Tag Archives: Neal Elias

The Last Waltz (Design by Neal Elias)

The Last Waltz (Design by Neal Elias)

The Last Waltz (Design by Neal Elias)

It was my good friend’s birthday this month and I knew had to get her something really special for it. I remembered she always mentioned this particular design and how much she liked it whenever the talk of Origami or other hobbies came up. So, I decided to fold Neal Elias’ the Last Waltz for her as a gift.

This is a design I had first folded some two years ago. It was a challenging model at that time as I had only just started folding slightly complex designs and this was my first box pleat based model, too.

This time around however, I didn’t use kraft paper but instead chose a fine printed paper which was very similar to Lokta and pasted a sheet of a dull gold tissue foil paper in order to get the duo-colored effect. It was also a lot easier to fold the second time around. 🙂

Paper to use:
Since I wanted that the completed model be at least some 6 inches in height, I cut out sheets measuring 12″ X 36″ approximately. After pasting and allowing the paper to set, it took me about 3.5 hours to fold this model with an additional half an hour to properly shape the hair, the skirt and the arms.

I really enjoyed folding this model once again and am glad that I chose a prettier paper this time around to take advantage of the color change effect.

How to fold Neal Elias’ The Last Waltz:
Sara Adams has recorded a really good instructional video on this design – it’s 5 videos long but she explains all the steps, including the Elias stretch and that ‘oh-so-tricky’ fold for the groom’s legs really well.

Oh, and my friend loved the gift, in the end and was really happy with it. Here are some pics from her Birthday, too – with the gift. 😀

The Birthday Girl - Nisha

The Birthday Girl - Nisha

The Birthday Girl & Me

The Birthday Girl & Me

Angel II (Design by Neal Elias)

Angel II (Design by Neal Elias)

Angel II (Design by Neal Elias)

Being Advent, I have been folding a lot of Christmas themed decorations and one of these has been Neal Elias’ Angel II. This is a design from the book Neal Elias – Miscellaneous Folds II – which is sold by the British Origami Society.

OrigamiUSA also has a copy of this book (BOS 35 – Neil Elias Miscellaneous Folds II) in its Lending Library. You can find details (FAQs) on borrowing terms and conditions here. The models in this book are complex as they are diagrammed in such a way that a combination of steps are shown in a single picture. This makes it difficult to follow and is meant for folders who are well versed with Neal Elias’ diagramming style.

Paper to use:
In order to fold this angel, I used duo colored Kami paper – white. It came out pretty much alright. I know I could do better with the shaping, but choosing kami made it futile to try a lot. This model will work well with Tissue foil and unryu I suppose.

How to fold this model:
I borrowed a copy of BOS 35 – Neil Elias Miscellaneous Folds II from OrigamiUSA lending Library especially for this particular diagram. To help with understanding the multiple folds in the diagrams, I used Gabriel Vong’s folding instructions which, although is a slight variation on Elias’ model, it helps with folding, nonetheless.

In Neal Elias’ book, the first image has a base already folded – 1/2 bird and 1/2 fish base. If you take a look at Gabriel Vong’s folding instructions, he has diagrammed the steps to get to this base point. In this manner, by cross referencing the steps, I have managed to fold this model. Once you get past forming the hands in Neal Elias’ diagram, the rest of the steps are easy to follow. For shaping the Angel you can refer to already folded models which are available on Flickr, such as Gio Origami’s rendition using mulberry paper.

Neal Elias Books (Origami USA (OUSA) Lending Library)

Books requested from the OUSA Lending Library

Books requested from the OUSA Lending Library

I have been on the look out for Neal Elias Selected Works and Miscellaneous Folds II (for the angel II diagram) for quite sometime, now. These books are on sale on the BOS Supplies but the ‘Selected Works’ book is now not available. It was then that I thought of checking the OUSA Library and see if these books are available there. To my surprise, both books were listed, and available for immediate lending.

