Skeletons in my cupboard

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I have many skeletons in my cupboard, some more than 20 years old.  Origami dinosaur skeletons, to be precise.  Given the number of pieces that have to be folded for each, and the complexity, I can be forgiven for taking so long to complete them.

I started folding a triceratops skeleton a year ago, and this I completed recently.  Here’s the result:

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Triceratops skeleton designed by Issei Yoshino

Here’s another view:

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Triceratops skeleton designed by Issei Yoshino

This is an impressive design by Issei Yoshino.  It comprises 19 separate pieces that are then assembled together.  I must say the attention to detail is evident, and it resembles well an actual triceratops skeleton.  The diagrams can be found in Issei’s Super Complex Origami.

I folded another dinosaur skeleton a couple of years ago.   This is a T-rex skeleton by Marc Kirschenbaum.

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T-rex skeleton by Marc Kirschenbaum

What is remarkable about the design is that he managed to reproduce a likeness of a T-rex skeleton using only 3 pieces of paper!  Diagrams are from Tanteidan Convention magazine Vol 20.

Well, as I said I have other skeletons in my cupboard.  Will blog about them when they are completed.

Fun with cranes

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I recently folded cranes for an event.

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These are big ones, with a wingspan of 36 cm or 30 cm.  Because they need to be sturdy, I made them of Canford paper of 120 gsm weight.  This is how they looked on site.

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I had a good time folding models to give away.

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Before they were put up, my daughter wanted to take some photos of the cranes.  They turned out to be interesting “installation” pieces.

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Photos : Pek Wan Sze

 

 

 

Olympic games origami

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With the recent upsurge of interest in the Olympic Games in Singapore following Joseph

Schooling’s victory, I thought I should do something origami-wise.  So here are the 5 Olympic rings:

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The idea came from the origami Google doodle that was designed by Robert Lang to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Akira Yoshizawa, who is widely considered to be a pioneer of modern origami.  This was Lang’s origami Google doodle:

 

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Jo Nakashima had also put up a series of origami letters on Youtube.  Based on his approach, I folded the Olympic name too.  I adjusted the typography and simplified the letters somewhat, using variable length paper to do away with the need to tuck unwanted paper away.  This is what I came up with:

 

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Incidentally, as in Lang’s and Nakashima’s origami letters, each letter/ring has a thickness comprising a series of accordion folds which may not be so obvious from the photos.  So, till the next Olympic Games …..

 

Ushering in the Rooster

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The lunar New Year falls on 28 January this year.  It starts the reign of the Rooster, the 10th animal in the Chinese zodiac.  As I have been doing for many years, I will fold an origami of the zodiac animal for an e-card to celebrate the occasion.  Being partial towards complex origami, I am rather fond of the roosters created by Eric Joisel and Miyajima Noburu, the former known affectionately as Joisel’s prodigious coq among origami folders.  But I came across the model designed by Satoshi and decided to fold it instead.

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Rooster by Satoshi Kamiya

It is well proportioned, and has a nice comb, wattle and tail feathers.

I also folded another rooster, this one designed by Chinese artist Mi Wu.  I liked it for the clean finish and colour change.  So here’s it.

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Rooster by Mi Wu

Wishing all a happy year of the Rooster!

Origami notes:

  1. Rooster by Satoshi Kamiya from Origami Tanteidan Convention Book Vol 19.  Folded from 1 piece of embossed paper 20 inches square.  Finished length 6.5 inches.
  2. Rooster by Mi Wu from Chinese New Year Origami 2017 ebook.  Folded from 12 inch square embossed paper sandwiched with red origami paper.  Finished length 6 inches.

Farewell to the Monkey

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I was impressed by the Japanese macaque designed by Hideo Komatsu and decided to fold it.

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Japanese macaque

So is it a monkey?  According to Wikipedia, the Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey, is an old-world monkey that is native to Japan.  It got the name “snow monkey” because it lives in places that are covered with snow for a few months each year.  It has a characteristic pinkish face and derriere.

The lunar new year falls on 28 Jan this year, when the reign of the monkey in the Chinese zodiac will end and the year of the Rooster will begin.  So this is a timely farewell to the monkey, which I blogged about at the beginning of the lunar year.  I will post another article of rooster origami in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

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Thanks to my daughter for the lovely photographs.

