Sunday, March 30, 2014

Last Weekend's Venture at Descanso Gardens

Had to miss the POP meeting in order to help out Yami with his Descanso Gardens event.  I used the GoPro camera chest mount and it creates an interesting perspective:

It was difficult to break away for lunch as there was wave upon wave of people eager to try out their hands at some paperfolding with us.  We were supposed to be done at 3pm but went about an hour overtime (and started ahead of time as well).

Photos here.

Photo of the Day

Simon Chirgwin:

A photo that I really like - as soon as I saw the print, flicking through the packet I'd just got from Snappy Snaps, I thought, "Yes. Ooh. Yes." Which partly goes to show how carefully I have honed my critical vocabulary.
However, I also suspect that people passing by this on screen (and I write this without knowing what the thumbnail will be ) will go "nuh - double exposure" and pass on, while I knew it was a reflection in the window of Oxfam where there's currently a display of origami cranes.
Why this should make any difference to how I (or you) value the image is something that I can't put my finger on.
Whatever - this is part of a roll taken to see how Kodak BW400CN shaped up, and - IMHO - it shapes up very well: great blacks, crisp and sharp...

Sunday Funnies

Friday, March 28, 2014

Amazing Origami Crane Wedding Cake

This was sighted on cable TV by Helen Conachan from the O-List.  Apparently a Biography Channel show called Amazing Wedding Cakes.

The program aired of the origami cake is probably a repeat as I think this 2009 blogpost describes the behind the scenes making of the cake in question:

Husband Mike checking in with what is probably our most normal cake of the season, the Origami Crane Wedding Cake.
We have one coming up next week that is sort of a normal wedding cake on steroids, but the Origami cake is a terrific representation of the kind of standard wedding cakes that we do. It is elegant with some nice detail and size appropriate. You see these giant cakes on all these shows and that is more the exception than the rule. This time we delivered a cake to both feed and light up the room.

Marc did the consultation this time, a rarity for him. I think he did a good job though! Sometimes one of the
hardest parts of meeting with the couple is helping them get what they need. If you come to us, you’re getting our years of experience and that means our professional opinion. We’ll do everything possible to give you what you want, but we will also make sure it works for your wedding as well. Marc recognized that a full origami crane made of cake would be too big and too expensive for their budget and wedding size, so he steered them towards a more traditional base with that awesome chocolate painted crane on top. We actually found a simple silver and red patterned piece of origami paper and that is what was used for the crane’s final look.
I just want to say a big thank you to my mom’s friend Shoko who is an origami master and took time out of her schedule to make up a couple little crane’s for us to reference. They were invaluable to the process and a whole lot quicker than us trying to figure it out!
Read the entire entry.

Looks to be Season 2, Episode 5:

At Merci Beaucoup Cakes Marc takes an order for an origami crane wedding cake.  His first challenge is to talk the couple out of their original design.  Then he must create a white chocolate crane. This is a real test of his artistic talent since he’s never done this before.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Copyright and Respect for the Art and the Artist

In light of my recent post, I went back and revisited a draft I had started in January:

Joseph Wu Origami Inc. on Facebook

If you look at the flow of conversation between Joseph and one overzealous and demanding fan (at first I thought he must be a young kid; glad he changed his tune, by the end), the attitude of the fan is emblematic of a prevailing problem in the age of the internet, that appears to be rather unique to origami.  Nothing else comes to mind in any other medium or artform where complete strangers across cyberspace make impositions, rude comments, and unreasonable demands of artists to teach them how to duplicate their work.  And if the artist is resistant, coercion is sometimes employed on the part of the "fan".  On Won Park's Moneyfolder Group, I remember those who would write in accusing others of "withholding" information for not sharing diagrams in their possession but with which they do not have permission from the creators to distribute.  And I recall whiny entitlement attitudes from coercion artists who express indignation and offense when the creator refuses to go out of his way to spoon-feed directions to the demander.  If the creator refuses to share, guilt by claiming "this goes against the principles of peace and love and sharing that is at the heart of origami"  Origami is about its selfless, giving nature, you see.  I guess it's supposed to work in one direction.

I was thinking of the following story, relayed by Thomas Sowell, after communicating with a small business owner who has some of my origami work on consignment. She was interested in the dollar koi, which Won gave me permission to sell, as a customer keeps asking about the one they have on display in the shop.

Origami Poppy & Rant

Nice design by Aileen Edwin:

Artists should be acknowledged and their rights respected.  Especially by those who claim to love origami.

