Category Archives: Animals

Unicorn (Design by Román Díaz)

Unicorn (Design by Román Díaz)

Unicorn (Design by Román Díaz)

This is one model which has been lying unfinished for months… so this weekend I thought I’d finish the folding sequence and see how my rendition would come out. I found this model a bit difficult to fold, to tell you honestly, and I had to thrice re-open the model entirely during my folding!

What drew me to fold this model in the first place is the mane – I really liked the way the mane of the unicorn is shaped to give it a majestic look. I wanted to fold this model in white paper to maintain the ‘pure’ look a unicorn has, hence the selection of white duo-colored tant paper.

This design has a lot of sinks, rabbit ears and an unheard of (at least for me) – a hidden ‘gusset’ which had me looking up the meaning and technique online. With 81 steps in all, this model is complex and is meant for experienced folders. The shaping of the mane, tail and the body requires wet folding and a lot of patience. 🙂

Paper to use:
I have folded my rendition of the model in Tant paper measuring 35 cms in size – square, colored white on both sides. This model is complex by nature and requires shaping – especially for the mane. The folds involved in folding this model are sinks, reverse folds, rabbit ears and a hidden gusset.

Unicorn (Design by Román Díaz)

Unicorn (Design by Román Díaz) - Another View

How to fold this model:
The diagrams to this model are available in Román Díaz’s book – #3 Origami Essence – which is available at Nicolas Terry’s Origami Shop. This book has a lot of models which are really pretty and varied and a lot of them have color changes incorporated which makes it looks really great.

This is my first fold of this model and I am quite content with the result especially since I got stuck in the course of the folding sequence many times.

Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)

Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)

Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)

I have seen a few folds of this model on Flickr recently which tempted me to give folding this model a try. This is the first design of Katsuta Kyohei I attempted and this is also my first fold.

I have been wanting to fold this design for quite sometime now and for some reason have always been pushing it away – either the appropriate paper, time, and a load of other distractions. Choosing to fold this model on a lazy Sunday was a good decision because it felt good that I actually did end up folding a complex model instead of an easier one.

I am very happy with the way my rendition of Katsuta Kyohei’s Yellowtail Farmed fish has come out; this was my first fold of this design, too. 🙂

Paper to use:
This design makes use of color changes (see the belly of the fish) – so it would be wise to select paper which is duo colored i.e. colored both sides and one side preferably colored a different shade. For my folding, I used metallic Tissue foil paper which is considerably fine and makes it easy to give the final shaping touches. I had purchased this paper from Paper Source a few months ago.

If you do not have Tissue foil with you, I’d suggest kraft paper which is colored on both sides (different colors). The common origami paper will not give it a nice finish once you are done with your folding so that’s why I wouldn’t recommend that you use it. Washi paper might be a good option, but I haven’t given it a try. So, if you do, do let me know.

The finished model you see in the accompanying image has been folded from 35 cm sized square sheet of tissue foil paper. It has a slightly darker silvery-grey color on the other side which makes it quite alright to use in color changing models.

How to fold this model:
Katsuta Kyohei’s Yellowtail farmed fish diagrams are published in Origami Tanteidan Magazine # 116 – Vol 20, 2009. Other than this source, I do not know of any books in which it has been published. You can purchase the book (Vol 20, Issues 115 – 120) from Origami House Japan.

This is indeed a very nice model to fold and having ~83 steps its for folders who are comfortable with folding intermediate and slightly complex origami.

Rat (Design by Eric Joisel)

Rat (Eric Joisel)

Rat (Eric Joisel)

A new book – which is a joint effort by his friends at MFPP (French Origami Association – Mouvement Français des Plieurs de Papiers) and Nicolas Terry (of – was released a week ago. This contained diagrams of Eric Joisel’s designs as well as write-ups and never before published pictures of him and his work.

I ordered this book – Eric Joisel – as soon as it was released and I just received it yesterday in the mail. I am absolutely pleased with the book and the contents / diagrams. Even though it is in the French language, I think it is a very good keep-sake book, especially since it is a tribute to Eric Joisel.

Eric Joisel

Paper to use:
I have folded this rat from a 25 cm square sheet of Tant paper which is brown on both sides (duo-colored). I have tried folding this rat with a smaller sheet of paper, too and found it pretty much alright.

How to Fold Eric Joisel’s Rat:
I have referred to the diagrams in the newly published book – Eric Joisel – in order to fold this. You would also be aware that Sara Adams of has also recorded and shared a very good instructional video.