Neal Elias 1964-1973 By Dave Venables (All models by Neal Elias) is also the BOS Booklet # 10 and was published in 2002 by the British Origami Society. This book forms the “base” in understanding Neal Elias’ folds and technique. The other books containing his diagrams – Miscellaneous Folds I, Miscellaneous Folds II and Neal Elias – Faces and Busts (BOS Booklet # 36) have hand drawn diagrams and are more difficult to follow. A good start to folding Neal Elias’ work is to start with the ‘Selected Works’ book and then proceed to fold models from the other 3 books mentioned. This will help build your understanding of the folding technique involved as well as the way the model is diagrammed.

A great help in case you are ‘stuck’ at any point in the folding process is the Origami Forum. There are a lot of people who are active on that forum with varying levels of experience who would be more than willing to help anyone out with the models.

Most of the models in these books make use of either rectangles or squares and makes use of box pleating. The models in these books would be considered complex by nature of the folds involved and the technique involved. Neal Elias’ books are known for depicting multiple steps / folds in a single diagram and the most famous Elias Stretch; which as per Robert Lang’s Glossary on his website explains it as:

Elias stretch: A maneuver used in box pleating to create flaps from a pleated region of paper, by changing the direction of the pleats by 90° within wedges of paper.

You can borrow these books (yes, all of Neal Elias’ books by Dave Venables) from OUSA Lending library. In order to avail of this facility you will need to be an OUSA member first (as membership number is required in order to avail of this). There is a shipment / postage payment involved and the maximum number of books one can borrow at any given time is 3 (with a shipment charge of $15).

Please visit the OUSA library website to read the terms and conditions as well as the very handy FAQ section. A link to the list of books available can be found at the top left hand side of the web page. In a nutshell, to borrow from the lending library, simply: –

  1. Browse through the collection / catalogue page on the OUSA Library page
  2. In order to select the books that you would like to borrow from the library, you will have to select (using the check boxes) the titles (maximum number that can be selected is 3) and then click on “Submit” at the bottom of the ‘catalogue’ page.
  3. You will then be asked to enter your name, OUSA membership number, and mode of payment.
  4. You will then receive an email with a PayPal link (in case you have chosen this); you would have to click on this link, which will re-direct you to the Paypal log in page (even those who do not have a PayPal account can avail of this facility – please read the FAQ section in OUSA Library for details).
  5. Once you log in and pay the amount, you will receive a confirmation email shortly with the details of the books requested.
  6. When you receive the shipment, please remember to keep the return envelope and ‘receipt notice’ enclosed in the package. You will use the return envelope to return the books to the Lending library along with the receipt notice.

I have borrowed the following books from OUSA Lending Library and these reached me last week:

  • BOS Booklet # 10 – Neal Elias: Selected Works
  • BOS Booklet # 35 – Miscellaneous Folds II
  • OUSA Convention book 2008

So, I finally got my hands on the diagrams to Nguyen Hung Cuong’s Chef Rat (from the OUSA Convention Book 2008), too 🙂

‘The Last Waltz’ (Design by Neal Elias)

The Last Waltz (Design by Neal Elias)

'The Last Waltz' (Design by Neal Elias)

'The Last Waltz (Design by Neal Elias)

'The Last Waltz' (Design by Neal Elias)

This is my first fold of Neal Elias’ ‘The Last Waltz’; folded out of duo colored kraft paper. It is definitely for the advanced folder and requires that your creases are precise and crisp in order to have the model aligned properly towards the end.

It took me around 6 hours to fold this model (with a break in between, no doubt) and I followed Sara Adams’ helpful instructional video to fold this model. I have kept the legs of the ‘man’ in the model straight in my version of it, but one can give the legs a slight bend to mimic the dance step and add aesthetics to the model.

Paper to use:
In my case, I bought bottle green duo colored kraft paper from Michaels last week and thought of trying it out on this model. The paper size should be in the ratio of 1:3 and I have taken a sheet of kraft paper measuring 12 inches x 36 inches in size. The final model in my case turned out to be approx. 8 inches in size. I wanted a larger model to keep on my table, and hence the larger sized paper.

How to fold this model:
Sara Adams’ has recorded a pretty detailed instructional video on this particular model and you can refer to it, too. She suggests a paper size of 6 inches x 18 inches which makes the final model being approx. 4 inches in size.

For more of Neal Elias’ work, you can refer to this website which is an online tribute to him.