Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Mind-Blowing Modular Origami by Byriah Loper

On Instagram I see tons of people posting modular origami, and many of them seem to only post this genre of origami. Personally, I'm not particularly into modulars; I prefer to fold out of one sheet, or when I fold modulars, it's folded out of less than 6 units. Well, because I'm a rather lazy folder. I tend to get tired of repetitive folding. But when I received Mind-Blowing Modular Origami by Byriah Loper from Tuttle Publishing, I felt inspired to try my hand at some of these models, since they look literally mind-blowing!

There are instructions of 19 modular models in this book. 7 of them are kusudama-like decorative modular models, and the rest are interlocking wire-frame models.  The range of units are anywhere from 4 to 650! Most are 30 or 60 unit modulars.

The only model that I've folded out of this book so far is Triakis, a 30-unit kusudama. Honestly, I enjoyed folding this model more than I thought that I would. It was soothing to fold each unit repetitively, and it was also a fun challenge to tackle the assembling, sort of like working on a puzzle. I got a better sense of how addicting modular origami can be.

"Triakis" folded out of copy papers in 5 pastel colors.

The diagramed instructions are clear and well explained, including the assembling parts. Basics and other resources are also covered.

Another "mind-blowing" fact about this book is that the author is quite young (I'm guessing in his early 20s) and has started folding only 7 years ago at the time of his writing.

I recommend this book to any origami enthusiasts, but especially those who enjoy modular origami!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: Advanced Origami by LaFosse and Alexander

Advanced Origami by Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander was first published in 2005 as a hardcover book. I didn't own it but had once borrowed from a friend and loved it. So when I received a pre-released, complimentary copy from Tuttle Publishing recently, I was pleasantly surprised to acquire it and learn that it was re-released as paperback. This updated version is lighter weight and includes a DVD. 

Newly re-released paperback Advanced Origami
has a new cover design too.

15 projects, which are all natural history subjects, and LaFosse's signature models are included in this book. "Advanced" Origami doesn't necessarily mean complex models; in fact, some of the included models are rather simple, and most are intermediate to high intermediate. They are realistic, aesthetically pleasing models. Rather than focusing on complexity, this book is more about higher quality in work, such as by carefully choosing paper, preparing, and folding with special techniques. It is written for experienced folders who are seeking to advance their folding techniques.

Simple yet elegant model with color change,
North American Cardinal.

Happy Good-Luck Bat
folded out of black TANT

This tiny Origamido Butterfly was added to a bouquet
I brought to a friend recovering from sickness.

Aside from the included projects the authors explain in details with photos about curved folding and wet folding, paper qualities, how to choose the right paper, back coating tissue to foil, adding surface color, how to make paper and paper pulp recipes. Everything is very well informed with photos. These info are so valuable, since there aren't a lot of such resources available in other books or online, as far as I know.

For each model there is a beautiful prototype photo, an explanation as to what inspired LaFosse to create the model, and paper suggestions. Diagrams are very clear and well explained, but just in case that you get stuck, or want to add that finishing touch that's missing in the diagrams, there is that DVD.

Overall, I am quite impressed at how much content this book offers. Any origami enthusiasts would be enjoy not only the 15 beautiful models but also the special techniques that aren't offered elsewhere. It seems like such a bargain at less than $20!

I look forward to trying some new techniques, including wet-folding, back-coating and adding surface color, and perhaps making my own paper as suggested in this book this summer. Advanced Origami may very well become my summer time textbook.