Category Archives: Sea Creatures

A Tribute: Origami Penguin (Design by Eric Joisel)

Penguin (Design by Eric Joisel)

Penguin (Design by Eric Joisel)

With great sadness the Origami world came to know of Eric Joisel’s passing away on October 10th, 2010.

Monsieur Eric Joisel was known for his intricate depiction of figures from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, his dwarf, mermaid, the cute little rat which almost all of us have folded, and a variety of other great models which he designed and folded over many many years. This is excerpt of his biography from his website:

Eric Joisel was born on November 15, 1956. He passed away from lung cancer on October 10, 2010 surrounded by his family and close friends.

Eric began drawing and sculpting when he was seventeen years-old. He started creating origami in 1983 and four years later, had his first exhibit in the Espace Japon Paris. Eric became a professional origami artist in 1992.

He had the magic touch of transforming paper into magnificent designs which he breathed life into through expressions and life like features. His work such as the characters from Commedia dell’Arte (which literally translated means ‘Comedy of Art’) are based on figures depicting the deadly sins (Laziness, Lust, Anger, Vanity and Pride)and are truly one piece wonders along with his work – Musicians – which depict his technique of sculpting, and curved creases.

Penguin (Design by Eric Joisel)

Penguin (Design by Eric Joisel)

His other works include the Barbarians – which are models based on Box-Pleating and are highly complex along with his older work such as the famous Gnome, Seahorse, Horse Head, African Mask, Colombine with a Rose, and much more.

Eric Joisel does not have any of his diagrams published but a few of them have made their way to Tanteidan Convention Books such as the Rat, Yellow Fish and Aberdeen in the Origami 10th Convention book, and his diagrams for the Cat and the Dwarf (only the base, though) in the Origami 13th Convention Book.

This great Origami artist was also a part of the documentary – Between the Folds – which chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists along with their great work. A brief interview of him and catalog of his work can be viewed in this video snippet below:

Outtakes from Jamie Kelley on Vimeo.

Those who have had the privilege of meeting and talking to him have mentioned that Eric Joisel had a great sense of humor and was known for his quick wit. Nick Robinson has penned a beautiful tribute to this great man which you can read here.

Folding Eric Joisel’s Penguin:
I decided to fold Eric Joisel’s 3D Penguin as a way to pay my respect to this great artist. Paper the World – which is a project dedicated to spreading simple origami of models that focus on endangered animal species – has shared this very detailed instructional video on folding Eric Joisel’s Penguin. This video shows Joseph Wu explaining the folding process. You will also find the link to the PDF diagram on the same page, in case you prefer following diagrams instead of instructional videos.

Do visit Eric Joisel’s website which has been recently revamped to pay your respects and browse through his magnificent work.

Farewell Monsieur Eric Joisel, you will be missed greatly…

Sea Turtle (Design by Michael G. LaFosse)

Sea Turtle (Design by Michael G. LaFosse)

Sea Turtle (Design by Michael G. LaFosse)

Michael LaFosse is known for designing models which have a lot of expression and ‘life’ in them. His book – Advanced Origami: An Artist’s Guide to Performances in Paper – is a collection of such models with detailed diagrams allowing amateur origamists to spend hours folding his work.

A lot of it, as he mentions in his book, too – depends on one’s choice of paper. But as you would know, he makes his own paper unlike the majority of us who have to opt for kami, tissue foil or elephant hide and tant when these are available. 🙂

This model of an Origami Sea Turtle is taken from his book and I have used traditional Kami paper to fold this origami model, as this happens to be my first fold.

There is a lot of improvement which can be done, as the final result depends on the shaping / modeling of it.

Western Pond Turtle (Design by Robert J. Lang)

Western Pond Turtle (Design by Robert J. Lang)

Western Pond Turtle (Design by Robert J. Lang)

This is yet another model from the book – Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art, by Robert J. Lang – which I have chosen to fold. It uses the technique of pleating to make the “shell” design on the shell of the turtle. It is advisable that a large paper be chosen to fold this model, as the pre-creasing requires a lot of folds and patience.

