Tuyen's Basic Form III base, which is similar to the classic Frog base, but a little less so and with one full Preliminary base grafted onto it. This leaves the model with more flaps than it needs to make the pig out of, but I think it that just adds decorative value to it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Struthiomimus - Montroll

This is Struthiomimus by John Montroll from his Prehistoric Origami (1989). Say that three times fast! STRUTH-ee-oh-MEEM-us. The name means "Ostrich Mimic".

Not much to say about this model, except that although it looks great, it doesn't freestand well. I had to lean it up against the wall to pose it. I was able to balance it a few times on the feet, but it wasn't stable. Perhaps I just need to fold it differently.

The model was folded from a single sheet of 15cm square Origami paper.

This book was one of the first Origami books dedicated just to Dinosaurs. It might even be the first, but I can't say definitively so.

Without much more to say, I guess just enjoy the photos :)


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Panda - Nishikawa

This is Panda from Works of Seiji Nishikawa (2003). The book is published by Gallery OrigamiHouse and is written in Japanese and English. The diagrams are very well drawn, and the paper, toner, and binding used make the book beautiful. There are also full colour photographs of the models in the first few pages.

The model is folded from two (yes two, I feel no shame) sheets of 15cm square Origami paper, each one side white and one side black. Origami purism, with one sheet and no cutting, is really just something that took hold over the last 20 years. You'll find many models in classic books that require some cutting or multiple sheets. Personally, I prefer folding models from a single sheet, because of the greater challenge, as well as the magic and wonder that comes from it. However, some models such as this Panda are just too cute not to make. And you will see other models in the future on this blog that totally warrant two sheets of paper and deserve to be admired anyway.

For this model, the head is a single sheet of paper and the body another. I used a little bit of scotch tape to hold the head in place on the body. What a cute expression on his face!

Nishikawa has some really great cartoon-like models in the book, that have such lovely proportions that I'm sure you'll see many of them in this blog in the months to come.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rhinoceros - Montroll

This is Rhinoceros from Origami Sculptures (1989) by John Montroll. The model is folded from a custom base, with a medium-sized preliminary base grafted onto it.

I was really impressed with this model when I first folded it, because of the high level of detail in the head. The horns and ears really make the model appealing.

I think that this is Montroll's best Rhinoceros, though I find the front and back legs don't line up well when made from standard-sized Origami paper. I folded the model (in the photos) from a single 15cm square sheet of Origami paper, with one side pink and the other side white. I think the model would turn out better from 25cm paper, but the one here gets a lot of "oh it's so cute" exclamations because of its small stature.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Centaur - Montroll

This is Centaur from Mythical Creatures and The Chinese Zodiac (1996) by John Montroll. He's an interesting little model, in that it's hard to do human figures and horse figures, so combining the two must have been a challenging design.

I folded the model from a single 15cm square of Origami paper, and I think that was a little on the small side as the folds start to get thick with all of the layers.

The book has an interesting three-headed dragon from a waterbomb base that I'll have to get a photo of so I can post a blog entry for it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Violinist - Lang

This is Violinist by Robert Lang, from The Complete Book of Origami: Step-by-Step Instructions in Over 1000 Diagrams (1988). The book is considered a classic in Origami, and has continued to remain in print unchanged. I purchased it from the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto back in 1989, and was instantly amazed by the high level of detail of its models. Because many of the models are made from unusual shapes with unusual angles (I swear one model requires a protractor) to this day I still haven't folded everything from it. However, despite the unusual difficulty, these models are original and well worth folding!

This model is from Chapter 5: Action Folds. The chapter contains models that move when you push and pull. This model actually plays violin when you pull the head from the hip.

The model is folded from a 1:1.414 proportioned rectangle. Of course, measuring such a rectangle is difficult, so with this model (and others) I found a way to let the folds determine the exact proportions I needed. Start with a slightly taller landscape rectangle than needed, and then in steps 3 and 4, use the valley/kite fold to determine how much of the bottom edge you need to cut off the paper (because when you're done, the corner will neatly line up with the crease in the diagram). That procedure works every time. For this model, I cut a 25cm square of Origami paper to the correct size, and then folded it with the coloured side in.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Elasmasaurus - Kawahata

This is Elasmasaurus by Fumiaki Kawahata. For current printings, the model is from his Origami Dinosaurs 2, but I folded it from an earlier printing of Origami Dinosaurs 1 that contains a different selection of models.

The model is made from a basic kite fold, but is really original from that point on.

