Braided Paper (Design by J.C. Nolan) – Happy Birthday America!

Braided Paper (Design by J.C. Nolan)
Happy Birthday America!

I did some folding today – being a holiday and thought of putting something extra in terms of decoration to mark the occasion. It’s a very hot day here, today, and I ended up spending the holiday at home, folding and watching T.V.

This is one of the designs from the book ‘Creating Origami’ which is being re-released this year by J.C. Nolan. It consists of essays and notes on inspirations, designs and diagramming as well as long lost diagrams from Patricia Crawford, Fred Rohm and J.C. Nolan himself.

This re-print was made possible largely due to the online fund backing project initiated by J.C. Nolan a few months ago. It had an overwhelming response and he is now working on getting the books published and sent out to everyone.

Folding J.C. Nolan’s Braided Paper design:
This is a intermediate level design and has a few sinks and pleats involved. The number of steps are 18 in all, and the instructions are clear and detailed. The best paper to use for this design is translucent paper or maybe glassine as you should be able to see the ‘layers’ in the design. The paper I used is translucent paper from Nicolas Terry’s Origami-Shop. In fact, I made use of the samples of paper which he sends with every purchase made. Those come in real handy, I tell you.

Diagrams / Instructions:
The diagrams to this design is available in the book – Creating Origami – but is also available online.

Red, White and Blue stars:
This bit of decoration is quite easy to make and involves, colored paper, scissors and a ruler. I used 3 sheets of paper, each of a color – red, blue and white. These have to be cut into a rectangular shape and then folded as per the instructions.

As I wanted each of these to ‘fit in’ the earlier star cut out, I changed the measurements when cutting out the blue and white rectangles – the white rectangle measures 2 inches less than the red one; the blue rectangle I cut 2 inches less than the white one. This way I was able to cut progressively smaller stars to fit the overall design.

Star Helena (Design by Carmen Sprung)

Star Helena (Design by Carmen Sprung)
Star Helena (Design by Carmen Sprung)

Sara Adams posted a new instructional video and I just couldn’t wait to get started on folding it. I really like the way the star comes together with the color changing variation and the fact that this model requires only one sheet of paper to fold.

Paper to Use:
You can fold this model with Kami, tant, tissue foil or even nice wrapping paper. However, you should keep in mind that if you are going to use this as a CD or DVD cover, the paper would have to be thicker than a fine tissue paper.

I used yellow colored Tant paper and pasted a thin sheet of red tissue paper on one side in order to have a color changing design. The paper was quite alright to fold and I didn’t face any problems with the thickness.

When making an octagon, one has to be precise and as Sara reiterated in her instructional video, you have to make crisp, sharp folds and precisely, too, in order to have a perfectly folded model. If you see my finished model in the picture, you will see that some folds are slightly off, and this is because my octagon was not cut accurately.

How to Fold this Design:

The diagrams to this model can be found in Carmen Sprung’s book – 21 Origami Sterne – which you can purchase from OrigamiUSA’s The Source. Also, Sara Adams has taken the effort to record a very good instructional video on folding this design.

Where to buy special Origami paper

I guess this is one of the most frequently asked questions after the size of the paper used to fold any origami model. With new and more complex (or should I say intricate?) origami models being designed these days, it is not a wonder that most of us are fumbling with the kind of paper to use.

Lokta / Unryu Paper:

Lokta are handmade from the inner bark of the bush and are made in the Himalayan mountain region. The Lotka paper is very strong, and is an incredible eco-friendly choice. It is made in Nepal and makes a good choice for paper folding. I have never folded anything from Lokta myself, though I have used Unryu.

Unryu paper is also known as Mulberry paper or rice paper and has a characteristic of fiber strands which add to the contrast (in color) and texture.

I have come across the mention of Paper Source as a good online store (here in USA, at least) for both – Lokta and Unryu, as well as a variety of Japanese and Asian papers. You get these in a patterned / printed as well as plain / solid colored form as far as I saw on their website. The size of papers is mostly 20 x 30 inches. They do have a smaller sized collection of papers, too. This store also has a variety of craft ideas, gifts, and projects that can keep you occupied 🙂

Another place to buy Unryu paper from is Origami-Shop itself. They have a collection pack – Pack Unryu Tissue Papers – 9 sheets 40×40 cm – as well as sell these in single colors.

The store Mulberry Paper and More has a good selection of papers – Lokta, Mulberry and Unryu to choose from, too. You can browse through them here.

