Origami Swan

swan4This summer in Ireland has been the best since I moved here in 2000.  It is absolutely scorching.  I haven’t written a post in a while because it’s just been too hot to do very much except eat ice-cubes.  I’m posting now though because I’ve finally finished a model that I have been making for a friend.  Her totem animal is the swan so I think she will like it.  I used the video provided by a Romanian origami wizard on his blog.  Thanks Razvan.   swan2It took ages to make.  The little triangular pieces take less than a minute to fold but there are nearly 600 pieces in this model.  I’ll let you do the maths. While I’m here I want to give you an update on the garden.  redcurrantsWe had our first harvest of redcurrants last week.  It was also our last.  😦  The blackbirds have finally figured out that Hagrid has gone.  Hagrid loved to chase birds.  I didn’t like him doing it but now that the birds are scoffing my fruit I wish he was back at it.  The blackbirds are keeping an eye on the ripening blueberries so I’m going to have to make some bird scarers.  Anybody got any ideas?  I was thinking about tin foil streamers but they’d probably be too fragile. I’ve been trying to do the annual hedge cut.  ladderIt’s not fun in this heat.  May I just say, for the record, that whoever decided that leylandii would make a good hedging plant ought to be taken out and shot.  The previous owners of our house who planted the hedge should be shot too.  Only kidding, but that’s how I feel when I’m up the ladder. And one final gratuitous picture of my garden in bloom.  The pink flower is mallow and the white ones on the right are hebe.  As always you can click on the photos to enlarge them.mallowetc

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Posted on July 20, 2013, in Gardening, Origami and Papercraft and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. I cant even begin to think about the patience it and discipline it took you to build that swan. That huge hedge does look a bit overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t do the swan all in one go. I just made a few triangular units in a spare moment here and there. It all adds up. I did do a solid hour or so at the end when I was getting excited about finishing it. 😀
      As for the hedge, the photo only shows half of it. 😦 It’s a monster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s stunning. The lightness of the construction is like feathers.
    We have a lot of swans where I live. This is my attempt at recreating them….hope you like it!
    http://blog.monsteryarns.co.uk/2013/06/10/cushions-swans-and-a-little-geography/

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    • Thank you. It’s a wonderful model isn’t it? Razvan does a great job with this style of origami.
      Thanks for the link. I love your photos and your cushion. Good job. Very stylish.

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  3. Congratulations, you did a very good model, I’m glad my tutorial was useful to you. I hope you will do other of my models .
    All the best from Romania
    Razvan

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    • Thanks Razvan. Your tutorials are really helpful and well presented. I look forward to seeing what you do next.
      I hope Romania is enjoying good weather like Ireland is at the moment.
      Best Wishes,
      Sarah

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  4. Hey Sarah! Nice to meet you. I like your work! 🙂

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  5. It’s a great work. 😀

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  6. Sarah, thanks for the invite into your garden! I adore Mallow. And I agree with the viewpoint on aggressive hedges! The other day I was trimming our crazy overgrown cotoneaster hedge and was thinking, ‘I’d rather be cooking.’ (I’ve been making a lot of soups lately) So good luck with that and be careful on the ladder. And one idea on bird scarer’s: old CD’s hung from fishing line or strong thread. They swivel in the breeze and catch the light (quite strongly, and hopefully won’t blind any drivers on nearby streets).
    Hugs, Gina

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    • Thanks Gina. Some gardening jobs are more fun than others, aren’t they? Thanks for the tip. I’ll be looking out for spare CDs around the house. I’ve already made a pinwheel and some streamers out of embossing foil but the pinwheel won’t turn properly. It reflects the light nicely though. The blueberries are still there but not ripe yet.
      {Hugs}

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  7. The swan is absolutely beautiful! It looks like it would be labor intensive, but some things are worth it!
    Bummer — I hate it that the marauding birds got your currants, and I hope you’re able to keep them away from your blueberries. The idea from another commenter about the discs was a good one that I had never thought of before. A few years ago I bought a bunch of colorful wind socks from the dollar store and hung them around the garden, and no birds bothered anything, but it would depend on if you get much in the way of breezes where you live.
    That is one huge and daunting hedge! I guess at least it’s good for privacy.
    Beautiful flowers! Your gratuitous photos of them are always welcome as far as I am concerned!