Elasmasaurus is one of the longest models I've ever seen, and has great balance. Since most people have never heard of an Elasmasaurus, when I fold one for someone I sometimes call this model "Nessy" after the Lock Ness Monster.

The model is folded from a single 15cm square sheet of Origami paper. As you can see from the photos, the layers of folds are very thick in the neck and it starts to buckle when you shape it. However, I think that thickness actually makes it easier to create a nice curve that will hold indefinitely.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Turtle - Crawford

This is Pat Crawford's Turtle from Origami 3 (1972) by Robert Harbin. This was the first Origami turtle I ever learned how to fold, and for some time it was the only turtle I knew how to fold. It's folded from a blitzed preliminary base.

This model appears on the cover of the book, but in that photo it's made from textured paper. I think because of the smooth regions of the finshed product, textured paper would have been a better choice than the paper I used. The one here was folded from a single 15cm sheet of standard Origami paper.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Polar Bear - Kawahata

This is the Polar Bear from Fumiaki Kawahata's Origami Sekai no Yasei Dobutsu (Wild Animals of the World) published in Japanese in 1996.

This is a surprisingly easy animal to fold, from its own custom base. And yet it really captures what a bear should look like, in more than just a minimalist way. I've folded far more complex bears that don't have the same character or resemblance to a bear as this model does.

The model is folded from a single 15cm sheet of white origami paper. I've also made the model from light brown paper, and it turns out very well.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Klingon Bird of Prey - Pang

Okay, time to mix a couple things I really like. Science-fiction and Origami! Inherent geeky-ness aside, this is one really cool model. It's a Klingon Bird of Prey ship from Star Trek. The model is by Andrew Pang from The Paper Universe (2000).

I totally wish I'd known how to make this model back when I was a kid, because I could have had so much fun with a fleet of them. I folded it from a single sheet of 15cm square paper-backed gold foil. When it's that size, you really need to use foil to hold it together. I've made some of them from paper-backed green foil that also turn out well (the ship is a most often a greenish colour in the movies and television series).

Although I've never made any larger versions, I've seen photos of larger ships made of paper that appear to hold together well. The model is folded from a standard bird base, and it's so straightforward that I asked myself why I never thought of it before (I'm sure many people have thought that too for it).

One problem with the model though, is that there are no clear guidelines for folding the neck and the wing guns. So you're entirely left up to your own sense of proportion. As a result, every single one I make ends up different (I can't even use others as a guide, given the unique nature of the folds). I think this is the best one I've done though, so that's why I chose its photo.

If you're interested in trying something from the book, sample instructions for a Star Trek Voyager starship are available here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Duck - Fox's Prison Break

This is a Duck/Crane. Okay, so it's not an advanced model, but it did pose a challenge for me to figure out. Fox TV has a series called Prison Break, whereby the main character makes Origami Ducks (though he calls them Cranes for some reason, likely for the symbolic meaning) used for various purposes.

Using some photos fans captured from the series, I came up with various prototypes and ran them by my good friend Ann for review and useful suggestions about changes to make. Thanks Ann!

Together we eventually came up with a perfect replica of the model last fall while the series was still fresh and new enough to make the model "cool". Now I can recreate such exciting scenes from the tv series as floating the duck down streams, and leaving it as a calling card to shady types.

Much later on, when browsing through my books, I found a swan model by Kunihiko Kasahara that is very similar in its base architecture to the duck. The model is in Creative Origami (1977). The model is 3. Swan on page 24. I probably did make that swan model over a decade ago, so I can't be certain some memory wasn't involved when interpreting the duck.

The duck is folded from some regular lined notepad paper, cut into a 15cm square.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

African Elephant - Montroll

This is the African Elephant from John Montroll's African Animals in Origami (1992). The model is folded from a single 15cm square sheet of Origami paper, one side blue and the other side white.

This was one of the first elephants that I enjoyed making. I found a lot of elephants don't really look too much like the animal, but this one has a decent elephant likeness.

I bought the book when it was new, and it was probably the last Origami book I bought for several years afterward. I had sort of hit a dry spot with Origami at the time with what was available. I was pretty much limited by what was available in English because of local suppliers, and just wasn't feeling inspired. It wasn't until years later that internet commerce opened up enough to bring to me some really creative books from around the world.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ostrich - Warner

This is Bill Warner's Ostrich from Origami 4 (1977) by Robert Harbin. The model appears on the cover of most printings of the book. It's folded from a single 15cm square sheet of Origami paper.

The Ostrich is a surprisingly difficult model to fold. It's from a bird base with one half inverted for a white colour change. It was when I got to the point of forming the tail/plume that I ran into trouble, but surmounted.