I started out with a duo-colored tant sheet of paper measuring 35×35 cms which I had purchased on Origami-Shop.com. The first 20 steps of the diagram constitute the pre-creasing and has a lot of small folds to be done. This pre-creasing turned out to be the most irritating part of folding this model. 😀

The Shell - Western Pond Turtle

The Shell - Western Pond Turtle

It took me absolutely ages to fold the pleats! Robert Lang in his book, lists out 2 options for creating the creases:

Option 1 – Folding the complete set of folds in order to pleat the shell. this would mean your paper will have numerous creases which will not be used in the end.

Option 2 – Folding a portion of the set of creases and marking out the rest using a pencil or pen.

Front View - Western Pond Turtle

Front View - Western Pond Turtle

I went in for option # 2 as I didn’t think I wanted to deal with ‘extra’ creases. I am quite happy with my first attempt at folding Robert Lang’s Western Pond Turtle, even though I can still improve on the limbs of the turtle.

Back View - Western Pond Turtle

Back View - Western Pond Turtle

I chose this model as I was pretty intrigued with the ‘pleating’ technique used by Robert Lang in folding this model, and I wanted to see if I could fold one which looked half as good as his exquisite version. 🙂 Hence, I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out in the end and am looking forward to folding more from his book.

Sea Shells (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

Nautilus (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

Nautilus (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

Sea Shell (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

It’s Spring time here or towards the end of it, rather, and this got me thinking about beaches and sunny days. So I got this idea into my head that I should be folding something from the sun kissed shores of home… 🙂

These are few sea shells, the designs of which I have picked up from one of Tomoko Fuse’s book – Spirals, Shells, Boxes, Snails – which has been published in the Japanese language (that I know of).

The ‘Nautilus’ shell and the common sea shells look really pretty when completed. Most of these use the technique of ‘pleating’ to form spirals (such as the Nautilus) or the technique used in Tomoko Fuse’s ‘Espiral’ Model.

Paper to use:

You can fold these pretty shells from wrapping paper or from common origami paper which you might have. I have used square sheets of foil paper which I bought from Michaels, not long ago. This gives the shells a nice gleam 🙂 I also used single side colored common origami paper for some of the shells and these came out quite nicely, too. The size of the paper (in both cases – foil and common origami paper) are at 15 cms or 6 inches. I find that this particular size is really convenient to fold most models which are not too intricate by nature.

How to Fold these shells:

Barbabellaatje has posted a good instructional video on the making of these shells. I am sure you will find it easy to follow, too. You can also find the diagrams to these models in Tomoko Fuse’s book – Spirals, Shells, Boxes, Snails .

To fold Tomoko Fuse’s Nautilus, you can use the following video as a guide:

Sailing Ship (Design by Francesco Miglionico)

Sailing Ship (Design by Francesco Miglionico)

Sailing Ship (Design by Francesco Miglionico)

This is a model from the book – License to Fold, by Nicholas Terry. It is a fairly simple design and requires the use of duo colored paper, or simply – one-sided colored paper, if you would like to have the sails of the boat in white.

This model is to be folded in combination with the ‘ploughing waves’ to add to the sea effect, but as you can see, I have merrily skipped that part for my fold.

Paper to use:

This model requires that you use a square sheet of paper measuring at least 6 inches in size. This is because some of the folds are intricate, especially when it comes to folding the sails at the rear and therefore you wouldn’t want that your model turn out to be a crumpled bit of paper in the end due to sheer frustration! 😀

I have used a 9-inch square sheet of one-sided origami paper colored purple. In this case, my sails would remain white with the sides, bow etc of the ship being purple in color. I have started with the white or blank side facing upwards; hence, if you are using duo-colored paper you need to start off with the color in which you want the sails to turn out to be in the end facing upwards i.e. towards you.

How to fold this model:

You can find the diagram to this model in the book – License to Fold, by Nicholas Terry – this is a compilation of diagrams of his, as well as those which were requested from various artists / origami creators by him. I got this bit of information from Gilad Aharoni’s Book review, which I think are very informative and helpful.

This book is not available on Amazon or any other bookstore around, except for “origami-Shop.com” where you can purchase it.

I guess there is room for improvement in my attempt of this model. I shall give it another try sometime later.