Friday, May 31, 2013

Tsuru Wrist Watch

Sarah Northshield on the O-List links to this wrist watch, using a paper crane for the hands:

On sale from $100 to $64 at

Nowadays, it seems people are relying less on wristwatches to tell time and more and more on their smartphones.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paper Gun Plot Thwarted!

I know I should probably avoid political and controversial subject matter on this blog; but hey!  We Origami enthusiasts sometimes live on the edge; and what's life without a bit of controversy?

From a school in Massachusetts:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Origami Zealots not So Zen? Or Above the Fold?

Sarah Morris, Installation view, Black Beetle, Fondation Beyeler, 2008, Riehan/Basel, photo: Todd Eberle”

 Back in March, the lawsuit against Sarah Morris had arrived at a settlement.  Thus spake Dr. Lang:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Entertainment at the Hampton Hotel in Houston

I folded quite a bit during my wedding trip.  This morning while waiting around in the hotel lobby, I entertained people with origami; including my paper gilder:

Other people were trying it out, as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Who's getting married in the evening?

My friend Tony Pineda is getting married Saturday, so I'm off to Houston!

Classic Bride and Groom from "Origami Made Easy" by Kunihiko KASAHARA; also with "Lover's Knot" by Francis Ow

 You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep
because reality is finally better than your dreams.
~ Dr. Seuss~

Thanks to Tadashi Mori for his tutorials, the groom of which was posted just in the nick of time, today (looks like I'll be folding it on the plane):

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good Grief! Peanuts Origami!

Photo taken by the late Erica Knopper of an Origami Snoopy I folded for OUSA 2002 Convention exhibit:

It's a bobblehead two-piece model by Mr. Toshio GAHARA (Diagrams were in issue #265 of NOA).

For some more complex Peanuts models....

By Sunburst:



Snoopy Red Baron gachepapier:

POP this Sunday: Temporary new location!

The Roxbury Community Center where POP typically meets every 4th Sunday of the month is closed down for construction.  So POP will temporarily be meeting at a new location.  Message from fearless folding leader, Joel Stern:

Noodles by Gwen Muranaka



Hat tip:  Mark Kennedy on the Origami-L

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Around the Folding World in 60 Seconds

Janessa Munt on the Money Folders Unite Yahoo group posted diagrams to her delightful money squirrel.  Check out her website.

Eric Gjerde is promoting a new bookOrigami for All, by Iona Stoian.

Posting on the O-List, Diana Lee links to the following research article Cell Origami: Self-Folding of Three-Dimensional Cell-Laden Microstructures Driven by Cell Traction Force and links to this video:

Dr. Robert Lang on the O-List linked this stop-motion video about an origami solar array
developed by Shannon Zirbel:

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Mystery and Magic of Mathematics: Martin Gardner and Friends"

This video isn't really about origami (although it does talk about the flexigon); but because a number of non-paperfolders regard origami as a kind of magic, and a number of origamists I know are into magic and puzzles, and mathematics, I think this program is very much related to the entertainment and magic aspect of paperfolding:

Unidentified Folded Object

This folding today was inspired by seeing my friend Andrew Hans' posting on FB.  Alien grey looked too cute and quick to pass up.

To identify the greys and their creator, click here.  The spinning UFO in the background?  Click (first learned at OUSA years ago; does anyone know who the creator is?  I want to claim Akiko YAMANASHI...but I just don't remember.  It's all over the place, but no one seems to know who to credit for its design). 

I had to do about 14 takes spinning the before I finally got a decent, unblurry photo.

 If I weren't so lazy, I'd tackle John Szinger's flying saucer to add into the background.  That would have been too perfect!  We can't have that, now, can we?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Inside-Out Logic

Reminiscent of David Brill's Double Star Flexicube (Something Joe Hamamoto is always making and showing off).

This definitely needs to be origamified:

 George W. Hart:

A fold-up, slice-and-dice dodecahedron and its complement.

With a 3D printer, you can make your own using the files here


This is an awesome folding dodecahedron and its complement. Together they form a cube. Each is made of eight parts hinged together with white adhesive tape.  To get a sense of it, see the video Inside-Out Logic on my YouTube channel.  The stl files are here and here.  You need to make four copies of each file and also four copies of the mirror image of each file.  From the video, you can figure out how they get assembled.

Any geometric origami wiz up for the challenge?

