I finally folded this model after playing lazy for more than a week. This design by Eric Joisel, is intermediate in nature and contains a lot of intricate folds. It is definitely not for the beginners in origami.
I used a 16 inch square sheet of ’tissue’ paper to fold this. Yes, you heard me right… tissue paper! Though, I am of the opinion that one can use such kind if flimsy paper to fold these kind of intermediate models, one should be aware that you need to be extra careful when doing so. A slight breeze such as if you are folding near an opened window can ruin your work completely. Also, your folds should be made carefully taking care not to tear the paper whilst doing so.
I found that with tissue paper I could easily fold the ‘head’ portion which otherwise has a lot of over lapping folds and would have been difficult if I was using the common origami paper. Shaping the model is also easier since the paper is delicate and folds really easily. Hence, I did not have to resort to wet folding or ‘spreading’ the folds in order to create the curves on the ears.
One must remember though that the final model is half the size of the sheet of paper one started out with. Hence a 16″ square sheet of paper produced a completed model of a rat of about 8″ approx.
How to fold this model:
Sara Adams has put in a lot of effort to record and upload an instructional video on this model – with permission from Eric Joisel, of course. She has explained the steps clearly and has even gone to the extent of marking out the folds where possible. I am sure you, too, will find it really helpful. You can find the videos here – Eric Joisel’s Origami Rat.
Tips on folding this model:
1) Use duo colored paper to fold the rat. Else you will find that the “white” side ‘peeps’ up in many places
2) Use a square sheet of paper preferably of a size 9 to 12 inches or more. (I used 16″ paper to fold the rat depicted in the image above).
3) Make sure all your creases are firm; use your finger nail or a hard object to flatten and firm the creases.
4) You can try wet-folding the ears to shape them. Same goes for shaping the ‘thighs’ of the rat and the tip of it’s tail.