Monday, March 2, 2009

Origami works of art

In an earlier post, I mentioned my interest in paper folding, and how fascinating it is to build interesting objects from simple materials. Back in school, I remember those lazy summer days, when I used to try and create everything from Origami flapping birds, to geometric shapes, to aerodynamically accurate paper aircraft! Of course, not all these endeavors were met with success, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.

Having been bitten by the paper folding bug recently, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out exactly how complex this art form can get. These days, there are hundreds of Web resources that will teach you the fine art of making paper models, complete with scientific explanations, and even instructional videos--it's on a different level altogether! An hour of digging through online resources and I came away amazed. Here are some of the best paper folding models I found--they can take anywhere from a few minutes to over 40 hours to create!

First up is what is touted to be the World's best paper airplane. Known as the O'Reilly airplane, it features all the aeronautics you could want in a paper aircraft--working rudders, stabilizers and flaps. Best of all, it takes minutes to build, and is scalable--the larger and stiffer the paper, the better it is likely to fly!
Click here for the step-by-step folding instructions, and here for a video on how to fold the plane.
Another one of my personal favorite paper airplanes is the 'Barnaby'. Designed by an ex-US Navy pilot, this plane is one of the easiest to build, and it flies like a dream!
Click here for the step-by-step folding instructions.
Moving on to more traditional forms of Origami, one of my favorite (and more challenging) paper objects is the Kawasaki rose. You'll need at least intermediate paper folding skills to attempt this model, but the results are great.
Click here to download the PDF of the folding instructions.
Kawasaki rose
Then there's this ultra-cool and super-realistic Noboru Miyajima bat! The level of detail and faithfulness to anatomy in this model is truly awesome. This is a rather involved model (it consists of a shade over 100 folding steps). But then again, the results are fantastic.
Click here to download the PDF of the folding instructions.
Noboru bat
If you're a movie buff, you'll be stoked by the characters on this page--you'll find Gandalf, Yoda and even Wall-E, all Origami-fied! Not all the authors have shared the folding instructions, but you'll find a video of the Wall-E character on this page. wall_e1

Later on, when you get bored of folding 100-step Origami characters, you'll want something that presents a bit more of a challenge. If you're like Satoshi Kamiya, a 27-year-old guy from Japan, you should be ready for the 200+ step designs. This guy is credited with developing some of the most advanced and complex Origami ever folded. Relying solely on his intuition and skill (that's right, no computer programs to assist), he creates true works of art with paper--from dragons, to mythical creatures, to animals and fish, check out the level of detail that's possible with with paper folding.

origami-mantis Kamiya-16_0
Satoshi_Kamiya__s_Bahamut_WP_by_Vargaskyld Ancient dragon

And then at the pinnacle of his skill...

dragon-origamiThis is an 8-inch model of an Eastern dragon, and is detailed with eyes, teeth, a tongue, whiskers, a barbed tail, and over 1,000 individual scales on its body. And yes, this model was folded from a single piece of paper. I'm in awe.

Check out this video of Satoshi Kamiya at work:

He's authored a book containing the folding instructions of all these fantastic paper models. If you're so inclined, you can buy it from here.

Finally, check out these informative online Origami resources here and here.


Aristarkhos said...

Saw this amazing piece of work in the Geo magazine. Mad amount of work.

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