Friday, February 28, 2014

Curlicue gifts


For this Friday's origami giveaway ritual to my Hot Shots, I folded curlicues for them and placed them in these letterfold envelopes (acquired by reversing one that Marrigje Barnard of the Netherlands had sent me many years ago).

Sara Adams has now posted a video on how to fold the single strip square curlicue:

There might still be time to enter her curlicue book giveaway!

Photo of the Week: Giant Pegasus

By Kevin Box:


Hat tip:  Deb Pun

I missed out on the post-Conference tour of Kevin's Studio last year since I had to get back home early from PCOC, for work.

Foldable Smartphone of the Future

Hat tip to Maureen Burt on the O-List:

Researchers at Hasselt University iMinds in Belgium have built a shape-shifting prototype phone. Called Paddle, it's design is based on 3-D Rubik’s Magic Puzzle, a loop of 8 squares that can currently fold into 15 different iterations. It unfolds for a map, scrolls a list in a circular loop, or flips "pages" for viewing album photos.
Check out the photos


September 4, 2011

Ranoshi on Lilly Pad
Created by David Derudas
Folded by Michael Sanders
3" x 6" rectangle of tant

Quick and simple with a great look.  I think the first time I folded one might have been with Ben Muller.  I think he taught me.

Video tutorial

Renault Clio Nokia Ad

The Doritos Super Bowl commercial contestant used the same basic idea as this Nokia ad.


An ad for the Renault Clio car had some pretty girls pull up next to a young man in a Clio. The girls flirt by blowing bubble gum bubbles, and the young man responds by putting a candy wrapper in his mouth and folding a crane with his tongue.

Paper Gliders in Perpetual Flight


The principal is the same as in real aviation: thermals. Thermals allow real sailplanes to fly for hours. As real thermals are to strong for our selfmade paper airplane, we are using a miniature thermal that everyone has in his kitchen: Hotplates. Four hot plates producing hot air which rises and let our paperplane fly as long as we want. The paper aeroplane must be centered while it performs it turns, in the middle of the for heating plates. so it took me about 87 takes to produce this video. if the paper airplane isn´t exactly in the centre of the plates, it will drop off.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Origamagic Crane Arrived!

Took only two days to arrive (It shipped from Torrance, which is Yami-Joe country) .  I received it on my doorstep this afternoon, took it to work and tested it out:

The material for this is polyester fabric with shape-memory.  It kind of reminds me a bit like the paper-memory of Chris Palmers' Hat Tent.

According to the care notice, it warns that the shape memory feature is not permanent; so heat and humidity can potentially affect its shape-memory.

This is a great addition to my repertoire when it comes to performance/entertainment origami.

*UPDATE*  3/1/2014 06:30

Hans Dybkaer posted the following to Origami-L:

Frog Prince Trick with Origami Folding & Storytelling

 Combining origami storytelling with a bit of card magic:

The Frog Prince Trick is considered by many who study the finer arts of magic to be a modern day classic. It was first devised by Mike Close and published on 'Workers 2' out of the 'Workers' DVD and book series. He was the first person to fold a playing card into an Origami frog and then incorporate that folded card into a card routine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

History of the 5 Pigs Puzzle

The first time I saw this (and another related one) was at my first OUSA convention.  It might have been Cyril Tessier who had them to give out.  I still have them somewhere.

Puzzle of the Five Pigs

History behind it, according to

For many years prior to WWII various venders made and sold puzzles to children.  These puzzles had a number of different pictures on the front, and when folded in a special complex way depicted a hidden picture of an old man, or sometimes a political laeder, sports figure or movie star.

Pig Puzzle

During WWII the British Special Operations executive is believed to have produced a number of different puzzles showing four pigs on the front, that when folded depicted the face of Adolf Hitler.  At least four types of the pig puzzle are known, and it is believed that besides being used in Allied countries as a morale booster, they were also shipped to partisans in Nazi-occupied nations to attack and belittle the German Fuhrer.

One type with English text says, "Fold as directed to find the biggest pig of all."  Another English-language puzzle says, "Puzzle of the pig.  Here is the puzzle of the fifth pig.  To find a fifth one fold as directed."  A third puzzle is found in both French and English and was also distributed in Australia.  