Origami note :

Japanese macaque is from Works of Hideo Komatsu.  It is folded from a piece of 10 in. square Elephanthide sandwiched with pink tissue.  Finished length is 4 in.

 

Wedding celebrations

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My daughter celebrated her wedding recently.  So I of course marked the occasion with, among other things, origami.

The first origami that came to mind was the Waltz by Neal Elias.  She wanted one in white and gold, so this is the end result:

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Waltz by Neal Elias

She also thought of spicing up her hand bouquets and boutonnieres with origami, and in the end we decided on a butterfly.  We chose a butterfly featured on Julia Aston’s blog.  The model was chosen for its elegance and simplicity.

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Butterfly by Julia Aston

You can see it on this boutonniere.

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Boutonniere with butterfly by Julia Aston

My secret project for the newly-weds was a board with their names emblazoned on it.  I had previously folded individual alphabets created by Natan Lopez, and also the “LOVE” sign folded from one piece of paper.

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LOVE by Natan Lopez

His is a 3-D design, and I thought it would be cool to use his alphabet to create the sign.  It proved to be an arduous task.  This is the eventual result:

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Individual letters designed by Natan Lopez

I also re-visited a model that my daughter liked a lot, which is a fish skeleton designed by Makoto Yamaguchi.  For some reason, she has always been fascinated by fish skeletons.  I re-modeled the look of the skeleton and this is the result:

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Fish skeleton designed by Makoto Yamaguchi

I’m happy to say that this is now prominently displayed in their new home.

It was a great wedding, and it is good that origami featured in it.

Beyond 8 to 5 – Origami

Some time ago, I was interviewed by Channel News Asia for a series of short clips they were producing on hobbies that people pursue.  Mine is of course origami.  They were interested in how I took up origami, where I get my inspiration from, and the process of folding and shaping origami models especially wet folding.  Models by various designers were featured, in particular the monkey by    (for year of the monkey) and Loggerhead turtle by Satoshi Kamiya.

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Loggerhead Turtle designed by Satoshi Kamiya

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Monkey designed by Nguyen Vo Hien Chuong

Without further ado, here’s the clip.  Enjoy.

 

Ushering in the Year of the Monkey

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Lunar New Year day falls on 8 Feb.  This day denotes the start of the new lunar year, which is the Year of the Monkey.  The monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac (see my previous post)  People born under this sign are supposed to be smart, quick-witted and lively, like the monkey.

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Designed by : (l to r) Akira Yoshizawa, Saadya, Nguyen Vo Hien Chuong, Kunihiko Kasahara, Lionel Albertino

I continued with my practice of folding the animal for a Chinese New Year e-card.  As I searched for a model to fold, it struck me that many of them looked similar, as you can see from the picture above.  In fact, they looked like variations of the traditonal monkey, shown here:

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Traditional monkey

Of these, the exceptions were the ones designed by Nguyen and Yoshizawa.  Nguyen’s model became my favourite, though there is a fair amount of shaping required and I am usually not keen on moulded designs.  However, as you can see they are not complex designs, so I decided to use all the animals together in the picture.

The most famous monkey in Chinese mythology is of course the Monkey King in the Chinese classic Journey to the West.  I recalled the episode where the Monkey King was bested and captured by Buddha.  The story goes that Buddha told the Monkey King that he would not be able to get out of his palm.  So the Monkey King jumped onto Buddha’s palm and ran to the end of the world.  He saw five pillars and inscribed on one of them.  He then came back to meet the Buddha.  The Buddha showed him that he had in fact put the inscription on his upright finger.  Buddha then went on to capture the Monkey King.  I thought this image could represent this story:

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Miniature monkey

Happy Year of the Monkey!

Diagram sources:

  1.   Akira Yoshizawa,   Origami : Living Nature
  2.   Saadya, Sculptural Origami
  3.   Nguyen Vo Hien Chuong, 50 Hours of Origami + by Vietnam Origami Group
  4.   Kunihiko Kasahara, Origami Omnibus
  5.   Lionel Albertino, Safari Origami

May the Force be with You

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With the current interest in Star Wars again after a decade-long hiatus, and at the prompting of a friend, I decided to re-visit the Yoda model that I folded almost 20 years ago.  Yoda, the sprightly Jedi Master, is one of my favourite Star Wars characters.  The model I folded is designed by Fumiaki Kawahata.  I thought it was well-designed and very expressive.  Here is the newly-folded Yoda.

