Getting Excited About Folding Paper

origamiWhen I was young someone gave me a couple of books by Robert Harbin and I fell in love with folding paper.  I’ve done it on and off over the years but this year I’ve gone on a bit of a binge.  It started in February when I revisited my favourite models from the Harbin books and tried a few new ones from a book I got for my birthday a few years ago.  My children joined in for a while and our models are shown in the photos on the right.  (Click on the pictures if you want to see them enlarged.)

I was unsure about the modular origami in the new book.  I used to be a bit of a snob about origami in the past – if you needed scissors, glue or more than one sheet of paper then it wasn’t “proper” origami.  In fact, even after I committed heresy and made my first modular origami piece, I was still a little underwhelmed by the whole idea; it felt like cheating.  Then I came across this blog – Razcaorigami – and I started to warm to it a little because it’s hard to deny that some of his models are pretty darn impressive.  I followed his YouTube instructions on how to make the units and wrote a comment that I would patiently wait for his instructions on making his cool-looking egg.  I held off for a few hours but then (sorry Razvan) I scoured the Internet and found someone else’s instructions [but forgot to bookmark them :(].  hina_ningyoI made an egg.  I was hooked.  I found instructions for a ball but mine didn’t come out ball-shaped.  I dismantled both models and used the shaping technique from the egg video and the spiral pattern technique from the ball video to make the ball pictured below.

first modular origami modelsThen I came across Sergei Tarasov’s model of St Basil’s.  His models are amazing and they are made of tens of thousands of the little triangular units.  I’ve found that I can make my units at times which I normally find annoying; like waiting for my laptop to boot or during ad breaks on the TV.  I’m trying to build up a stock of differently coloured units to make a new model of my own invention.  Watch this space blog!Harbin's Jackstone made from a single square of washi paper

Last night I found a different kind of modular origami on the Internet and a model called a Bascetta star.  I got really excited about making it because it’s like my favourite Harbin model, the Jackstone (see right), but it’s even more pointy (see above)!  I realised that this is about the most excited I get about anything.  I love making things.  Some of you who get a kick from bungee jumping or whatever, might find getting excited about folding little pieces of paper a bit odd.  I used to find it odd too and I’ve written a post about coming to terms with being a nerd.


Posted on June 1, 2013, in Origami and Papercraft and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Glad to see you started to make 3D origami models (sorry for eggs but it will take some time to get to them with tutorials).I do not understand why most people despise 3d origam or golden venturei folding because it seems to me more difficult and more exciting to create objects utilizizand same parts and I think that the results are more spectacular than traditional Japanese origami. The big difference between traditional origami and 3d origami is that much easier to create new models in 3d origami while the traditional origami only very few people understand the art and manage to create new models.
    I think 3D origami models are more suitable as gifts or as decorative objects and more durability.
    I tried traditional origami but frankly I found it very stressful especially complex models are very difficult to achieve.
    Congratulations for the models you done until now and good luck with the next model.

    All the best from Romania.



    • Thanks for the reply and the congrats. You’re right, modular origami seems more versatile than traditional origami and more durable. It’s definitely easier to invent new pieces. I haven’t given up on the old stuff though – I’m currently working my way through “Origami Design Secrets” by Robert J. Lang (recommended to me by another blogger) which might allow me to invent my own one-sheet models.

      Best wishes from Ireland,
      La revedere,


  2. Great post. While I don’t do origami I do get excited by things others might consider mundane (such as fabric & yarn). However origami has been a hobby of my 12 year old son’s for a while now. He made me a really cool ball for Mother’s Day last year. I’m going to show him your blog, pretty sure he’ll love it.


    • Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I’m so glad your son likes origami and is using it to make gifts – great idea. If he has any questions (or just wants to chat about paper!) please let me know. I’d be happy to help.


  3. I so admire the modular unit that you left for me yesterday. It has such a beautiful perfection. I agree with Razvan that the possibilities are endless. I was thinking that a new surface could be made by gluing many on a canvas and painting over them.


    • I’m glad you like it. I will make you a complete model some time.
      Good idea about the new surface – I will try that some time.
      I’m looking forward to having enough units stockpiled to try out a big piece.


  4. Very nice paper craft [Origami]
    So Artful ^^
    It’s GREAT !


  5. Reblogged this on Anglo Saxon Celt Creates and commented:

    Since my blog is quiet at the moment I thought I would reblog a few of my early posts that you might not have seen. This one is my very first post. 😀


  6. Beautiful. Delicate. Intricate. So much patience. ❤


  7. I might have mentioned this before… are you familiar with the work of Robert Lang? He takes a more mathematical approach to inventing traditional origami models, using a technique called circle packing. I don’t think it’s quite down to a system yet, but it’s a pretty nifty thing.


  8. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Have you ever seen that man in Japan who cuts these incredible figures out of paper. He puts on a show and people call out. A cow or a skyscraper and he takes paper and these sharp scissors and make it.. Its on youtube.. You are creative… You’d like it..


    • Thanks Juan. I’ve heard of people who do that kind of thing but not that man in particular. There are some very skilled people out there. It’s amazing to watch, isn’t it?


  9. I used to have those books (bought them with paper-round money. Wonder if I still have them? You may have re-kindled a hobby.


  10. These are gorgeous! I admire the ability to look at paper and see a sculpture. Beautiful!


  11. Love the little structures you have so much patience 🙂


  12. I may give it a go but you know how hide bound I am to classic Japanese stuff, as evidenced by my haiku….but I am intrigued by modular origami. Just keep twitching it a bit and old cat that I am, I may go after it. Intriguing work, Sara…keep twitching that string…


  1. Pingback: Introduction to Origami | Anglo Saxon Celt Creates

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