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.

 

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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)

zodiac years 2

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).

tiger

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.

Welcoming the Year of the Goat

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The lunar new year falls on 19 Feb this year, ushering in the Year of the Goat.  The goat is the eighth of 12 animals making up the Chinese zodiac.  People born in the Year of the Goat are supposed to be gentle, amicable and have a strong sense of justice.  The Chinese character for goat (羊) is a generic one, and can stand for either a mountain goat or sheep.  Conventional wisdom is that there were no sheep in China in the past, so the goat is usually chosen.  It is also a more spritely animal.

I have been folding an origami animal to make an e-card every year since 2010.  This year, I folded 2 designs.  The first is a 2-piece design by  Akira Yoshizawa folded from a bird base, which I chose to use for me e-card.  You can see it here.

Goat – design by Akira Yoshizawa

The other design which I liked was the goat designed by Jun Maekawa.  It is a stout and majestic animal.  Here’s the completed model.

Goat - designed by Jun Maekawa

Goat – design by Jun Maekawa

Happy Year of the Goat!

Origami box with lid revisited

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I posted an article on a one-piece Origami box with lid 2 years ago.

Yesterday, at a meeting of the Origami Singapore group, my friend Francis Ow alerted me to another design of an origami box with lid.  It was an elegant model designed by Angel Ecija Blanco.  Here’s it:

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The walls of the box at the top folds up nicely to form the cover.  That was a neat idea.

The Lady and the Tramp

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I recently folded 2 figures – a Lady and a Tramp.  Both are box-pleated models.  The Lady strikes an elegant pose, while the tramp looks lively and quirky.

The Lady is designed by Nguyen Nguyen Thong, and can be found it VOG2 in the Passion Origami Collection.  It is a 32 x 32 box pleat.  This is the model:

ladyThe Lady designed by Nguyen Nguyen Thong

The Tramp is a dwarf designed by Eric Joisel.  The CP is available in Eric Joisel : The Magician of Origami.  It is a 28 x 28 box pleated model.

The dwarf by Eric Joisel

The dwarf by Eric Joisel

I look forward to folding the musicians designed in a similar vein as the dwarf, though it will be quite a challenge (to me at least).

 

Welcoming the Year of the Horse

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I am partial to horses, since I am born under that Chinese zodiac sign.  To prepare for the Year of the Horse, I reprised the origami horses I folded before.  One of the earlier ones was Anibal Voyer’s horse, since diagrams were then hard to come by and this one was available on the internet.  And it was good.  Since then, another model I came to like was Issei Yoshino’s horse with its majestic pose, reminding me of a Tang dynasty ceramic horse.

For the upcoming new year, I have been re-folding some of the models I liked.  One of them is the design by Hideo Komatsu, which I portrayed in fiery Chinese New Year red.

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Horse designed by Hideo Komatsu

And for an ecard I planned to make, I decided to fold a tableau of horses based on Roman Diaz’s design.  Here’s the outcome:

Designed by Roman Diaz

Designed by Roman Diaz

In the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, I worked with a local production house which was producing a stop-motion video for a client to mark the festive season.  Here’s a link to the video, courtesy of the production house.

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(Click on the picture to view video)

Happy New Year!

Origami : From Traditional to Modern

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Facebook banner designed by Ng Boon Choon

Facebook banner designed by Ng Boon Choon

The Origami Singapore group organised a curated exhibition which concluded last month.  Titled “Origami : From Traditional to Modern”, the exhibition traced the development of origami from a traditional craft to the cutting edge designs of today.  There were more than 200 models on display.  The exhibition was held for about 3 months, from 8 Sep to 29 Nov.  The exhibits travelled to 3 different locations of the National Library, and the exhibition was kindly supported by the National Library Board.  The aim of the exhibition was to showcase origami in Singapore to the public, and encourage interest in origami in Singapore.

Setting up at Sengkang library

Setting up at Sengkang library

The “traditional” section featured models that were traditionally folded in Singapore.  More than 30 models were on display, including the sampan, dragon head, yacht, jumping frog, shirt/trousers, mandarin hat and shuriken, to name a few.  It was well received by the public and brought back fond memories to the older generation, many of whom were familiar with the models.

