Saturday, May 04, 2013

May the Fourth be with You!

"The Fold is strong, in this one...."  

 Jedi Master Yoda is a great model!  Created by Fumiaki Kawahata, it is a brilliant design.

10" x 10" square of lightweight washi and unryu, with kitchen foil sandwiched between

A number of years ago, I had contacted Mr. Kawahata by email to ask permission if I could fold his model to sell.  He said yes, but suggested that I avoid calling it "Yoda", since he didn't contact LucasFilms about that little issue. 

So I've just called it a "sci-fi creature", selling occasionally on a small scale at festivals and at OUSA (helped finance my trip) as well as folding and giving away as gifts.  I've only had one old lady not identify the model, calling it a "gremlin".  That's fine.  It is a conceptual representation, after all; and you'd have to have seen the movies to connect a resemblance.

 The model lends itself well to interpretation and personal detailing. I want to share with other enthusiasts of this model, my method for adding expression to the fold.

First off, if you follow the diagrams for the hand, you end up with four fingers.  If you pay attention though, Yoda has only 3 fingers.  If you know how to do the fingers, it should be simple for you to figure out how to modify and end up with only 3 digits.  Or, you could follow Jens-Helge Dahmen's method here.

Since Yoda's fingers are also rather chubby, I spread the layers of the fingers out to give them some body (See photo above).

Note the open hood and trailing robe?

One thing that I've noticed other folders do, is to keep the hood closed in the back (a rabbit ear that is squash-folded).  I think doing this is a visual mistake.  The hood should be "opened".  At least in my opinion, it looks better.  take advantage of that bit of paper in the back and open it up.

I also like to have the robe trail behind on the floor...(partial petal fold on the bottom)

The paper choice I use is to bond a cloth-like, light-weight washi to unryu or mulberry paper with kitchen foil sandwiched in between the two to make the model malleable for shaping.  With regular paper, it's difficult to shape the model and close the front.

Note that in the photo below, you can see fibers from the unryu standing up.  I like this effect, because it resembles the wisps of hair of a very venerable person who does not have much hair left.

Raised fibers in the unryu as "wisps of hair" on an old Jedi's head

The diagrams clearly show a zig-zag fold across the forehead, which not everyone does.  But I think it helps to create creaselines of a forehead for a very old person, as well as lend shape to the dome of the head.

I don't have the facial details "mastered", with one definite way of doing the face.  I still play around and experiment with doing the eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, and overall expression.  There are some folders who have done a really good job of "Yoda-like" facial expressions and overall look.  Love the marvelous variations and interpretations. 

I think my best Yoda face is on this model:


One last thing of note is that I prefer doing a color change to the walking stick.  If you follow the original diagrams, you'll end up with a green cane.  I'd rather it be the color of the robe, to distinguish the difference between the color of Yoda and his hand(s).

If you have any tips or touches of your own you'd like to share, feel free to drop them into the comments section.

Good luck!  Remember:  Do, or do not.  There is no try.

May the Fold be with You....Always!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Force

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