There's been a recent flare up over at Won's Moneyfolders group.  I see two different camps of attitude:  Those who understand and respect origami as art and not just hobby and kids craft- who support designers, giving credit and recognition where due; and understand that for some creators, this is their livelihood- not just a fanciful pastime.  And then there's another camp that seems to have a "gimmee, gimmee" attitude; that if you don't share knowledge in how to fold a model, you are "just showing off" when posting a picture or video that isn't a tutorial (YouTube commenters are some of the most thankless, worst offenders of the entitlement mentality- and I'm pretty sure not all are 12 year olds who are posting rude, immature and disrespectful demands); that it is YOU who are being selfish by not giving free information out there.  This same camp could care less about who created what- all that is important is that they learn how to fold a model.  They have zero interest in who the design came from; and that if they went through the trouble of purchasing a book, they have every right to sell and distribute its content as they see fit.

Talk about selfish....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Pajarita Puzzle Cube

Dr. Robert Lang, via the O-List:

A couple of years ago I wrote a paper for the Journal of Mathematics and the
Arts, titled "A Pajarita Puzzle Cube in Papiroflexia", about the underlying
mathematics of a modular cube that has the silhouette of a Pajarita on each
face. The "puzzle" aspect is that even after you've folded the 12 units, it
is not at all obvious how to assemble them in such a way that one obtains a
perfect Pajarita on each face.

I just learned that for a brief time, JMA is offering the paper as a free
download (normally it's behind a paywall), and so if you'd like to fold the
units (folding instructions included), try the puzzle, or create your own
version, here's the link:



P.S. Oh, and I also just learned that it was awarded "Best paper of 2014" by
the journal. That's the "tootiness" of this post.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

For a higher quality video, go here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bloom Blanket by Bianca Cheng Costanzo
The Bloom blanket was created by Bianca Cheng Costanzo, an ex-Apple designer and veteran of the MIT
Blanket inspired by art and science:

As chilly weather drags on, there's still time to curl up on the couch under a nice cozy blanket. But most blankets are just so...flat. Not in terms of color or impact, but literally, they're flat, because they're a flat piece or knit of fabric. Not so with the Bloom, an art- and science-inspired blanket that's currently on Kickstarter.

Bloom was created by Bianca Cheng Costanzo, a Brazilian-born half-Chinese and half-Italian woman raised in California who dropped out of MIT (where she was a part of the famous MIT Media Lab) and worked as a designer at Apple (phew!). All of that, she says, comes into play with Bloom: a blanket inspired by both the origami she played with as a child and the tessellations she explored at MIT, created from soft Italian fabric.

Bloom is a blanket with a surprisingly three-dimensional design, constructed by sewing woolen tetrahedrons together. The final result is familiar, a pleasantly bumpy spread of pyramids that looks like a paper fortune teller. The material, Costanzo says, is Italian cashmere, and just stiff enough to maintain its shape. It's available in both white and grey and costs $249. At the moment, Costanzo is raising money on Kickstarter, where she's already demolished her funding goal. From a goal of $14,050, she's secured well over $160,000 already, with more than a week to go.

On her Kickstarter page:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Students Innovating the Field of Engineering with Origami

PROVO — Students at Brigham Young University have turned paper-folding into mathematical wizardry, building remarkable designs and shapes in a high-tech evolution innovating space travel and beyond. 

With backing from government and private funding, BYU engineering and industrial design students have been experimenting with origami, going beyond paper to create designs out of metals and other fabrications.

“You would think that as a field of exploration it would have been played out long ago, but the opposite is true,” said world-renowned origami artist Robert Lang.

Lang comes to campus routinely to work with faculty and students.

Thunder Clapper

Video description:

The Thunderclapper is a simple card and paper toy that was often included as a free gift inside traditional comics. If you have a bit of card and paper handy, you can make one yourself very simply.

A square of card is folded along the diagonal, and a triangular piece of paper is fastened inside. Traditionally this was glued in place, but sticky tape will do just as well. Fold the paper inside the Thunderclapper, hold it by the corner, and flick downwards. The paper pops out with something of a bang.

A simple toy, but lots of fun.

Nothing tops Joe's newspaper banger!

Paper snappers can be fun.  Yami warms up his audience with his banger; and I use it, too, as a game in which I have audience participants volunteer in a contest of "quick fold", as a part of my on-stage demo at the Monterrey Park Cherry Blossom Festival.

Yami at Descanso Gardens this Weekend

Yami Yamauchi will be spreading the joys of his world-famous origami personality and paperfolding skills again this year at Descanso Gardens in La Crescenta California.


