Origami... Intellectual Art ?

General discussion about Origami, Papers, Diagramming, ...

Postby Joe the white » June 5th, 2004, 12:51 am

Joseph Wu has a gallery filled with the Origami Luminaries
( http://www.origami.as ) 10 or so of which are female. One of my goals is to be added to this gallery. When designing origami, there are several routes taken, usually it is one of two, being either doodling (designing with no goal) or aimed (where you aim for a design by finding a base or making one ideal for the model). It is sometimes helpful, but more complicated, to draw a crease pattern based on the points and length needed by the design.

Incase it helps, here is my explanation of a closed sink:
A closed sink is like an open sink, but the layers are rearranged. Try open sinking the waterbomb base, look inside. All sides will be arranged the same. In a closed sink, the inner triangle will not be trapped inbetween the two flaps, it will be on either side of them. Step by step its, fold a water bomb base. Fold closed point to the bottom. Unfold. Fold paper in half. Fold the two diagonal creases (the two points at the closed top) to the middle line, bottom. Fold the top point down. Bring one layer to the front (flip over the first layer from the back). Hopefully you now have a closed sunk waterbomb base. :)

to wolf: Really? Since I'm going to a convention for the first time in 20 days, I'll have to be the opposite and encourage them, its not in my personality to sneer :) I would like to see some more prominent women origamists. The only origamist autograph I have is Rachel Katz's and I find here to be very important by teaching origami to children and helping the Shumakovs in immigration, but she is not yet on the luminaries page, probably because Joseph Wu has not had a chance to photograph her.
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Postby bshuval » June 5th, 2004, 7:51 am

Joseph Wu's list of origami luminaries includes not only accopmlished and prolific designer, but also people who have made an impact on the origami world (e.g David Lister. Not a designer, but his knowledge is an asset to the origami world).
My guess is that if you have a name in the world of origami, and Joseph Wu happens to take your photograph, then you can be added to his list of luminaries. Joe, I wish you luck being put on there. You have what it takes...

Living in Israel, my first origami convention was the first Israeli Origami Convention this April. It was a wonderful experience, and we had many, many women. In fact, we had more females there than males. This is due mainly to the fact that the IOC (Israeli Origami Center) trains origami teachers. The IOC teaches origami in schools all around Israel. So, many teachers (they are almost all female) came to the convention.

But, there were also many females who weren't origami teachers. One was a high-school girl who had invented a few modulars. One was an English teacher who had found origami a couple of years ago, and likes making simple models. One was a performer with an interest in Origami, and so on.

However, quite strangely, almost all the exhibited models were folded by males (except for a couple of exhibits, and Fuse's exhibit). The advanced stuff was almost solely folded by males. Our convention book has diagrams that are mostly by males.

To Papermate: most prolific designers I know are male. However, I can name a few female designers (Tomoko Fuse, Miyuki Kawamura, Gay Merril Gross, Patricia Crawford, Ligia Montoya). However, with the exception of Pat Crawford and Ligia Montoya (for her time), the other female designers design mostly simple stuff (not that there's anything wrong with that), or modulars.

To Papermate 2: A good folder can be great without designing anything. I know many excellent folders that have not designed anything in their life. Their work is astounding. It's just like, as has been mentioned elsewhere, one can be an excellent performer of music without having composed anything original.
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Postby wolf » June 5th, 2004, 1:14 pm

bshuval wrote:It was a wonderful experience, and we had many, many women...However, quite strangely, almost all the exhibited models were folded by males (except for a couple of exhibits, and Fuse's exhibit). The advanced stuff was almost solely folded by males. Our convention book has diagrams that are mostly by males.


Pretty much the same during the ousa convention too. It was also one of the first observations made by my nonfolder companion (who was at the con for the first time). You'll be hard pressed to find any females folding representational models during the free folding sessions - just about everyone would be there doing "jewelry and other glitzy accessories" folding (as another folder put it). Then there's the formal classes, and I could go on forever ranting about the whininess that takes place, etc, etc. :D

Joe the White wrote:I would like to see some more prominent women origamists.

Gay Merrill Gross, June Sakamoto, V'ann Cornelius, Jeannine Moseley, Mette Pederson and Annie Pidel are convention regulars. Be sure to look them up! They're all very nice and friendly, so don't be shy about approaching them. Same goes with the male folders, except that you have to first work your way through their surrounding fan clubs (which, for some weird reason, are testosterone soaked teenage boys). :P

PaperMate wrote:I'm wondering how you get to developing your own models...


