Folding enlightenment

One of the reasons I love origami is that I love paper. I always did. I enjoy admiring the patterns, and I love the texture of different papers in my fingers. When I find new papers to fold, it generally doesn’t go well at first – I love when my fingers suddently understand the precise resistence and strength of the paper, when I adapt the folds to allow for the exact thickness of the paper ; when the perfect model to let the designs be admired pops to my mind.

Origami is full of enlightenments. Concrete, material, my-hands-have-grasped-this revelations. I generally have a hard time getting my brain to be quiet for a while, and folding origami is a perfect way to reach that. There’s no point in over-thinking it, you have to fold to understand.

But then, there is fun to be had for my brain as well. Learning cryptic and often confusing japanese names for the different kinds of paper ; searching for good origami models, reading about amazing origami artists, and sometimes pour this new knowledge in their wikipedia pages in the process ;)

One might even find spiritual, philosophical enlightenments. It does teach patience and it’s sometimes a form of meditation, relaxation or such. It’s also an art of the ephemeral: creations of paper are to be enjoyed while they last, but you know the colors will fade, or children hands will get to them, or your previously most beloved creations will seem dull, clumsy once you’ve learned new models, once your hands become more agile. And that’s not an issue, that’s the whole beauty of it: I love to give my origamis when people ask for them, it makes place for new ones, it’s a constant reminder of impermanence.

Demon

This laughing demon is in the leaflet provided with 35cm kami paper. I can’t read japanese, so I have no idea who the author is. If someone reads japanese, has the paper and can tell me, I’ll update :)

I folded it not from the paper it is sold with, but from double-sided kami paper 35 cm, to have the mouth red and colored face. The finished model is around 20 cm high.

I really like his joyful smile, and the eyes are very expressive too. It’s also relatively easy to fold.

Pipe by Edward Megrath, cube by Tomoko Fusè

Those two very different models can be found in “Origami” by Paulo Mulathino, ISBN 0785802622 (Chartwell books inc).It is a book full of simple but cute designs.

Cube folded from 6 sheets of 7 cm Senbazuru chiyogami (Grimmhobby). Pipe folded from 20 cm Heyda paper.

It may not be very visible from the photo, but the pipe (page 26) is actually 3-D and really realistic.

I saw the cube model (page 72) and immediately wanted to fold it ; halfway through, I checked the author, and was not surprised to see it was Tomoko Fusè.  This is a very simple and elegant model, as always :)

Butterflies by Michael G. LaFosse

These butterflies by Michael G. LaFosse can be found in “Origami Papillons”, ISBN 9788861125759 edtition White Star. This kit includes many amazing models, but the diagrams are the most confusing ever (it sends you from page to page and it’s a miracle if you manage to have the colors you wanted at the end) and the paper included in the kit doesn’t fold well.

This “Machaon Alexander” (p 36) is folded from Hologram chiyogami paper (Daiso) 15 cm. I love the curved tail of the wings!

The “Machaon Alexander” at the bottom left is made of kraft double-sided paper (yes, it is my favorite model of the book). The “Origamido Butterfly” on the right is folded from Daiso Traditional Japanese paper.

This collection of Machaons (all made from MarpaJansen Mandala 20 cm) was an order from my sister, she’ll make a board with them I think. This paper doesn’t fold so well, the creases are very visible and don’t allow mistakes – but the pattern is gorgeous :)

Pumpkin by Tomoko Fusè

This pumpkin by Tomoko Fusè can be found in this book (ISBN 9782889355815 for the French edition, but nuinui have their books available in multiple languages). It’s page 66.

It is folded from 6 sheets of square 15 cm paper (you can use 7 if you want, the model says 5 works too but I doubt it). The paper is double-sided chiyogami (in a package of 120 sheets, 30 patterns)

I think this would look better with simpler paper, this is a bit too much.But I really like the geometrical form, and it’s quite sturdy.

The book has plenty of cute models, I’ll probably present some others soon!