The model is photographed inside a plastic hockey puck display case, because I wanted to show it standing up (the model doesn't stand on its own). The hockey puck cases are really good for displaying some models, as they make it easy for people to pick them up and handle them. The plastic though is a little too dull compared to other clear display cases.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Giraffe - Montroll

This is the Giraffe from John Montroll's Animal Origami for the Enthusiast (1985). This is a great giraffe, but one that I find turns out best with 25cm square paper-backed foil. Here, I made it with a 15cm square of regular Origami paper, and as you can see the head starts to unfold. It's a solid model though, with much of the body locked/tucked in.

This giraffe was created long before Montroll came up with his dog base, but the similarities are striking. This model is very similar to his horse from Origami Sculptures published 4 years later. It looks so different because the proportions are different. The neck is far longer, and the body much shorter.

I had trouble getting good shots of this model with my camera. It might have been because of the yellow paper under the light I used. I'd like to take another shot at it, but with one made of paper-backed foil.

Even if I had made this model out of 25cm square paper, it would have held together better in the head. Still, hopefully you can see the great detail. The giraffe has ears and horns!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Horse - Montroll

This Horse is from John Montroll's Origami Sculptures (1989). This is my all time favourite horse design, and I've folded it so often that I think everyone I know has seen one.

I don't know why I made this one from orange paper; I've never done that before. I usually make the model from brown, blue, pink, or yellow paper. But I was having an orange day, and I think it turned out okay.

The model is made from Montroll's standard dog base. It has a great 3D appearance, because the trunk is shaped, and the mane pleated.

I think this horse has the best proportions out of any other, or at least for something that takes under 15 minutes to fold. It's one of those rare perfect models that is just a joy to fold, and I can't think of how to make it better. I folded the model from a standard 15cm square sheet of Origami paper.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Baby Dragon - Gray

This is Alice Gray's Baby Dragon from Origami 4 by Robert Harbin.

I'm not sure why I like this model so much, (people I show it to don't) but I really do. It's just so unusual and creative. It's folded from a blitz with each flap rabbit-eared, then the whole thing rabbit-eared again on the other side, which seems so unnecessary and yet kind of works.

I really like how the head is so much larger in proportion than the body, with the front legs too long... like how you might imagine an under developed dragon would be.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Japanese Devil - Maekawa

This is my interpretation of Jun Maekawa's Japanese Devil. I folded the model from diagrams drawn by Hugo Pereira, available in PDF from here. This model is folded from a single 25cm square sheet of paper with no cutting┬╣. It took me close to 4 hours to fold this model!

This model was originally published with partial diagrams in the book Viva! Origami (1983) by Kunihiko Kasahara and Jun Maekawa. This model (and others like it in the book) was very influential, because for the first time Origami models could have eyes, horns, a mouth with a tongue, and hands with 5 fingers; all with no cutting!

If I'd used foil-backed paper, the model's face would have held together better. I would like to use that next time, when I brave folding the model again. Also, with foil I'd be able to make the face vertical (as some versions of this model are), rather than horizontal. Though I do like the more beast-like dragon-esque appearance of the long horizontal mouth you see here. You can see some wearing of the corners of the model, because I had to re-fold areas to figure out the diagrams (the folds for the model are really tough to diagram).

This model really was a treat for me to fold, because I'd seen it in a copy of Viva! Origami at the Japanese Pavilion in Disney's Epcot Centre many (many!) years ago, and thought it beyond my ability (and likely at the time it was). I regret not purchasing the book back then, but I did buy two other fairly expensive books by Kasahara that day (from which I made many great models) so that is some comfort. Maybe some day the book will be back in print, and I'll be able to get a copy of it.

You can also find Hideo Komatu's diagrams of this model that were published in Origami Tanteidan Newsletter #56.


┬╣You should usually assume there is no cutting for any of the Origami models in this blog; but with the extraordinary level of detail for this model, I wanted to make that clear.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bull 1 - Cerceda

This Bull 1 is from Vicente Palacios' Fascinating Origami: 101 Models by Adolfo Cerceda (1984). Cerceda does some amazing things with the Bird base. I don't think I've ever seen someone so innovative with that base. Looking at this model, I'd never guess it was from a bird base.

The model is supposed to have hooves folded for the feet, but I thought it gave a much sharper appearance with the points left intact (as if he were ready to charge the matador).

I was surprised Cerceda chose to fold the top into the pocket of the model, rather than to try and sink it, but the asymmetry actually works in some way.

This model is folded from a single 15cm square sheet of Origami paper.