Traditional models on display

Traditional models on display

The section on “intermediate” models featured mostly models designed in the 60s to 80s, and included geometric and modular pieces.  The “complex origami” section was the best represented.  It showcased designers from all over the world, and many of the models featured were their latest designs, which thanks to the internet were already well known among Singaporean folders.

Fantasy models

Fantasy models

Special mention must be made of the showcase of designs by Singaporean folders, which were of a high quality.

Models by local designers

Models by local designers

The exhibition also featured models folded by young folders under 20, including two who are below 10 years.  Workshops for the public were conducted at all 3 locations.

Public workshop

Public workshop

Here are some more photographs from the exhibition.

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At Toa Payoh library

Display cases

Display cases

Display cases

Display cases

Vistors at Sengkang library

Vistors at Sengkang library

L to R : Pek Tiong Boon, Wil Chua, Francis Ow, Chan Yew Meng, Ronald Koh, Curtis Choy

Setting up at Toa Payoh Library – some of the volunteers: (L to R : Pek Tiong Boon, Wil Chua, Francis Ow, Chan Yew Meng, Ronald Koh, Curtis Choy)

A trio of eagles

A trio of eagles

Hope to upload more photographs when I have sorted them out.

Welcoming the Year of the Snake

It has been my practice to fold the Chinese zodiac animal for the lunar new year. This year, the lunar new year starts on 10 Feb, and it will be the Year of the Snake.

I thought a great model to represent the Year of the Snake would be the King Cobra by my friend Ronald Koh. It really shows the majesty of the cobra. It wasn’t an easy model to fold – it has about 500 scales and its final length was about 3 feet. Here is the snake in all its glory:

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This model first made its appearance in the Sentosa Giant Paperland exhibition on Sentosa (in Singapore) in 1991. It was a combined effort of many origami folders in Singapore, led by Ronald Koh. Here’s a snapshot:

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Happy folding!

Rose, Sundial and Pine Cone

What do a rose, a sundial and a pine cone have in common?
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In origami, you can form all of them from the same basic design.  Specifically, they are folded from the same fractal design.  A fractal is an object that is made from a self-similar pattern, that is, as you zoom into one part of the object you can see the same pattern repeated there in greater detail.
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Andrea’s rose is an origami “rose” designed by JC Nolan.  Diagrams for it are available in the internet.  This is the rose – you can see the repeating pattern as you “zoom in”:
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Andreaś roseAndrea’s Rose – designed by JC Nolan
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There is a pine cone I folded from a design by Kunihiko Kasahara that can be found in his book “Origami for the Connoisseur” published in 1987.  I have had this pine cone for more than 20 years and it still looks good as you can see from this photo that was taken today.  I thought the design was “cool”.  And as is obvious, the face  of the pine cone is an Andrea’s rose.

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pine cone
 Pine cone – designed by Kunihiko Kasahara
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There was a mention of the sundial by Christine Edison in the Origami list recently, which led me to fold it and write this post.  I tracked the sundial down in the internet and managed to fold it with the aid of the photo diagrams published by Edison.  And, lo and behold, it is based on the same fractal design.  However, in her design Edison has added additional petal folds and turned it into a pretty eight-pointed star.  (Look for the square in the centre, it corresponds to that found in Andrea’s rose)  I had much pleasure folding it.  Here it is:
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sundial
 Sundial by Christine Edison
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In the Origami list posting I referred to above, Meenakshi Mukerjee mentioned her fractal Sakura (here).  She also mentioned the Hydrangea by Shuzo Fujimoto, a wonderful design which you can see from the picture below:
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hydrangea
Hydrangea by Shuzo Fujimoto
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Have fun with fractals and tessellations – there are lots of diagrams available on the internet.

Rabbit by Ronald Koh

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Ronald Koh is an origami designer from Singapore who has been coming up with very nice designs for the last thirty or so years.  He recently completed a new design for a rabbit.  It is a great model to fold, and there is a nice rhythm to the folding.  The design allows for a lot of flexibility in posing the rabbit.  Here’s my take on it.

Designed by Ronald Koh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, diagram and crease pattern are not available.