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:

Murex (Design by Robert J. Lang)

Murex (Design by Robert J. Lang)
Murex (Design by Robert J. Lang)

This weekend, I thought I’d try something from John Montroll and Robert Lang’s book – Origami Sea Life. I ended up selecting a design from the mollusks section, designed by Robert J. Lang.

This particular design is known as the Murex and they are really pretty and therefor the most sought after by shell collectors. These shells are identified by their spiky projections and frills; this particular model is called ‘Venus’ Comb’ and has a single row of spikes or needles on the opening to it.

I have used a 9 inch square sheet of paper single side colored and started folding it with the white or blank side facing me. There are approximately 55 to 60 steps in folding this particular model. Some of the steps are repeated in the middle. It takes around an hour to fold this model and some more time to shape it, if you will.

The part which you need to pay special attention to, whilst folding is the ‘legs’ section which has a lot of reverse folds incorporated in it. Hence, it can get a bit confusing at this point. The rest of the steps are pretty easy to follow. One point worth noting is that your folds should be crisp and smooth without any ‘crumpling’. This makes the folding a lot easier when it comes to the legs section.

The finished model is about 70% of the sheet of paper you have initially started off with, so based on this you can experiment with smaller or larger sized paper. Using sheets smaller than 6 inches will pose a real problem in my opinion, as there are a lot of intricate folds involved. So it’s best to start off with 6 inches or larger as you would like.

The legs section certainly has room for improvement in my case, which I will definitely address the next time I fold this model.