All you need to design is to ask yourself the questions - what am I aiming for, and do I want it badly enough? If you've got a strong enough reason for wanting to design something, chances are high that you'll figure out a way of designing it, eventually (which may be a day or a year). The specific techniques and stuff are just minor details.

And despite my cynicism, I'll probably be at the con yet again this year. :shock:
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Postby TheRealChris » June 5th, 2004, 1:46 pm

PaperMate wrote:

I'm wondering how you get to developing your own models...


All you need to design is to ask yourself the questions - what am I aiming for, and do I want it badly enough? If you've got a strong enough reason for wanting to design something, chances are high that you'll figure out a way of designing it, eventually (which may be a day or a year). The specific techniques and stuff are just minor details.


"maybe" not every folder is also a developer. I mean, only because I like to read books, I don't have to be a good author. only because I like to watch movies, it doesn't have to mean, that I need to become an producer some day or an actor. the same with music.
maybe you should simply let flow, and watch the direction it goes. it could probably pull you down and far away from doing origami, if you realize someday, that you'll never create your own models.


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Postby PaperMate » June 5th, 2004, 8:48 pm

Hi,

I'm not suggesting that one has to develop his/her own models in order to qualify as a great folder.... on the contrary.

I think it's a matter of what works well for the individual.

My first model folded, many moons ago, was The Swan, but I wasn't completely happy with the finished model and made a few minor adjustments, (nothing extravagant, just pleated the wings so they sat well and crimped the neck to create a more elegant form)...but I guess many folders (far, far more acomplished than I) make such changes..and maybe if they make enough changes they come up with a 'new' model.
I don't know I'm new to this.

Anyway, I'm just thinking about what's possible with diagramming... I use several graphics software packages, (not for Origami) yet, but I'm sure there's plenty of scope there (esp. for 3-D/Vector graphics).

But first things first....

Anyway, my final note:
I've never attended a convention so I cannot comment on attendees, male or female, however despite certain disparaging comments I will be going.... and drawing my own conclusions ! :)

I'll just be extra careful to avoid the 'whining females' and 'testosterone- soaked teenage boys'.. Wolf's words, not mine :lol:

Happy folding!
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Postby wolf » June 5th, 2004, 9:31 pm

PaperMate wrote:...but I guess many folders (far, far more acomplished than I) make such changes..and maybe if they make enough changes they come up with a 'new' model.


That's a spot-on description of how many people start designing. Also learn to read the crease pattern as well, ie, seeing the correlation between the layout of creases on the square and how points are arranged in the final model. Basically, don't be afraid to completely fold and unfold a model several times to see how it works. It might not make sense initially, but just practice, practice, practice. If a bunch of bratty adolescent boys can do it, so can you. :D

Enjoy the journey - I'm looking forward to seeing new models from a female folder! :)
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Postby gilad_zn » June 5th, 2004, 9:35 pm

Wow! I haven't visited the forum for just one day and look at the catching up I had to do! :lol:

1) About the male-female issue, it does seem that the technical field of origami (おりがみ せっきい, Origami Sekkei) is dominated by males. I have met only one woman who was good at technical folding, and not very good at modular and geometric stuff. I don't know exactly why, but it's probably for the same reason that there most of the students in the mathematical oriented fields are male.

A curious point raised by bshuval several weeks ago, when we watched a video about Lilian Openhimer on our monthly origami meeting - it seems that origami was brought and populorzed in the west by females, but since then the male have "taken over" the field. I think it is much more apparent in Japan, where origami is an art traditionally taught to female children by their mothers, and yet today the majority of designers and folders are male.

2)
My first model folded, many moons ago, was The Swan, but I wasn't completely happy with the finished model and made a few minor adjustments, (nothing extravagant, just pleated the wings so they sat well and crimped the neck to create a more elegant form)...but I guess many folders (far, far more acomplished than I) make such changes..and maybe if they make enough changes they come up with a 'new' model.

I think this is a very important point. Most of the modern origami models have their own base. Basically, a base is an origami models with enough flaps to create the intended model. I trully believe that a folder should use artistic license once the base is folded, and feel free to steer away from the written diagrams. Most origami diagrams go through three stages:
a. Finding the refference point/s. (Lots of folding and unfolding).
b. Folding the base.
c. Finishing the model.