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    • Aw, I’m so glad you liked the swan (and the flowers). I’m waiting for my friend to come back off her holiday so that I can give it to her. I can hardly wait!

      Wind socks… I bet I could make something like that. Thanks for the idea. It’s usually quite windy here but it’s been a little becalmed lately while the sun has been so unexpectedly hot.

      Yeah, the hedge screens the garden well all-year-round; that’s its one redeeming feature.

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  8. I am absolutely gob smacked at that swan, it is stunning and you must be so proud of your finished creation, I know I would be if I could make something like that ! I cannot wait to see your other projects now

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    • Thanks! When I saw the swan on Razvan’s blog I just had to have a go. It looked so beautiful. However, it takes a really long time to make enough little triangular units to build anything substantial. I’m still building up a supply for my next project. It’s going to be a while before I have anything new to show everyone. 😦
      Thanks for the encouragement.

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  9. It’s beautiful! I can’t believe I missed this!

    I never got past messing around with the triangular units, although I tried my hand on one of Lang’s “traditional” models, then took a look at Circle Packing, then finally got a headache trying to figure out how to make use of crease patterns.

    I don’t have much to show for it 🙂

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    • Yeah, I got a few headaches from trying Lang’s methods too!

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      • Have you looked at any of the YouTube videos on using circle packing to produce crease patterns as a method of designing your own model? I saw one with the scorpion. It was reasonably straight-forward, although he never went beyond the crease pattern, which is why I read up a bit on crease patterns and found there was no systematic way to go from crease to model.

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      • No, I’m afraid I haven’t looked at the YouTube videos. As far as going from crease pattern to model, I had a bit of success with a stealth aircraft (was that in Lang’s book, I can’t remember?) but I got stuck with more complex models. I got the impression that it was a skill that would improve through repeated practice and experimentation. However, I was not willing to devote the necessary time to the process. If I decide to have another go some time in the future I will blog my findings here.

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      • I think the stealth aircraft was in Lang’s book. If you get any results, I definitely want to read them! Take care.

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  10. I absolutely love the swan, With all the beautiful things you do with paper — I would love to see what you do when you wrap someone’s present? I think I need to write down the name of that hedge plant. New neighbors moved in by my mom. For five decades there has been a hedge that the birds and bunnies nest in. The neighbors ripped up the hedge. I told my mom to just replant one on her property — I think that one would be perfect. 😀

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    • Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t know how to do anything fancy when wrapping presents. You’ve got me thinking though… 😉
      Please, please don’t plant a leylandii hedge unless your mum has a huge garden and plenty of time for hedge clipping. In the UK this hedge causes a lot of disputes between neighbours because it gets so tall and blocks out light.

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  11. So You created a Swan for Your garden! That is great. …Particularly liked the last picture, particularly after enlarging it.

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  12. a most beautiful swan (made with love)

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

    Another post from 2013. This time origami AND gardening in the same post, coz sometimes I just like to mix it up and go wild.
    That was sarcasm btw. 😉 I’ve noticed that some people have a problem with my sense of humour. They find it hard to detect. I do have one. No, really, I do.

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  14. Your swan is beautiful ! 🙂

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  15. It is all white here today so it was lovely to see some flowers. As you can guess I have great empathy for your post about Hagrid. ❤

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    • Did it snow?
      There are still a few flowers (marigold and fuchsia) hanging on here despite the drop in temperature. We’ve had heavy frosts the last few mornings.
      I still miss my furry boy Hagrid but I get to see more birds in the garden (the other cats prefer rodents). Every cloud has a silver lining!
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. ❤

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  16. Present tense. It is snowing the pretty fluffy flakes. Nothing too bad for the holiday traveling. Nox was my bird kitty too. She just liked to watch them though. She never tried to catch one. I hope you have a Thanks–giving day too..