Apparently, many of these puzzles were also dropped by the Royal Air Force.  In 2008, I received a letter that stated:

My father came to Canada from the Netherlands in the 1950s.  When he was a young man in Holland during the war he collected different things.  He has a paper he said they threw out of an airplane.  It is written in Dutch and English.  "Can you find the 5th pig." There are four pigs on the picture, and when folded right the four pigs together make a face that resembles Hitler.

Some more people mentioning inheriting one of these from a grandparent.

If anyone has anymore information on the background and history of this and related, let me know.

A Seamless Jacket Made From a Single Piece of Origami-Folded Fabric?

Well, not really:

Seams can be your biggest enemy when you're trying to design a jacket that's both lightweight and wind/waterproof. So The North Face engineered its new Fuse Uno jacket to assemble from a single piece of fabric like a complex origami model, reducing the number of seams that need to be stitched and sealed.
Hat tip:  Patricia Grodner

Morphing Paper Fish


The main part of this toy is a piece of corrugated paper that can flex into different shapes. However the addition of a fin and a pair of eyes makes it into a kind of a fish! Squeeze the tail and the mouth opens, in quite a realistic way. But Tim always likes exploring new options, and the toy can be folded into a hat, rather like the traditional pith helmet that was worn in the tropics. But there's more... fold it another way, and you get a very strange hat, where the eyes give a very strange effect indeed!

This toy was bought back in 1995, and has not been available for a long time now.

And now I feel like opening up Tanteidan Convention Book 14 and fold Mabona's Puffer Fish:

Topic at the Origami Forum

Pulling Art from Thin Air

Megan Hicks is a wonderful storyteller who also utilizes origami to engage the listeners' imagination.

Here's an example of one of her teaching tales, posted just in time for next year's Valentine's Day (^_~) :

She has a wonderful post illustrating how "what goes around comes around", and how we impact lives both seen and unseen; and our influence upon the world, like ripples in a pond, can reach far and wide.....and come back to us:

And then at lunch…something Came Around.

Behind me in the lunch line, one of the women in my session thanked me for giving her a couple of new paperfolding stories. She said, “I already do a story with the paper cup. And I do that hat — you know, the one with the feathers…”

I perked up.

“…and the little girl — Triangle Girl…”

I got very still.

“Tell me that story,” I said.

Gay Merrill Gross Origami Poem

When I first discovered the wonders of the internet and having my own computer around 2001-2002 around the same time I was becoming immersed in origami, I remember being fascinated with Gay's storytelling during a segment of the Carol Duvall Show on the HGTV website, in which they covered an origami conference, I think in San Francisco.  I think this is the one:

"The Carol Duvall Show," aired two episodes (934 and 941)  showing footage from last year's Pacific Coast Origami Conference (PCOC) in San Francisco. Their website contains a 4 minute video clip from the second episode.,1789,HGTV_3293_1383567,00.html
But the episode is no longer available.  I'd love to see it again but don't know if anyone has a link to a video clip of that segment.

At OUSA, Gay showed me the wonderful way she fanned out the stack of paper in that presentation.  I'll have to ask who she learned that from; as she told me, but I forget.

Here is the poem to one of the teaching tales I remember from that PCOC in 2000:

Did you hear about the kite that bumped its nose
and bent its tail
turned into a whale
stood on its head
and became a penguin instead
but the last I heard
it was a flapping bird

I wonder if any of you who have not heard this storigami before can guess as to what the folds are (at the end of the tale, you have a version of a flapping bird).

Flip Panel Door

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to Klemens Torggler's Evolution Door.

Here's one from 2008:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Magic Origami Box Illusion

Doug Henning:

David Copperfield:

Origamagic Crane

Advertised as "the hottest item from Japan", this product from SEO was added just last Wednesday, a week ago, retailing at $26.  Pretty cool effect:

This would be a nice performance addition to anyone that likes to entertain an audience with the magic of paperfolding.  By the brief description, it seems like it essentially folds itself and no particular skill is required.

A red crane version of this item was released last November:

Now the question is:  When will they release an instant Ryujin 3.5 that "folds itself"?  (^_~)

Origami Bar Trick

Not great, but still.....