Descanso Garden

Original photo taken by Yami's friend Kazuyoshi ITO

Yukie Parthos and her husband Mike will assist him on Saturday; Pam Miike and I will help him out on Sunday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Collapsible Toothpaste Tube of the Future

Can't put that toothpaste back in the tube still....but squeezing it out doesn't get much cooler than this:

And it looks fun, too!  Hat tip to Scott Cramer from the O-List.

The redesign:

Design student Nicole Pannuzzo’s project features an innovative redesign of Colgate’s toothpaste packaging by imagining it as a collapsible tube.
The origami-like packaging means that instead of squeezing the bottom of the tube, users press down on the folded sides to get the toothpaste out. The tube becomes smaller as the amount of toothpaste decreases.

If this works, I can see other products also applying the same collapsible origami concept to other containers.


Game of Thrones Origami Sighting

How Game of Thrones came to be:

At around 2:58, script drafts get crumpled into an egg that hatches into an origami dragon.

Hat tip:  "John Mello" on Origami-L

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cranes for Flight MH370

Sue Yi, 12, taking a look at a bird-shaped origami for flight MH370 made by the public to pray for the safe return of the crew and passengers of the jetliner. — Bernama photo

Origami cranes as symbol of hope

MH370 Penangites have come together to fold paper cranes and offer prayers for passengers and crew and their families as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 enters its ninth day.
Hundreds of colourful paper cranes lined the front of the Whiteaways building in the morning event, organised by Occupy Beach Street, which saw many, including tourists and politicians, show their solidarity with the victims of the missing plane.

Simple Bomb and Eagle Gliders

 Love gliders!

From Dr. Rob:

Photo of Last Week

Fall back, spring forward:

Sok Song

Sok is known for these wondrous jump photos. 

I love Dennis Walker's suggestion:

Am I the only person to wants to see either:-
a) a flip book of Sok jumping and/or
b) an animated gif of all the Sok-jumps with Sok in roughly the same position, but with the photos fading from one to the other. Effectively an almost motionless Sok with changing background

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle by Robert J. Lang (TUTORIAL)

Massive undertaking with an over two hour long tutorial by Djorde Jovanovic:

Celes60 tutorial by Miyuki NAWAMURA

Makoto YAMAGUCHI Siamese Cat Tutorial

Shaping for the Joisel Rat

As a follow up to an earlier post:

Sunday Funnies

Hat tip:  Karen Reeds & Kathy Knapp

Friday, March 14, 2014


Happy πDay!

It's also the 103rd anniversary of Akira Yoshizawa's birth.  Yoshizawa is the Einstein genius of origami (shares the same birthday).

Robert Lang:
Akira Yoshizawa (1911–2005) is widely regarded as the father of the modern origami art form. Over the course of his life, he created tens of thousands of origami works and pioneered many of the artistic techniques used by modern-day origami artists, most notably the technique of wet-folding, which allowed the use of thick papers and created soft curves, gentle shapes and rounded, organic forms. He also developed a notation for origami that has now been the standard for origami instruction for more than 50 years.
Yoshizawa took up Japan's traditional folk art of origami in his 20s, and eventually left his job at a factory to focus full-time on his origami creations. His work came to the attention of the west in 1955, after an exhibition of his works in Amsterdam, and rapidly spread around the world. In his last decades, he received worldwide renown and invitations from all over, culminating in his award in 1983 of the Order of the Rising Sun.

I had the great fortune to meet Yoshizawa several times. In 1988, he came to New York to visit The Friends of the Origami Center of America, and spoke at a panel discussion I attended. There, he addressed a wide range of topics: one's mental attitude, the importance of character, of natural qualities, of having one's "spirit within [the artwork's] folds." Although he was the consummate artist, his work and approach was infused with the mathematical and geometric underpinnings of origami as well as a deep aesthetic sense:

“My origami creations, in accordance with the laws of nature, require the use of geometry, science, and physics. They also encompass religion, philosophy, and biochemistry. Over all, I want you to discover the joy of creation by your own hand…the possibility of creation from paper is infinite.” - Akira Yoshizawa

While there were other Japanese artists who explored their country’s folk art contemporaneously with Yoshizawa, his work inspired the world through a combination of grace, beauty, variety and clarity of presentation. To him, each figure, even if folded from the same basic plan, was a unique object with a unique character.

In 1992, I was invited to address the Nippon Origami Association at their annual meeting in Japan, and my hosts arranged for me to meet the great Yoshizawa at his home and studio. When I was ushered into the inner sanctum, Yoshizawa greeted me, grinning, and then proceeded to show me box after box after drawer of the most extraordinarily folded works I had ever seen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Joisel Rat Tutorial

Designed by Eric Joisel
Folded by Michael Sanders
From elephant hide (Wyndstone paper), 2004 or 2005

Alexander Kurth has a good tutorial on how to fold the classic, cartoony Joisel rat:

Stay tuned for follow-up tutorials on detailing for those not satisfied with how to shape and sculpt.