Hat tip:  Scott Cramer on the O-List

"The Paper Airplane Guy" John Collins Interview Pt. 1 05/08/13

John Collins ("The Paper Airplane Guy") broke the Guinness world record last year for longest distance paper plane (along with his thrower, Joe Ayoob).  Here he is on Conan O'Brien:

Hat tip:  O-List

My boomerang cicada glider requires the right angle and consistent feel for the throw in order to make it come back to you.  John Collins' boomerang glider seems to be naturally easier to boomerang back, no matter how it's thrown.  I'll have to try one.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Scratch First, Itch Later...

 There is Buddha for those who don't know what he is, really. There is no Buddha for those who know what he is, really.
-Zen saying

Classic Takashi HOJYO:

I've seen precious few able to sculpt in the details on this model very well.

Looking at that model makes me want to try folding it again.  Here's my rendition from a decade ago:

Folded circa 2003?
I definitely want to figure out how to shape the chest and neck area.  As for the head and face...

To know and not do is not yet to know.
-Zen saying

Perhaps the most well-sculpted facial rendition on this model, by Mariano Zavala B.  :

 Just stunning!  You can tell he looked at actual sculptures for detailing, instead of merely imitating HOJYO's rendition.  I like the valley-mountain creases in the head adornment; and the shape of the ears is very reminiscent of Buddha sculptures (and also reminds me of Seiji NISHIKAWA's Buddha mask).

More beautiful photos on his blog.

To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.
-Zen saying

Of course, Hojyo has since outdone himself by producing this Tathāgata Buddha:

See more photos

So much inspiration, so little time....

Friday, May 17, 2013

Home Decor with Origami

I got this about 6 or 7 years ago from Bed, Bath, & Beyond:

It's a collapsible photo holder.  I thought it'd be a nice way to carry and showcase some flat dollar folds.

And one extra photo, with one extra dwarf:


I tried to get frilled sleeves, but it just looks like layers of paper (on the new Joisel dwarf).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Joisel Dwarf

5-15-2013 My first Joisel dwarf
 This has been on my "to fold" list for some time; well, I finally quit procrastinating and tackled it.  12" x 12" square of wyndstone paper.  Not a bad turn out for my first attempt.  At least I'm okay with it.

I look forward to playing around with different faces and hats (yes, I plan on folding and practicing some more on this model).  Hmmm....he looks a bit lonely without any musical instrument...

A bit of my process:

5-15-2013 Shaping in progress

MCed/wetted and tied up


bottom view

Not happy with the face; I think I'll tinker on this one a bit more

Posted by Eric Joisel on French forum

A couple of comments at the Origami Forum by Adam and Ysou offers a translation of the French text (Also appears and translated into English in Tanteidan Convention book 13):

1) In Box pleating, people often try to use grids that can be divided by 8, because it’s easy to create them. The grid I used before was 24x24 ( first: 3, then:8 ). However, the arms were a bit short and the corners that created the facial details ( A-B-C-D ) – only three of them – were not sufficient. In order to solve these problems, this model uses a 28x28 grid. It is easier to create this grid by measuring than by folding…

2) After having folded EVERY crease as indicated in step 1, the collapsing process begins: Fold along the creases in the gray-shaded part.

3) The collapsing process continues: Collapse along the rest of the creases in order to get to the shape as shown in step 4. Using clamps might make things easier…

4) When you are this far, partially unfold the model in order to free the small rhombus ( **diamond shaped part ** ) as shown in step 5.

5) Once these diamond shaped parts have been freed, one can fully flatten the model, in order to get the result as shown in step 6.

6) Fold the arms and the facial details as far away as possible. Crimp ( or inside reverse fold ) to fold the feet ( as shown on the right leg ), after having folded the white triangle inside ( as indicated on the left leg ).

7) Hat: Inside reverse folds. Garment: Pleat the large corner. Hands: First, pre crease along AB. Then, create 3 inside reverse folds to form each finger.

8 ) The result:

9) Wrists: Use crimp folds ( or double inside reverse folds ). The garment: Do the same.

10) Here’s the result. Unfold the flaps at ABC and DEF, so that you can close the back. Feet: Swivel fold.

11) Closing the back: The flaps DEF have been put into the pocket formed by flaps ABC.  Take advantage to do a lapel. (correct ?)
Ankle: Swivel fold.

