Welcoming the Year of the Rat

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The start of the lunar New Year falls on 25 January this year.  It will be the Year of the Rat.  There are 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, in a cycle of 12 lunar years.  The cycle starts with the rat.  The mythology is that, in a race to line up for the positions in the lunar calendar, being quick-witted the rat rode on the ox.  Near the finishing line, it jumped down and finished first leaving the ox in second position.  For more on the Chinese zodiac see my previous post here.  Those born in the Year of the Rat are supposed to be diligent and thrifty, and hence wealthy and prosperous.

As in previous years, I fold an origami of the zodiac animal for an ecard for the lunar new year.  This year, I chose a design by Hoang Tien Quyet.  I like his design for its expressiveness.  I also did a variation of his design to strike a different pose for the mouse.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

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I recently folded origami for a Christmas dinner.

Many of the models used were found on the internet.

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I also folded selected origami models in line with the Christmas theme.  There was the shepherd designed by Max Hulme together with sheep designed by Hideo Komatsu.  I folded the latter as Scottish sheep with black face, ears and legs.

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I also had angels from a design by Neal Elias.

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There were altogether more than 40 origami adding to the festive atmosphere.  I was happy that these models were all taken by the guests when offered to them.

Merry Christmas!

Pigs can’t fly : Year of the Pig

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The lunar new year is again round the corner.  This year, it falls on 5 Feb.  It will be the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.  The Chinese zodiac calendar follows a cycle of 12 years, and the pig is the last animal of the cycle.  Contrary to popular image, the pig in Chinese mythology is supposed to be a hardworking animal.  With chubby faces and big ears, they are supposed to be a symbol of fortune.  Those born under this sign are supposed to be energetic and realistic.

 

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* Design by Ronald Koh * Photography by Pek Wan Sze

 

As I have been doing for many years, I again had to choose an origami design to fold to make a Chinese New Year e-card.  Pigs with wings seem to be a popular creature in origami circles, perhaps to show that the design could be done and in contradiction to the popular expression “Pigs can’t fly”.  I decided to keep my origami pig well grounded and chose the design by Ronald Koh, which I think is well-proportioned and brings out well the chubbiness and likability of the pig.  My daughter conceptualised the photo depict the pig sniffing around curiously.

Happy New Year!

* Origami note : Pig designed by Ronald Koh; folded from embossed paper of 12 inch (30 cm) square.  Finished length 4 inches (10 cm)

Ushering in the Year of the Dog

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The lunar new year in 2018 fell on 16 Feb, ushering in the Year of the Dog.  As usual, I folded some origami dogs to mark the occasion, and to make an ecard for Chinese New Year.  Origami-wise, the folder is spoilt for choice when it comes to dogs.  So came the task of narrowing down my choices.

More than a decade ago, my family adopted a pair of dogs that were abandoned at a pet hotel.  One was a golden retriever and the other a bull terrier.  They have since passed on, but it is a natural choice to want to fold these 2 dogs in their memory.  I had folded a retriever by Satoshi Kamiya before, so that became one choice.  I had difficulties finding a design of a bull terrier that I liked, so I decided to adapt a terrier designed by Roman Diaz.  So here is the outcome.

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Golden retriever by Satoshi Kamiya, bull terrier by Roman Diaz.  Photograph by Pek Wan Sze

 

Being spoilt for choice, I decided to fold a few more designs.  It was a tough choice, so in the end I settled for another two.  The first is a cocker spaniel again designed by Satoshi.  I particularly like its upturned head.

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Cocker spaniel by Satoshi Kamiya

The other dog that I chose in the end is a cute papillon designed by Hideo Komatsu, shown here.

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Papillon by Hideo Komatsu

I also folded some simple puppies for a project (which will be the subject of another post), here’s the preview.

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So a big bow-wow for the lunar new year!

Origami notes :

  1. Golden retriever designed by Satoshi Kamiya.  Works of Satoshi Kamiya Vol 2.  Folded from 80 gsm paper; 25 cm square, finished size 14 cm.
  2. Bull terrier.  Adapted from design of fox terrier by Roman Diaz.  Origami for Interpreters.  Folded from embossed paper; 25 cm square, finished size 13 cm.
  3. Cocker spaniel designed by Satoshi Kamiya.  Origami Tanteidan Magazine no. 127.  Folded from 110 gsm art paper; 25 cm square, finished size 10 cm.
  4. Papillon designed by Hideo Komatsu.  Works of Hideo Komatsu.  Folded from art paper; 25 (?) cm square, finished size 9 cm.
  5. Simple puppy.  Diagram from internet.

Pierrot and the Clown

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Pierrot and clown

Pierrot and the Clown

First, there was the clown.  This is a mask created by Hideo Komatsu.  It wasn’t difficult to fold, and the end result was nice.  Komatsu also designed a witch mask.  The witch certainly looked wicked.  From the clown mask, I thought of creating a mask of Pierrot, the popular commedia dell’arte character with a sad, expressive face and a trademark tear-drop.  The witch design came in handy, and with some changes the witch lost her long lashes and became Pierrot.  You can see them side-by-side in the picture above.

Origami notes:

  1.   Clown.   Design by Hideo Komatsu.  Folded from embossed paper/tissue paper sandwich, 25 x 25 cm.  Finished size 17 cm.  From Works of Hideo Komatsu.
  2.    Pierrot.   Designed by me based on modifications of Komatsu’s work.  Folded from embossed paper/tissue paper sandwich, 25 x 25 cm.  Finished size 15 cm.

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.