Origami in Space: BYU-designed solar arrays inspired by origami

Hat tip:  Jeremy Shafer

video description:

Origami is a source of inspiration for BYU mechanical engineers who are working with the National Science Foundation, NASA/JPL and origami master Robert Lang to design complaint mechanisms for use in space and in other applications.
(Video produced by BYU News. Producer Julie Walker, Photographer Brian Wilcox, Editor Samuel Reimer. Additional images provided by NASA/JPL,, BYU Compliant Mechanisms Research Group, Matthew Gong, and Carrie Henzie (Redpath Museum).
See more about BYU space research and collaborations with origami master Robert Lang at

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teaching Children How to "Fish" for Themselves

I've gone to Westland School to teach origami for a number of years now; first got the gig through one of my gymnasts.

Traffic was amazingly kind on the 405.  2 hour presentation/demo/workshop. 

 I made 23 Montroll horses for 23 9 yr olds.  Also spinning tops, Joe giveaways including newspaper caps, and polypopagon.

After a bit of presentation, I gave out the horses.  I brought out the "Instant Origami" bag.  My skit went amazingly well- especially considering I only rehearsed it in my head; and hadn't ever even tested out the bag trick.  It worked beautifully.

What I did was empty the brown paper bag of its contents:  3 colored paper and instructions.  I handed the instructions to one of the students and acted out what she read off from the list I typed out this morning (last minute prep):

1.    Add Paper
2.   Do not add water
3.   Close the top of the bag
4.   Shake it up.
5.   Blow air through the top
6.   Hold bag tight and clap hands together
7.   Open bag.  Ready to serve

When I  burst the bag, I pulled out 2 flapping cranes (a third had flown out of the bag when it popped).  Delighted reaction- plus the bonus of making the wings flap.  I then talked about how it might be fun to receive "instant origami" and be given stuff that I made; but once I'm gone, who will give them origami.  I brought up the maxim about "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach him how to fish, you've fed him for life".  I asked what that phrase meant; then talked to them about the value of teaching them how to do origami themselves and interpret diagrams; and that half the fun is in the process of folding.

Models I taught were:
Jeremy Shafer's Loud Mouth
a helicopter/propeller.

Those two were from leftover strips of an 8 1/2 x 11 cut into a square.  The former from cardstock, the latter from astrobright.  It segwayed into my talking about different paper for different models.

We then did a banger (and I pulled out a giant banger to illustrate how sometimes size does matter).
Oppenheimer's container was on my list of teaching models; but the kids had already done it during their course of Japanese culture month.

The flapping crane was the final project.  In previous years, I also taught my cicada glider and then we'd go fly them outside.

All in all, very successful fun!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jumping Discs at POP

Last Friday I happened to give my Hot Shots Doodlebugs from Yami's prescored cardstock paper; and today, Joel Stern brought 'em so we folded them:

Joel also modified a classic Oppenheimer container as the base for a house:

It was also my first time folding the Oppenheimer magazine cover container.  This is akin to being an origami enthusiast for decades without ever having folded a jumping frog.

I bought a copy of Joel's book, Origami Games, with excellent ideas and fun, simple models to teach kids.  I am doing my annual demo/workshop at Westland School tomorrow, so may borrow some ideas from it.

Since I missed out on last month's POP due to the Whale Fiesta, Joel brought some strips and retaught the curlicue which he taught at January's meeting.  My 1st curlicue; and I must say, it's true that it's rather addicting.  I will add this to my book list (and don't forget about entering Sara Adam's giveaway contest).

My jumping discs also arrived on Saturday.  So I brought these:

Photo of the Day


Cool Idea for a Classroom Presentation

Might be an idea to add to my annual demo/workshop at Westland Middle School- which is tomorrow:

 I'm thinking some sheets of colored kami thrown in; traditional models emerge out for instant origami; then explain part of the fun is the process of actually folding.