Designed by Fumiaki Kawahata

Yoda the Jedi Master

For those who are interested, there is an excellent Youtube video by Jo Nakashima showing how to fold Fumiaki’s model.  He also pointed out that Yoda has only 3 fingers (as folded here) instead of the 4 fingers as designed by Fumiaki.  For the origami folders, I have also colour-changed Yoda’s stick from the original green to brown.

After folding Yoda, I surfed the net for other Star Wars characters to fold.  I found Darth Vader, a Sith Lord of the evil Empire.

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Darth Vader

This model is designed by Ignacio Smith.  I particularly like the sweep of his cloak and the majestic portrayal of Darth Vader.

The model of Yoda stands at 9 cm, and Darth Vader at 20 cm.

May the Force be with You.

Sources:

  1.  Yoda.   Origami Tanteidan Convention Vol3; Youtube video by Jo Nakashima
  2. Darth Vader.   Youtube and video by Ignacio Smith.

 

Chinese Zodiac Origami

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The Chinese celebrates the lunar new year for 15 days, from the 1st to 15th days of the first month of the lunar calendar.  This year (2015), the 1st day of the lunar year falls on 19 Feb.  (see my previous post )   The Chinese “zodiac” resembles the Western one only that it comprises 12 signs.  However, the sign changes once a year compared to the Western one that changes once a month.  The Chinese zodiac signs are are made up of animals known to ancient Chinese, and comprises both domesticated animals as well as wild ones.  It starts with the rat, which in the current cycle falls in 2008.  It is followed by ox (2009), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.   There is a story about how the rat got into pole position.  When the animals were asked to report for inclusion in the list, the rat being of small size rode in the ear of the ox.  Nearing the finishing point, it jumped down and crossed the finishing line first, hence becoming the first of the listed animals.  Here’s a quick check to find out which zodiac sign you are born under (but do note that the changeover date is not the first of January but the first day of the lunar new year, so it would be around mid-Jan to end-Feb, the actual day varying from year to year)

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I am a great admirer of Akira Yoshizawa, and this is my rendition of his zodiac animals folded a few years ago.  They are all designed from the same (bird) base.

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Zodiac animals

Designed by Akira Yoshizawa

Since 2010, I have also been folding my favourite origami model of the animal that represents the new zodiac sign, to make a lunar new year greeting e-card from it.  2010 was the Year of the Tiger, and I folded Hideo Komatsu’s model.  It was a very realistic version complete with stripes (which actually inspired me to start the series).

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Designed by Hideo Komatsu

   2010

   Year of the Tiger

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Since then, I have kept to my goal of folding a model and making  an e-card for each lunar new year.  Here are the results so far.  I do hope to continue this in the coming years, so stay tuned.

design by Robert Lang and variation by me

design by Robert Lang and variation by me

   2011

   Year of the Rabbit

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Robert Lang’s model hs a special place in my heart as it was one of the earliest “good” models that I folded using wetfolding.  In 2011, someone asked me to design a standing model as it was the rage then, and so I obliged with a variation of Lang’s model which you can also see in the picture.

design by Fumiaki Kawahata

design by Fumiaki Kawahata

   2012

   Year of the Dragon

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This dragon head is another of my favourites.  The dragon in Eastern mythology is an auspicious animal.  This one has many details of the head and comes complete with scales, which at the time the model was designed was rare.

designed by Ronald Koh

designed by Ronald Koh

   2013

   Year of the Snake

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This snake, a cobra, is designed by my friend Ronald Koh (I tweaked the look).  Ron’s cobra made history when the Origami Singapore group folded the world’s longest origami snake in 2001, which stood at 45 m long .

designed by Roman Diaz

designed by Roman Diaz

2014

   Year of the Horse

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The horse has a special place in my heart as I was born under its zodiac sign.  Hence also its appearance on my masthead, which was my attempt at a “Eight Horse Painting”, a classical theme in Chinese ink painting.  (see my earlier post)

Goat - designed by Jun Maekawa

Goat – designed by Jun Maekawa

2015

Year of the Goat

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For the Year of the Goat I chose a design by Akira Yoshizawa for my ecard, but I like the majesty of Jun Maekawa’s goat which is shown in the picture above.  (You can see more in this post)

So, this will be a work in progress and I will add a new model every year.

Hope you enjoyed this.