In addition to these sources, you will also find the diagrams on Eric Joisel’s site. There will be directions / notes on how to reach the diagrams on that page when you visit the site.

Rabbit (Design by Hoàng Tiến Quyết)

Rabbits (Design by Hoàng Tiến Quyết)

Rabbits (Design by Hoàng Tiến Quyết)

This is a design by Hoàng Tiến Quyết and looks really cute when finished. This is my first attempt at folding these bunnies and I am pretty pleased with the outcome. My better half loves rabbits and I am folding this pair for him to keep on his desk at work. 🙂

The designer is known for designing a lot of models which require shaping and minimal folding. You can view these on his Flickr album. The end results of his hard work is simply astounding. I have a lot of favorites designed by him.

These Rabbits are one of his latest designs and from the diagrams, you can see that there are no complex folds involved. One has to shape / form the design at the end in order to get the desired result.

Paper to use:
To fold Hoàng Tiến Quyết’s Rabbits, you can use tant, Unryu or even Kami. I have attempted by rendition in Unryu which I purchased from – Pack Discovery – 25 squares.

I used a 9 inch approx Unryu sheet of paper which is colored beige / off-white on both sides. I thought the fur like texture will look pretty great and natural like for the bunnies. This sheet I then proceeded to cut diagonally into half in order to get 2 triangles. each of these triangles makes one rabbit.

How to fold the Rabbits:
The designer has generously shared the diagram to his model on the Vietnamese Origami Forum. In his design, he has used colored paper (single side colored, that is) which results in a shaded bunny.

Marine Turtle (Design by Ancella Simoes)

Marine Turtles (Design by Ancella Simoes)

Marine Turtles (Design by Ancella Simoes)

This is a design I’ve come up with in response to ACT 13: BIOSPHERE – which is an online origami challenge on Facebook as part of Earth Day (April 22).

This is the first time I am participating in any Origami challenge and I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to get any design ideas for this event. I was invited to this challenge by David Martínez, who is known for his intricate tessellations and who also plans events for various causes he holds dear.

As you may already know, I have just started dabbling in designing my own origami designs and so far I have only attempted modular / geometric designs – requiring 18 sheets of paper or less. This is the first time I have designed a model from only one sheet of paper and that too, an animal / sea creature.

The Marine Turtles as they are commonly known are facing a dire threat of extinction with six out of the seven species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered. The seven species being – Flatback Turtle, Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle. As per World Wild Life:

Six of the seven species of marine turtles are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, and the outlook is increasingly grim. In the Pacific, leatherbacks are heading for extinction, fast, and in the Mediterranean, green turtle numbers have plummeted.

All seven species of marine turtles are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), thus international trade is prohibited amongst the 166 CITES member nations. Three of them are classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN RedList.

Many offspring, few survivors
Marine turtles appear to have the potential to reproduce abundantly: females can lay hundreds of eggs in one nesting season. But even under “natural” conditions, relatively few young turtles survive their first year of life.

Predators such as crabs, foxes, and birds often kill the hatchlings as they make their way from the nest to the sea, and when they reach the shallows, many more small turtles are taken by fish. When humans harvest turtle eggs, disturb or degrade nesting beaches, the scales become tipped even more heavily against young turtles.

Decades to reach maturity
It takes decades for surviving juveniles to reach maturity and start to breed, and adult turtles must live to reproduce over many years if the population is to thrive. But escalating mortality on the high seas, in the nets and long-lines of fishing fleets, and from pollution and disease, means fewer and fewer turtles are living long enough to reproduce.

Protection vital at all stages of the life cycle
Effective conservation means protecting turtles at all stages of their life cycle. Protecting nesting beaches calls for action at the local level, and protecting juvenile and adult turtles in oceanic waters calls for enforceable international agreements. It can work: in the Gulf of Mexico thirty years of conservation is helping Kemp’s ridley turtle to make a slow comeback. For other species, however, time is running out.

Folding this model:
I used the traditional waterbomb base to fold this model and then, most of the folds incorporated thereafter are spread folds, valley folds and then shaping for the shell. I wouldn’t call this design complicated by any stretch and I’m sure anyone who knows the basic folds can get by.

I experimented with a piece of paper measuring 3 inches in size and this is just because I wanted to see if my idea for the approach would work. my next try was with a sheet of paper measuring 5 7/8 inches which is more reasonable.

This design has no complicated steps such as sinks, or tricky rabbit ears, either. The end result depends a lot on the shaping you are able to give the model at the end of it. I have wet folded it (slightly towards the end, that is – I moistened the paper for the final touch up work) to give it it’s shape.