For the paper bag trick:

Sunday Funnies

Brian McLachlan:

August 10th, 2008

Pet Origami

When I was a kid I decided to try Origami. I made a crane at school and it was fun. My parents bought me a book and ream of coloured square paper to make stuff with. I could manage the first few things like a red Samurai hat and a cyan lobster, but the really complex stuff was just super frustrating. I’m not very precise with my paper folding lines. Some how I manage to be off by just enough each time to cumulatively mess it up by the end.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Curlicue Book Giveaway

Sara Adams loves Assia Brill's Curlicue:  Kinetic Origami so much, she is doing a giveaway contest for her personal copy.  Deadline to enter is March 1st...or so:

Origami Forum topic

Konica Minolta: Giving Shape to Ideas and Appreciation


Konica Minolta's MFP gives shape to your ideas by using ORIGAMI. All the ORIGAMI seen here was made from paper printed with Konica Minolta's MFP, "bizhub." With bizhub's notably brilliant colors, we invite you to enjoy the magical world of the traditional Japanese art form of ORIGAMI.

How to fold a crane with Origami/Konica Minolta
How to fold a cocktail rose with Origami/Konica Minolta
How to fold a gift box with Origami/Konica Minolta
How to fold a lily with Origami/Konica Minolta
How to fold a card case with Origami/Konica Minolta
How to fold a photo frame with origami/Konica Minolta

Hat tip:  Leyla Torres on the O-List

Japanese Paper Engineering


These three Japanese greeting cards date from the 1980s, and they are all the work of Masahiro Chatani. He was a Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and he is considered to be one of the founders if not the founder of a technique called Origamic Architecture.

The designs sometimes show architectural forms, or they can also demonstrate geometric patterns.

Initially he just gave his cards away to friends and family. But he went on to write over 50 books on the subject, and he felt that these designs helped people appreciate the complexity of three dimensional designs, and also inspire an interest in mathematics and art in young people.

Professor Masahiro Chatani died in 2008.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"I made you a swan"

Popping Puzzles


This child's toy consists of a number of large cardboard cubes, printed with different designs. By arranging the cubes you can create a variety of pictures. Basically a very simple jigsaw idea.

The things that we liked about these is the paper engineering that has gone into the cardboard cubes. They come packed flat in a box, and when you take them out, they immediately pop up. The cubes have an elastic band inside, and this pulls the cube into its final shape. Once you have finished playing with the toy, the cubes can all be squashed flat again, and popped back into the box.

Tim bought this toy 20 years ago, and as far as we know, it is not currently available anywhere.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nesting Pandas

September 2005
Created by Hideo Komatsu
(small Panda by John Montroll)
Folded by Michael Sanders from regular kami (commercially available origami paper).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Ring to Rule Them All

October 6, 2005

What's your favorite origami ring? 

I don't have one, as I haven't really put much thought or effort into folding any.  The only one that I do on a semi-regular basis is Jim Churn's $ crane ring.

October 6, 2005

Alexander Kurth has step photos to his sun ring.  A good use of leftover strips of elephant hide.

It reminds me a bit of an optical illusion ring.

I'd love to see an optical illusion ring like this one, created from paper:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Clock Man

I'm pretty sure I saw Gonzalo Benavente post this photo earlier in the thread; or maybe I had seen it on a Flickr page? 

At any rate, he's since posted photos showing his process.

The model is adapted from Eric Joisel's self-made man.

Joisel Dwarf Tutorial Help

I saw this posted at the Origami Forum:  Detailing tutorial on Joisel's dwarf, by Alexander Kurth.

Stay tuned for a part 3 from Allex.

Dwarf Orchestra:

Previous related post.

*UPDATE*  2/19/2014 08:36

Robert Lang in Gran Turismo Documentary

Dr. Robert Lang,  via the Origami Mailing List:

Last year, some folks from Sony asked to film me for a documentary they were
making about a videogame that has something to do with driving a fast car.
(Not sure of the connection to origami there, but hey, sure, let's do it.)
They've now released the documentary on YouTube, here

It's not quite "Between The Folds" (actually, it's about a million miles
from BTF), but they do include a nice little segment that ties in origami
that starts right around the 25:00 mark and runs for about 3 minutes. (The
whole video is 83 minutes. I haven't watched the whole thing.)

Background trivia: the design I'm working on in the image is this Katydid

I diagrammed it for an upcoming compilation book from Gallery Origami House,
which I just learned has been placed on indefinite hold ;o(. (Indefinite,
but not entirely stopped, they say, so there's hope.)

Andrew Ting's Chinese New Year Origami Party

This was yesterday.  I didn't attend last year's. 