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  17. You MADE that swan?! It’s amazing 🙂

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  18. Holy kamoly, that swan is amazing, and beautiful to beat the band…I mean REALLY REALLY!! How in hell do you put the “hundreds of little triangle pieces” together to make a swan? I know, I could watch that video, and I plan to, because you KNOW, you just know that I want to make that swan or something like it myself. But first I gotta know the quick and dirty answer: is it glued, or something different? I cannot imagine the work involved, but I am nothing if not up for a challenge and doing hundred of little triangles would be just my thing!

    I do not know anything at all about the terms you have used in your writing about origami, all I know is the basic crane and flower and box stuff, but in the PBS video I saw, the one thing they stressed was making the designs out of a single piece of paper. I gather there are or must be different schools of thinking and doing about this! Anyhow the swan is just astoundingly lovely. The hedge is daunting enough for me to be very very glad not to own your house or land (or any at all at my age)…I do remember gathering currants in Finland, and my mouth waters at the memory! Especially BLACK currants, which I have not seen in the USA ever. Do you have those in Ireland as well?

    Thanks so much for all your comments, and the links. If I can I will send you a link to this PBS video i keep mentioning, if I can recall the name. I think you would really enjoy it.

    Cheers,

    Pam Wagner

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    • Hi Pam. No, the pieces are not glued. (I kind of wish they were because my friend keeps knocking bits off and I have to keep repairing it. 🙂 ) This kind of origami is called modular origami to distinguish it from regular origami that only uses a single sheet of paper. Each module in Golden Venture models like the swan is made of a small rectangle of paper. Each module has two little pockets and two triangular spikes. The modules are joined by fitting the spikes of one module into the pockets of other modules. I hope that gives you the general idea. 🙂

      And yes, I have blackcurrants in my garden too. They grow really well in Ireland (to the point where you almost get sick of eating them!)

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you liked the swan. I enjoyed seeing your wonderful papier mache models. Thanks for sharing them. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is simply fantastic, Sarah! Beautiful and admirable! 🙂

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  20. Aha, modular origami! I like that. I will look at video. Here is the link to the PBS trailer for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGKRN4ogMWw ” Between the Folds” documentary, if you have not seen it…And you know, I just might start folding origami triangles to make a swan or something, esp since it is a modular piece so I can do little things in my spare time and then in a large space of time put them together…That sounds much more like my cuppa! Thanks for enlightening me. Much less daunting than the pieces I saw in BTFs…

    But both are beautiful!’

    BW

    Pam

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  21. The video is PRIVATE. Did you know that when you click on the link, you get a message telling the viewer that thje origami video is private and cannot be seen unless you are sent a link by the owner? But they do not provide any way to allow you to give the email address,

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    • No, I didn’t know that. Thanks for letting me know. It looks like Razvan has made his whole blog private. I’ve updated the link to point at his YouTube video which still seems to be okay. You need instructions for the little module piece before you can use the swan video: http://youtu.be/JPAptBeCL5c. If you have trouble following these instructions (he has a strong accent) let me know and I will try to find you a different video.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. did you get some ideas for bird scarers? saw a tree festooned with old cds. don’t know if they work. the best thing I’ve tried was plastic supermarket bags. they flapped noisily in the wind. but birds are so smart. whatever you use needs to only be there a short while because they get used to them.

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    • Thanks for the tip. 🙂 I could only find one old CD so I made a windmill instead. I used clear plastic and some embossing foil so that it would reflect the light as it spun. It only lasted for one season though and I didn’t trust it enough to rely on that alone so I also put some chicken wire around and strung some string over the top. There are more cats around now so I’m hoping I won’t have so much of a problem next berry season.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. My wife has also made this 3D origami swan, but I have not yet post about it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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

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