12) The finished model. The corners A-B-C-D can be used to form the eyes, nose, mouth and beard. Alternatively, you could make a nose, mustache, and beard if you pull at corners C and D.

Further help:
Dwarf help at Origami Forum
Origami Dwarf Reference Point (video)
O Gnomo de Eric Joisel Passo a Passo
Dwarf folding sequence (photo-steps)
Dwarf base photo-steps (companion video tutorial)
Detail shaping (video)
CP for Joisel Instruments 
A number of CP variations and instruments 
Thorin Oakenstaff 
Joisel’s Bandonéon
masterwork of musician and jazz orchestra

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Origami Aslan!

This is the most amazing origami lion I've come across, so far:

See more photos here.

 Some other notable lions:

Kamiya Lion folded by Nankyo Sensei

Lion King by Won Seon Seo

Monday, May 13, 2013

Origami Bar Tricks

It seems like a number of origami enthusiasts are into magic tricks and puzzles.  Mark Kennedy is always entertaining folks; I recall Andrew Hans at an OUSA dinner doing napkin tricks; and Won Park folding his dinner napkin into things inappropriate.  (Also, Won folds a great paper napkin rose).

Here's another napkin "origami" bar trick to entertain people with:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Yeah, yeah....a little late.  So get an advance start for Valentine's Day next year:

This is a nice design and a lot of fun to play with paper printing and combinations.

I first saw it in an issue of NOA a couple of years ago, designed by Akiko YAMANASHI.  I'm too lazy to track down which issue...

Kabuto Box

Traditional Kabuto on YAMANASHI box with more complex kabuto and stands hidden inside

Hisako TANJI got the brilliant idea to take Akiko YAMANASHI's Hinamatsuri box doll (diagrams in NOA #391) and, instead of the doll, sit a traditional kabuto on it.

It makes a nice container for my smaller complex kabuto models, including some stands and tables.  The size of the box is a 21 1/2" x 21 1/2" square.  I spray glued the flimsy, decorative Yuzen/Chiyogami paper onto a stiffer Canson-type paper.  The traditional kabuto is a 20 1/2" x 20 1/2" square of mulberry paper spray-glued onto stiff paper as well.

POP: April 28, 2013

Some photos from POP's meeting last month.  Roxbury Community Center will be under construction; so starting this month, the meeting will be held elsewhere (Joel Stern has information for anyone interested in attending; I wasn't paying attention when he announced the location; but he's good at sending out an email reminder right before).

My first Spring into Action, thanks to Youna for teaching!

For those who know Bennett Arnstein, he is recovering nicely from a fall he had last February.  He should be released by next Saturday.  He's been folding and teaching others while on the mends in the healthcare center.

WCOG May 11, 2013

I uploaded some photos here.

I have not been to any meetings since, I think January.

Bennett Arnstein has been on the mends since February, after suffering a fall.  

Turnout was up from what I last remember it being, with a few new faces showing up.

Earlier in the week I visited Joe Hamamoto. He recycles everything; and is known for folding beautiful modulars, using the security printing from the inside of envelopes:

Monday, May 06, 2013

Revenge of the Sixth!

It is Monday, after all....

I'm pretty much done researching  and adding origami websites and blog links to the sidebar.  Photo albums are quite extensive, of course, with just about every folder under the sun having one these days.  So periodically, I will keep adding in those, as I believe every folder has interesting interpretations that I like to check out.

Origami blogs are arranged so that the most recently updated oriblog will appear at the top of the list.

If anyone sees a website, blog, club/society, or photo album not listed on this blog and would like to have the address added in, just drop me a note in the comments section on this post.  I'm a link addict.

And to keep the Star Wars theme going through today...

Darth Maul
Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo Veinte Trece

Created by Ms. Mieko SETA
Folded by Michael Sanders
6 pieces of 6" x 6" kami
Diagram source:  NOA #324

Margarita/Tequila ("Lemon Squash")
Created by Mr. Isamu ASAHI
Folded by Michael Sanders
Glass folded from 8 1/2" octagon of astrobright paper
Lemon folded from 3" octagon of duo kami
Straw is just a rolled up piece of Japanese foil
Diagrams in NOA books 2

The models were fairly easy.  No taco folds nor double sinkos were required.

Origami sombrero
Cute and Useful Cinco de Mayo Origami Sombrero

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

Friday, May 03, 2013

NOA #453

I've been a subscriber to NOA (Nippon Origami Association) magazine for years, now. My subscription is through Kinokuniya Bookstores and I have to drive down to Little Tokyo to pick up my monthly issues.

