Dragon in Flight (Design by Charles Esseltine)

Dragon in Flight (Design by Charles Esseltine)
Dragon in Flight (Design by Charles Esseltine)
Dragon in Flight (Design by Charles Esseltine)
Dragon in Flight (Design by Charles Esseltine)

This weekend, I thought I’d try making homemade tissue foil paper for a change. Along with this, I thought I’d give Charles Esseltine’s Dragon In Flight a try, too. This particular dragon design is something which has been on my ‘To Do’ list for quite sometime, but the intricate folds in certain steps always got me thinking twice. This time however, I thought I’d give it a shot, for sure. I first started with making tissue foil in order to fold the dragon. This was done using the common kitchen aluminium foil and tissue paper which you get in your local gift stores which is used for gift wrapping.

How to make Tissue foil:

Sara Adams, once again has recorded a great video on this paper making process. 🙂 It is very easy to follow and most of the items required can be bought from your usual hardware store or craft shop. I myself used liquid glue used for common crafts and to spread the glue around the foil, I used a cotton ball; and these worked out fine for me.

You can view the YouTube video here – Making Tissue Foil

The most tricky part is placing the tissue paper over the foil (after spreading the glue) so as to not have any “air bubbles” between the layers. I did have to ‘undo’ some portions of the tissue foil and re-stick them. All in all, it takes a bit of patience in sticking the sheets and you got to be careful. My final tissue foil did have some air bubbles between the layers, but I used the final sheet anyway! 😀

How to fold the ‘Dragon In Flight’:

I used a square sheet of tissue foil paper measuring approx 12 inches in size. This was prepared with red tissue on both sides of the foil. I had come across this Dragon in Flight PDF diagram sometime ago and had included it in my Diagrams list which I have updated recently. Do take a peek at that page.

I also found this YouTube instructional video which shows how to fold this dragon. Its pretty easy to follow and if you use the PDF diagram along with this video, it becomes quite easy.

Origami Rat (Design By Eric Joisel)

Rat (Design By Eric Joisel)
Rat (Design By Eric Joisel)

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.

Alexander Swallowtail Butterfly (Design by Michael LaFosse)

Alexander Swallowtail Butterfly (Design by Michael LaFosse)
Alexander Swallowtail Butterfly (Design by Michael LaFosse)

I had been looking out for this design for quite sometime now and stumbled upon the link and designer in Sara Adams’ blog. This is a real pretty design of a swallowtail butterfly and Michael LaFosse has incorporated an amazing amount of detail in this model.

The swallowtail butterfly is an intermediate model (level of complexity of folding) and looks best when folded using origami paper, which is blank on one side, or simply single side colored. It took me about 15 minutes to fold this butterfly and another 5 minutes for finishing touches on it.

What you need:
Origami paper of 7” or more for a decently sized butterfly; preferably single side colored. In this image, of the model I folded, I have used printed origami paper (dual side print). It does not give the same effect of contrast as Michael’s model in his instructional Video.

How to fold the swallowtail butterfly:
Michael LaFosse’s book – Origami Butterflies – which he co-authored with Greg Mudarri and Richard Alexander is a collection of designs on butterflies and this model is taken from there. There also exists a good tutorial by Tadashi Mori on his YouTube channel.

I think this model is apt for the time…..as Spring is in the air and flowers have started to bloom….at least in my part of the world! 🙂