I've noticed that a number of people seem to miss poofing out the feet and nose. 

For the tail, I shape it both flat and also rounded with the crimps.

You can check out diagrams hosted at Nick Robinson's website.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Good Service = Good Origami = Good Service = Good Origami = ........

A new regular eatery along the way, which I stop into just before I head into work.

Flooky's in Woodland hills, CA

 Good service warrants origami earns good service welcomes origami deserves good service produces origami gives good service = origami = good service....

White Elephant Complete!

Congratulations, Sipho!

Sipho Mabona folds Origami (paper 15X15 Meter) at KKLB (Kunst und Kulturzentrum Beromünster) Luzern, Switzerland
Documentary of the making-of. Final Part 6


Origami Zoetrope?

I can just picture that bird being replaced with an illustration of a flapping crane; or the Japanese woodblock carving of the magician throwing a paper into the air and having it come to life. website:

Zoetrope is an an animated vintage toy that was originally developed in 1830s. The Zoetrope has recently been a major feature in the film, “The Woman In Black” starring Daniel Radcliffe.

This is a modern replica of a traditional Zoetrope. A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures.

The zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.

Just insert an animation strip, spin the drum and look through the slots. The pictures instantly spring to life! Eagles flap, Orcas dive, frogs jump and more! Change the 18 included picture strips at will. Then, try sketching on the six included Draw-Your-Own strips. Anyone can be an animator! Our Zoetrope’s compact elegance and smooth performance remains unmatched in the world of animation toys. Originally designed by Fred DaMert and Bill Hanlon in 1992 and sold by the DaMert Company, this timeless favorite has been off the market for years. Now, with Fred’s blessing, we’ve proudly brought it back. Not only did we use the original tooling to make this durable plastic toy, we’ve faithfully reproduced and included the original twelve picture strips designed by celebrated animator Ruth Hayes. And that’s not all. We’ve added six NEW picture strips and six “Draw-Your-Own strips!” The included instruction booklet provides a history of this classic invention, explains how it works, and tells you how to bring your own drawings to life.
It doesn't appear to be on the market any longer.  If you're a decent illustrator and like craft projects, perhaps you could make your own?  Maybe I'll do one, myself.

Ok....I just ran "zoetrope origami" through the YouTube search engine, not expecting to find anything, but- wow!  This is more impressive-looking than the one I had pictured in my mind:

 Here's another method for making one.  Upon further surfing through the web, it appears that Merry Claude actually folded a zoetrope!

Interesting idea; but I can't really make out the images all that well from this video clip.

More from Wikipedia:

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Origami Furnishings

The Unfolding Apartment:

Eric Scneider's amazing space saving unfolding apartment fits neatly into one wall - a wall that interior designer Michael Che was able to fit a kitchen, closet, bed, bathroom and office into.

How about some unfolding furniture?  Or Japanese  puzzle furniture?

Stop Playing with Yourself:

Photo of the Day

Light & Hope

Mountain Folding

Saw this posted to the Origami Forum:

Mountain Folding is an experiment coming from the desire of creating an experience wider than the traditional origami conventions. The idea is to combine a vacation among paperfolders and a summer camp with activities especially oriented toward creativity aspects, experimenting and sharing different techniques and styles.
The idea was born enjoying a late night talk during the 2013 CDO convention, it was a shared dream seemingly utopian at first; it then turned into a real project, made possible by the logistical support of Madesimo Tourists Office, the hosting village, and by CDO who put their trust in this event granting their patronage.
Mountain Folding will take place in August, 20th to 31st, during this period origami workshops and group activities will be accompanied by some outdoor extra-origami activities to have fun together and take inspiration by the observation of Nature. Each participant can freely choose whether to take part to the full convention or stay just for a few days.
We decided for a long duration of the convention, in order to give the participants the opportunity to know each other better and produce the best conditions for sharing and exchanging. In addition to origami-related aspects, Mountain Folding offers the opportunity of enjoying a vacation on the beautiful Italian Alps and practicing sports or cultural activities in the company of other paperfolders and families.
Interesting idea.

Next venue:  Valley Folding.  :P

Sunday Funnies

Hat tip:  Kathy Knapp

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Fold Scopes

Revolutionizing Healthcare Around the World:

 What if your kids could print out their own microscope and carry it around in their back pockets?  What if doctors in developing nations had access to simple, inexpensive microscopes that they could use to instantly and efficiently diagnose diseases?  What if both of those innovations were the same thing?