Tissue Foil:

Pack Tissue-foil Papers - 20 sheets - 30x30cm (11.8

Origami-Shop offers a good selection of tissue foil paper in varying sizes and you can make your choice based on the size you want and the color. They also have a pack collection in which you will get a variety of colors to use – Pack Tissue-foil Papers – 20 sheets – 30x30cm (11.8″x11.8″). You can also select sheets of only a certain color such as Copper or Gold and these are sold separately on the site. You can check them out on under the Paper category / section.

Tant:
Tant paper is a good selection for intermediate models, too. These can be wet folded and are used to fold a wide variety of models. For those of you who would like to purchase from stores in the USA, please visit Kim’s Crane Tant Collection. They have a good selection of Tant papers and some of the paper packs are exactly the same as that sold in Origami-Shop. You can also purchase specific colors as per my understanding.

Origami-Shop offers the rare pack / collection – Pack Tant 35x35cm — 10 colors — 100 sheets – along with packs of other color shades / hues which are available on the site.

Elephant Hide:

I, myself, have never used elephant hide for folding but from the amazing pictures I see on Flickr, these papers make awesome Tessellations. In USA, you can purchase Elephant Hide paper from Kim’s Crane, yet again. This store has a wide variety of shades / colors and sizes to choose from. Again buying sheets of specific colors is possible. Do check these out at Kim’s Crane Elephant Hide collection.

Foil Paper:

Foil paper 35x35 cm - 12 colors - 24 sheets

These papers are metallic and though they hold creases pretty well, they are not accommodating on errors in folding. Once creased in place, the paper will continue to maintain the marking of a crease even after you have straightened it out. Hence, this paper should be used for those models, which you are well experienced in and probably in which crease errors such as these will not make a big deal (I can’t think of such a model except in the case of a few modular pieces, I suppose). Further, these have a strong shine on the surface, which does not make the overall origami design appealing – especially if the model you have folded is an animal with intricate features.

You can purchase this paper at most origami and craft shops these days. They are mostly single side colored and come in smaller sizes. Origami-Shop has a good selection of foil paper on their site such as the Foil paper 35×35 cm – 12 colors – 24 sheets.

You can also purchase Foil paper at Kim’s Crane this is for those of you residing in USA.

Test Sheets / Tracing paper for test folds:

Test sheets - White - 40x40 cm (15.7

We’ve all been here – not wanting to “waste” our prized paper which we bought from a fancy shop not long ago on folding a slightly complex model which we know has a high tendency of landing up as a crumpled piece of paper in the waste bin.

You can buy regular tracing paper from Michaels or any other stores, which has these rolls available. At times, you can also use copy paper, but the thickness of this paper really limits their use for complicated origami designs.

If you would like something fancier, Origami-Shop has a selection of test sheets, which are available for sale. You can select from their Test sheets – White – 40×40 cm (15.7″x15.7″) – 60g/m² (50 sheets) or their Test sheets – White – 20×20 cm 60g/m². They also have these in 22×22 cm and in a light yellow shade.

Kraft paper:

I usually buy a roll of kraft paper from Michaels. This is a craft store which is located all over USA (at least it looks like that to me!). They have tissue paper (for regular gift wrapping), Kraft paper that you get in a variety of colors at times as well as regular Kami paper and Origami Kits for those who are interested.

I hope this post helps you in your paper choices and sources!

Donkey (Design by Román Díaz)

Donkey (Design by Roman Diaz)
Donkey (Design by Roman Diaz)

This is my second fold from Kraft paper lined with tissue paper on one side to take advantage of the color change. This is my first model from the book – #3 Origami Essence – which I bought from Nicholas Terry’s shop.

Donkey 2(Design by Roman Diaz)
Donkey 2(Design by Roman Diaz)

My first fold was from a 6 inch square sheet of Kami and this turned out to be very small. My second fold (pictured above) is from a much larger sheet of paper measuring 10 inches in size. Its a green color paper I used, as thats what I had readily available with me. I am yet to receive my Tant paper package from Origami-shop. So I had to make do with what I had at home.

This model is categorized as level 3 (out of a total of 5 levels, 5 being the most complex) in the book and has a suggested paper size of 35 cm. One can either dry or wet fold this model and the author – Roman Diaz – has suggested Tant paper, painted white on one side for the color change. The final size would be 0.27 of the paper size used.

The model has 50 steps involved and these include the steps for the final shaping. The only steps which are slightly complicated at the 2 open sink folds in the middle of the folding process. Once you are past this sinks, every other step is quite a breeze to get by. The steps are explained clearly and color changes are clearly depicted. Almost every fold has a reference point, so it becomes really easy to follow and figure out.