Friday, April 2, 2010

The Coolest Origami Ever and How to Fold a Dog

In vain have I searched--it will not be found, at least not tonight.  The coolest origami i have ever seen was on TV (maybe NHK, maybe Tokyo Terebi--can't remember).  It was something like a variety show, but there was a segment featuring three origami masters who were given the task of folding "from life", the results of which would then be voted on.  Standing at one end of a pier with large pieces of paper, on the signal, they ran to the other end where a large aquarium was set up on a table.  They had to grab a net, catch something swimming around in the tank, transfer it to their own tank, and create an origami version of whatever they had just pulled out of the large tank.  An octopus.  A small skate (ray).  A puffer fish.  And they did this in an unbelievably short amount of time.  It was jaw-dropping, to say the least.

But since I can't seem to find a video of it on YouTube, here's the other coolest origami ever, from origami master Kamiya Satoshi:

the coolest origami ever

(sorry--I would put the YouTube video in, but I haven't figured out how to embed a video yet)

Yeah--wow, right?  All from one 2mx2m piece of paper.  Origami hardly seems like the right word to describe what he does--more like sculpture which happens to be done with a piece of paper rather than folding.  But folded it is, as they show towards the end of the clip.

Over the next several days, I'd like to give you a sense of how he does what he does by posting some how-tos for some very simple origami which will, I hope, help you gain a beginning sense of how the same folds can become many different things.   In a way, origami masters approach origami in somewhat the same way that a chess master approaches a game of chess--with moves stored in the memory in large chunks which enables them to reproduce the chessboard perfectly even if you remove all the pieces.  Origami folds are stored in the memory rather like that--do the same series of folds for the (crane, for example), then do this.  As you get better at origami and learn to fold slightly more complicated pieces, it becomes possible to start making one thing and then just... fold off in a different direction and see if anything comes out.

But fear not, today I'm not going throw you to the origami lions.  Just to the dogs.  Here's the simplest possible dog, plus a variation on the ears.

Pick a color you like, reverse white side can be a white dog, of course.

First, fold a mountain upsidedown!
Big paper or small, take your pick.  Or both to make mommy dogs and baby dogs.

Fold in half again and unfold--guide fold made!
(folding and unfolding just for a guide fold is done a *lot*, so you can see where to fold or to make it easier to fold there later).

Ears:  fold down a flap a little way over from the center guide fold you made before (dog has to have a head:))

Woof!  That's all you have to do to make a dog!

Get a black marker or crayon to put on a face.

Use lots of colors and make an origami version of  Go, Dog, Go!  Red dogs, blue dogs, green dogs, yellow dogs, black dogs and white dogs are all at a dog party.  What a dog party!

here's the ear variation.   Mom will probably have to do this manoeveur (unless you're doing this with a child 6 or older).

Stick your finger inside one of the ears to make it poof out, then.....

....and smoosh it down flat--the place it was originally folded will now run down the middle of the ear.

See how the ear looks floppier?

You can also knick the bottom under to make the chin, or leave it as is and draw the point as the nose.

Two kinds of ears, two kinds of faces, and my daughter's fingers...

She decided she wanted a dalmation, so she folded the color side to the inside with white outside and drew spots on with a black marker.

Fold a big house and a little dog--voila!  A doghouse:)  And if you happen to be folding a dog party, you can even fold a little ice cream to have falling out of the tree ( that was the  reaction of my oldest son  when he was 2 to that big 2-page spread.  He would notice the ice cream cone falling out of the tree and say "dirty!").

Happy folding!  Mata asobou, ne!