Category Archives: Birds & Butterflies

Buho / Owl (Design by Román Díaz)

Buho / Owl (Design by Román Díaz)

Buho / Owl (Design by Román Díaz)

I was in the mood of folding something with color changes involved and since I had the brown and yellow duo-colored paper (Kami) still available in the pack, I decided to go back to the books and pick out a design from there.

Román Díaz’s Owl is really pretty to look at once completed and is not all that complicated to fold, either. In his book – #3 Origami Essence – he mentions that a paper size of 30 cms is required and the model should be wet folded. I for one did not wet fold my rendition simply because I chose to fold mine with Kami paper instead of the suggested tant.

Paper to use:
I think you should be able to fold this model with paper slightly less than 30 cms, too. But for the effect, it should be duo colored / white on one side. You can also use unryu and tant paper combination for this model and then wet fold it at the end. Its a level 3 model as per his book – on the order of complexity.

Buho / Owl (Design by Román Díaz)

This model is 3D by nature, so towards the end of the folding sequence, it will not lie flat on the surface. There are crimps, rabbit ears and shaping involved in the folding process. It is a great design to fold, as with all of Román Díaz’s designs.

The diagrams to this model are only available in Román Díaz’s book #3 Origami Essence and it is well worth buying especially if you enjoy folding animals. There are models which are simple to fold within the book as well as complex, so pretty much, it has something for everyone.

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…

Swallow (Design by Sipho Mabona)

Swallow (Design by Sipho Mabona)

Swallow (Design by Sipho Mabona)

This is a design by Sipho Mabona who is well known for his ‘inflatable’ Fugu. The CP for this model (with the belly closed) is available on his website for people to refer to and fold. However, since I am absolutely pathetic at CPs, I gave a go at the Photo diagram, which Grizzlyman uploaded on the Origami Forum. I find diagrams easier to understand.

This photo diagram based model, however, is an earlier / old version of Sipho Mabona’s Swallow – in the sense that it has its belly ‘open’. The look of it, otherwise, it is pretty much the same as compared to his newer model. There are no known diagrams or publications of his work and these crease patterns (which he publishes on his site) remain the only way he shares his work. Grizzlyman attended an Origami Convention in Germany in 2009, in which Sipho Mabona taught this model and with practice, he was able to replicate the design.

Paper to use:
You can opt to use any kind of paper, which will fold easily and not tear – Kraft, Kami, Tant or even Tissue foil. The size of the paper should ideally not be less than 6 inches and if it is your first fold, begin with a square sheet of paper measuring 8 inches. Any of these papers will ‘hold’ the folds and the shape and it is up to you to figure out your favorite paper for this model. The paper chosen should be duo colored at best, since there is no color change involved in this model.

How to fold the Swallow:
Grizzlyman has created and uploaded a 50-photo (step) photo diagram meant to explain the steps in folding Sipho Mabona’s Swallow. It is very helpful and he has also provided captions for each of the images in order to better explain the step(s).

CP for Sipho Mabona’s closed belly version of the Swallow

For the swallow I folded, I made use of Kami paper measuring 8 inches in size (square). I didn’t refer to the CP but instead made use of grizzlyman’s detailed photo diagram. I wet-folded the model to give it a bit of shape, but as you probably know, Kami is not very good for wet-folding or shaping.

Songbird I (Design by Robert J. Lang)

Songbird I

Songbird I (Design by Robert J. Lang)

This is a model from the book – Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art, by Robert J. Lang – which I had purchased recently. I found this model quite complicated where the feet of the bird are concerned but managed to fold that part out to near satisfaction.

Songbird I

Songbird I

This model has 56 steps with some of these repeating for the feet. I have used kraft paper measuring approximately 10 inches in size to fold this model. It took me a bit of time to fold this as I used to spend a little time each day on this. But I guess, this model can be folded well within 2 hours of time.

How to fold the model:
Jonakashima has recorded a very good instructional video on folding Songbird I, with the permission of Robert J. Lang. I hope you find it easy to follow.

I am not very pleased with the way the model I have folded has turned out, I think its the kraft paper I used which made the folding of the feet a bit of a problem.

Butterfly on a Leaf (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

Butterfly on a leaf (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

Butterfly on a leaf (Design by Tomoko Fuse)

This is a pretty design I found in one of Tomoko Fuse’s books – Shells and Spirals 3. It is folded from a single piece of paper, single side colored and depicts a small butterfly siting atop a round leaf.

The size of the paper is 15 cm or 6 inches, square shaped. I think this is the ideal minimum size of paper which you can start folding this model from. Anything smaller will make it difficult and untidy. You can also try folding this model from common wrapping paper or any other paper of your choice as long as it is no stiff or too thick to fold.

One thing you need to be careful about, though, is the direction of the creases you make at the beginning. If the direction changes in your attempt at pre-creasing, it will create problems at the time of collapsing the model at the end. I have also curved the wingtips of the butterfly for added effect, as you can see in the image above.