I used to send a list of the models to Dennis Walker for the Origami Database. 

What I want to try and do is publish the cover of the latest magazine, along with its table of content.  Maybe it will encourage some of you to subscribe.

We'll see how long I can maintain this effort.

Diagram content:
Carp streamer by Mr. Kunihiko KASAHARA
A child in a Japanese helmet by Ms. Matsuyo KIMURA
Japanese helmet by Mr. Yukihiko MATSUNO
Japanese helmets with various ornaments by Mr. Yukihiko MATSUNO
Mt. Fuji and a crane by Ms. Ayako KAWATE
Japanese helmet and holder by Mr. Ryo AOKI
Box with a fan by Ms. Ayako KAWATE
Baby by Mr. Eiji TSUCHIDO
Bad boy money holder by Ms. Kazuyo MIZUKAMI
Bamboo shoots-shaped toothpick holder by Ms. Yuko FUJIMOTO
Bag by Ms. Masako FUTAWATARI
Onesie by Ms. Shoko AOYAGI
Pegasus by Mr. Katsuhisa YAMADA

Business Card Printer Magic Trick Contest Promotion

A friend of mine is in a heated contest (he's like 300 Facebook like votes behind- but don't let that discourage you from voting- get motivated!).

If you have a Facebook account, please consider voting "like" for his video.

The trick he does is one that I kept hoping someone would be around to capture on film when I used to do it for people at festivals when they'd ask me for an origami business card.  On occasion, I'd pull out a stack of cards that "were blank" explaining that I forgot to run the cards through my printer when I left the house that morning; and I'd run one through my handy hand printer and *voila*- instant printed business card!

Fun trick.

Contest ends May 6th.  Help promote and spread the word if you can.  Every vote counts!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

No Good Deed Should Go Unrewarded...

May 2, 2013 at Los Angeles City Hall.  This is Nita:  Everything you could ask for in a government worker

While cleaning out stuff, I found 3 uncashed paychecks from the city of Los Angeles, dated 2005 and 2006.

Today I went down to city hall and found this wonderful woman in the pay controller check reconciliation office. She not only verified my checks were never redeemed, but also checked back through the records all the way to 2003 to find that I had 4 other checks floating around lost somewhere. She helped me with placing a phone call, records and an affidavit faxed over to be signed, and an hour later I feel a little richer than I did when I woke up this morning.

During the time I spent in the office (really cozy with a refrigerator and dining table), I kept her entertained with origami. 

  I started with the spinning top, asking Nita if she had any spare paper. When I realized I was going to be there longer, I kept reaching into her paper recycle tray and folded....and reached for more...and folded...

  The room wasn't completely empty, as two coworkers peeked out from their cubicles a ways down to watch me show off my paper glider as I'd throw it and it'd boomerang back to me.

I really appreciated Nita's time and patience with me; I felt like I was able to give her something unique in return, aside from verbal gratitude.

Who says taking care of business down at City Hall has to be a tedious chore and a bore?

Then while leaving Glendale Galleria later this afternoon, heading back to the parking structure, a Persian girl that I had walked past stopped me in my tracks to tell me I had dropped $20! I thanked her and told her not to go away.

I raced to my car and grabbed a Herman Lau folded $ flower-in-a-pot in a plastic container and gave it to her, much to her delight and amazement.

I thanked her for her good deed.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

BRILLiant Elephant!

April 30, 2013
Created by David Brill
Folded by Michael Sanders
27 1/2" by 27 1/2" square of elephant hide (Wyndstone paper).

Brilliant Origami was one of the first books I picked up (I think after Origami Sculptures) when I discovered in 2000 that origami had evolved beyond paper cranes and masu boxes (stuff I had been folding on and off since childhood).  I had always wanted to fold the elephant and had made two other attempts over the years, never taking it to completion.  First time was with regular commercial kami.  Second attempt I took a break and to this day, don't know what I did with the half-baked model.  If I remember, I had issues with the paper choice, as well.

Wyndstone?  Including the nickname- "elephant hide"- this paper was perfect for the model!

My fold-interpretation itself isn't all that great; but I'm still pleased with how it turned out.  It took me a couple of days to finish, however, since I applied mc once I had to start shaping the body, legs, and head.

I should get a blow dryer....