Butterfly card and hand, by Jeremy Shafer

Jeremy Shafer published a youtube tutorial for this flapping butterfly card. Paper: 35 cm double-sided paper from origami-shop.com (don’t try smaller paper on your first try). And yes, the butterfly does flap its wings when you pull on the sides of the card :)

The skeleton hand is found in this video tutorial. Paper: 15 cm kami. People like this model a lot, it’s especially popular around Halloween :)

Both models are high-intermediary. They’re not in his books, but he has many other amusing models to fold :)

Envelopes by Tomoko Fusè

Those envelopes by Tomoko Fusè are really easy to fold, and really cute. You can simply write inside the envelope, or slide your folded letter inside the envelope. The instructions can be found in “Home decorating with origami”, ISBN 4889960597, pages 38, 41 and 46. There are many other cute models.

Papers: envelopes from A4 printer paper, decorations (stoppers) from 7,5 cm (japanese chiyogami for the crane, washi for the flower) and 9 cm (boat on the right). She recommends 7,5 cm but I find 9 cm looks better – probably a culture difference, I like gaudy better than discreet elegance :) The finished envelopes are 10,5X10,5 cm.

Bird by Edwin Corrie

This is one of my new favorite models: a bird by Edwin Corrie. I don’t fold many animals, I really prefer boxes and geometrical forms, but I fell in love with this one! The movement in its wings, the amazing folding sequence (and great diagram, although I did find a few things to improve it, I’ll list them at the end of the post).

The model can be found in Le Pli n°145 (revue du Mouvement Français des Plieurs de Papier). Not sure if it has been published somewhere else, but Edwin Corrie published a few other diagrams on his website, and “Origami Animals” by Vicente Palacios has mostly models by Edwin Corrie and is a good book of low-intermediary models. By the way, I met him at the Origami Convention in Blois, and he’s a very nice person, so  if you have an occasion to fold with him, don’t hesitate! (He’s shy though, so go talk to him. Or maybe it was just because we all spoke French).

Paper: satogami 24 cm from origami-shop.com. I had the “paper discovery pack” since a while, but couldn’t get myself to use the beautiful papers – but after folding a few of these birds, as seen below, I finally decided that this model deserved a beautiful paper.

As usual, Pierre-Manuel took the photos, and we both felt that the first of this article turned out great. I really love the shadow.

Papers of 15 and 20 cm. You can see the back of the wings in patterned papers has another color.

And now, my notes on the diagram : it doesn’t use double-sided paper, and the side of the paper is actually important. The bird will be all of the same color, except the back of the wings – it looks better with paper that has the same color on both sides, in my opinion, but if you have single-side paper and want the bird in color, start with the white side on the table, color towards you (and make a square base with the color inside). Then step 12 isn’t clear, you have to fold the top triangles at a 90° angle (align the paper with itself, rotating on the points of the sides).

To hang it from the ceiling, or in a mobile, you can undo the back from step 32, knot a thead around the base of the wings behind the head, and lock it by folding the back again. Voilà, an origami that hangs without holes :)

I’d say the difficulty is intermediary. Definitly not a beginner’s model, but not crazy hard once you’ve folded a while. It’s exactly the right difficulty for me.

Various boxes by Tomoko Fusè

These are various models by Tomoko Fusè. All are made with 8 sheets of square paper (4 for the lid, 4 for the bottom).

The box on the left is “square box Vortex”, page 62 of “Fabulous Origami Boxes” (Japan Publications Trading Co, ISBN 9780870409783).

The box in the middle is “shallow hexagonal box”, found page 72 of “30 boîtes en origami”.

The box on the right is “Square box C”, page 38 of “Joyful Origami Boxes” (Japan Publications, ISBN 0870409743).

Paper for the rightmost box : japanese chiyogami for the lid, Tant 15 cm for the bottom.

Paper: double-sided 15 cm kraft paper from schoene-papiere.de (sadly they don’t sell anymore at the moment).

Paper: japanese chiyogami 7.5 cm.

 

The same model with different papers:

left: japanese chiyogami 7.5 cm + Tant, right: japanese chiyogami 15 cm (the paper is a bit too thin for the size of the box).