Nice find by Ravi Apte:

Perhaps you’ve punched out a paper doll or folded an origami swan? TED Fellow Manu Prakash and his team have created a microscope made of paper that's just as easy to fold and use. A sparkling demo that shows how this invention could revolutionize healthcare in developing countries … and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment.

WCOG March

Another light turnout at WCOG (it's been this way for quite some time, now).  But what made it special was a rare appearance by Chila, who lives an uncomfortable distance away (I remember in the "old days", we used to occasionally get some folders like V'ann Cornelius come out, all the way from San Diego).

Jim Cowling's on-the-spot handiwork

I purchased the pdf for the Shumakov's Magic Star the other day and finally had a chance to sit down and start trying one.  (I did not finish).

A few more photos here.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Origami in the American Scientist

Millimeter-scale microflyers, called RoboBees, are assembled by folding. The scaffolding that performs the automated folding is shown in the design drawing in a later figure and video. (Image courtesy of Robert J. Wood.)

Tom Sullivan on the O-List this morning reports that the American Scientist has an article in the March/April issue that may be of interest to origami enthusiasts:

It highlights many self folding creations, some of which have been brought to attention here before. There is also an article an geometry that might be of interest to advance folders. -Tom
Non-members/non-subscribers need to pay a fee in order to view the contents.  But here's an abstract:

In the current trend toward miniaturization, the sizes in between “normal” and “microscopic” get a bit neglected. Wood discusses various methods that his group has developed to construct electromechanical devices with feature sizes in the millimeter range, which he calls the meso-scale. He particularly describes work on devices inspired by children’s pop-up books, where items are formed flat using laser cutting and then folded into 3D shapes. By sandwiching layers and using movable folds, Wood can create functional devices such as small flying robots, surgical instruments, or environmental sensors.
The article entitled The Challenge of Manufacturing Between Macro and Micro:
In the current trend toward miniaturization, the sizes in between “normal” and “microscopic” get a bit neglected. Wood discusses various methods that his group has developed to construct electromechanical devices with feature sizes in the millimeter range, which he calls the meso-scale. He particularly describes work on devices inspired by children’s pop-up books, where items are formed flat using laser cutting and then folded into 3D shapes. By sandwiching layers and using movable folds, Wood can create functional devices such as small flying robots, surgical instruments, or environmental sensors.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

How Origami Helps Mental Illness

Origami Sailboat Candles

Hat tip Vignesh Cumareshan on the O-List:

Yes, it does floats too. These origami sailboat candle not only have the look of the boat but also could actually float, good for your swimming pool lighting on special occasion. Made by Candle Design studio from slovakia.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Monday, March 03, 2014



This stunning kusudama is called bubbledrop. Desigmed by Miyuki Kawamura.

I've used 15x15 cm. and 6x6cm. sized paper. I used origami paper, but that is a bit to thin, because the ball will flatten a bit when you put it down. So use sturdy enough paper, or smaller paper. This ball measures about 28 cm cross section!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Doll with Tsuru

Marukai in Gardena, CA

1st Sunday Origami Fun in March

I picked up Joe and took him to Marti's in Garden Grove for our 1st Sunday meeting.

I was happy to see Phu Tran finally make it out for a visit.  It's been a long time.  He hasn't really been folding.  He taught an old tulip design to I think Carol and Marti.

A lot of regular faces missing; but still a good turnout.

Hisako shared Akiko Yamanashi's coaster/hexagon box.  We did some curlicues and a letterfold.  I also showed off some non-origami folding:

Dollars that Flap

You can download a pdf of Won's flapping butterfly here (I believe you need to join his Yahoo group to have file access).

Photo of the Day

Someone should do this with LaFosse butterflies.

Testing Out GoPro Chest Mount

I got invited/requested by one of my Hot Shots, Scarlet, to work her birthday party at the gym last year.  That day arrived yesterday.

She was excited all of last week.  Excited about me agreeing to be there to work her party.

On Wednesday, I was all over the Hot Shots (team developmental group of 6 year olds), being knit-picky on their form and quality of execution, relentlessly badgering the Hot Shots on their focus; the quality of their effort, constantly demanding better.

 Finally, the exasperated once and future birthday queen looks at me and says in a fatigued way, "Please don't be like this at the birthday party."

One of the special things we did at her party unique to me (as far as parties at this gym goes) is that I folded over 30 gliders for her and her guests:

The Hot Shots got a GoPro camera for me last Christmas.  It's pretty cool.