 We couldn't all fit into one room; so I missed out on half of what was going on.  I guess at one point they were doing magic tricks in the other room- so much roars of laughter coming from the other side, that we in the other room got jealous and started fake laughing hysterically, so as to make the other group feel like they were missing out on something special (they were).

I thought I had brought my magic flip book ($3.95 on eBay) and was bummed out when I could not find it in the car; so I showed it on my laptop. 

I don't know if the idea is copyright protected/patented, but I'd love to see an origami version of this- maybe a hand reaching for a 3 different blank sheets of paper that transforms into different origami pieces.  I'd do it myself if I were an artist with more time on my hands.

 I taught Akiko Yamanashi's Heart Box, as I had 7 more I have to make for kids at the gym.  My level 3s on Saturday were not amused by my humor when I informed them:  "The good news is that I made a dozen origami heart boxes for you guys; the bad news is, on Valentine's yesterday, I gave them away to the excel group.  The good news is, I decided to make more; the bad news is, I hadn't started making them yet."  Anyway, they just had dull stares in their eyes.

Andrew taught Joseph Wu's pig which Boaz Shuval had taught at WCOG many years ago. 

Some of the food:

Demonstration of Robotic Tool Folding Precision?

Video description:

Dr. James Porter, medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish folds a small paper airplane with the da Vinci robot to demonstrate how this device gives surgeons greater surgical precision and dexterity over existing approaches
 When the surgeon folds a Dr. Lang insect with these robotic arms out of 3 inch paper, then I'll be impressed with the  "surgical precision and dexterity" of the device.  (~_^)

Hat tip:  Sy Chen on the O-List

The Boston Globe Interviews OrigaMIT Club

Video by Wendy Maeda, produced by Leanne Burden Seidel/Globe Staff 3 years ago:

Origami President's Day


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Origami of Toshikazu KAWASAKI

This was uploaded to the BOS YouTube channel about a month ago.  We live in an age where there is just so much information and content available at the click of a mouse button that it's difficult to keep with all that's out there.

There are many rose variations designed by Mr. Kawasaki; and there are many derivatives designed by others, stemming from the Kawasaki twist-fold. 

It's a shame that some have taken advantage of his work and either do not credit him; or have essentially stolen or published his work for personal profit; or without seeking his permission for usage.

The Kawasaki rose- in all its numerous incarnations and evolutions- remains one of the most beautiful manners in manipulating a sheet of paper into a three-dimensional work of art.

Sunday Funnies

And here's an off-topic bonus- how to win at rocks, paper, scissors by Robert Neale:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Morning Cartoons

BINMAN from Mylenn on Vimeo
At the end of autumn, a binman is gathering dead leaves to give life to the next season.

Hat tip:  Jeff Ligon, Origami-L

Thursday, February 13, 2014

If you love someone, set her free.....

....if she flies back to you.....

Spinning Heart

Love is in the Air

Diagrams on Francis Ow's page hosted by Nick Robinson; or on his Flickr

I realize the coach in the video has a weak release; but If anyone has any advice for me on model shaping itself- the steepness of the dihedral angle of the wings or whether the rear elevators should be gently curled, etc., let me know.  

Maybe I was just tossing around a bad, defective love note.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Origami Chocolate and Handmade Box

Origami Chocolate Bar
Daniel Brown's Box of Chocolate CP

Origami Wine

2010 Clos Pegase Napal Valley origami red blend wine.

Looks like Kawahata's pegasus on the label:

About the Label Art
Features a Pegasus created from the namesake Japanese sculptural craft created through the precise decorative folding of paper. Much like the art form, this wine folds together the characteristics of unique Bordeaux varieties.
Hat tip:  Joel Stern on the O-List

Are You Able to Fold Abe?

Photo source

This is one of the simplest party tricks, easy to teach to non-folders who ask you to teach them some origami.

I usually accompany it with something along the lines of:

Me:  "How does the president look to you?" 
[Holding it tilted down]
Person:  "Sad."
Me:  "When the stock market is down, he's sad.  When it goes up....[I tilt it up]...see how his mood changes?"

Happy Birthday President Lincoln!  My favorite quote from you:

"Don't believe everything you read or see on the internet."
-President Abraham Lincoln