Although stages a & b are usually require very accurate folds, at stage c folding "inaccurately" is not dissastorous, and can even achieve better results.

It should be noted that this does not mean that once you finish a model it becomes your own design. A lot of the designing went into the base.

3) The dreaded close sink.
A closed sink is like an open sink, but the layers are rearranged. Try open sinking the waterbomb base, look inside. All sides will be arranged the same. In a closed sink, the inner triangle will not be trapped inbetween the two flaps, it will be on either side of them. Step by step its, fold a water bomb base. Fold closed point to the bottom. Unfold. Fold paper in half. Fold the two diagonal creases (the two points at the closed top) to the middle line, bottom. Fold the top point down. Bring one layer to the front (flip over the first layer from the back). Hopefully you now have a closed sunk waterbomb base.

An excellent explanation!!! I rarely see anyone using this approach in explaining how to fold a closed sink. In case it helps, I have several pictures of folding a closed sink on my webpage (under articles). At the bottom part I also have pictures of the "alternative" and very simple and clean method which is sometimes possible to use, based on the concept presented by Joe W.
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Postby bshuval » June 5th, 2004, 10:37 pm

With all that's being said here (I am really enjoying this discussion), have you noticed that we have, without saying, declared that the only "good" origami is technical, representationl folding, and that modular stuff and simple decorative stuff is not "good" or "worthy" origami?

I, for one, enjoy all fields of origami (and I mean ALL of them, including non-pure fields), and I think that all of them are "good" origami. I find as much joy in folding a simple decoration as I find in folding a complex creation. Studying CPs and understanding modulars are equally fascinating to me. Yamaguchi's simple work and Kamiya's super-complex work both make me wonder in amazement.

What I am saying here that sadly most males have become solely interested in the complex stuff, and have turned their eyes away from this simple stuff. I am glad that females do enjoy and practice simpler origami. Because otherwise, that field of origami may wither and die. (For example, so few people do work a la Jeff Beynon (having something (usually geometrical) emerge from a seemingly boring CP), that we barely see that kind of origami today).

This reminds me of something that happened in the IOC2004 (Israeli Origami Convention 2004). For many people who came to the convetion, this was their first time meeting other folders. Many people have put up wonderful displays. Almost all the display were of representational stuff. We had quite a lot of complex stuff on display.

One of the women, for whom this was a first time, had brought with her some of her favorite folds: An Adolfo Cerceda peacock, and a couple of vases she had folded from nice big paper. Seeing all the complex work, she decided not to put a display. Later when I talked to her she had told me what she had brought, and I had persuaded her to bring her folds and put them on display (which she did).

I don't think that just because something is simple it shouldn't be displayed. It is too bad that is seems as though most people disagree with me.
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Postby PaperMate » June 6th, 2004, 9:32 am

Male ego-trip ? :lol:

Yes, I agree with bshuval's comments, which I think applies to ALL
art forms.

Every artist takes what they want and contributes what they can to their art form.

I practice Calligraphy and I'm forever trying different scripts, using non-conventional materials and undertaking new projects - but some Calligraphers are simply happy to work at whichever script they are proficient in, which is fine!

Probably this is true with folding ? but I'd imagine that most folders like the challenge of trying out new models and experimenting ?

1, it brings a sense of personal achievement, mastering a particularly difficult manoeuvre.

2, displaying a new model on your gallery brings a lot of positive feedback from fellow folders and thus feeds the Ego

What is it they say about man and his Ego ? (just teasing, I'm not about to start a gender-war) :wink:

Anyway it's really important that you do encourage others.
I've been viewing members websites and their galleries, full of wonderful models. I could feel a sense of 'woeful inadequacy' :wink: but I'd rather see it as something to aspire to. It's really inspiring to see just what can be achieved!

BTW: I've mastered the 'closed sink' :D My living room is full of tiny grey elephants of varying sizes, think Botswana.

Thanks so much for your advice...... really appreciated.
Danke,
Thanks (in Hebrew ?)

One more thing: geometric models.... I've got to admit I like geometric designs/symmetrical form. In fact, I'm looking for a Celtic Tree of life diagram and/or Greek key style labyrinth,... any suggestions ?
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Postby gilad_zn » June 6th, 2004, 9:52 am

(just teasing, I'm not about to start a gender-war)

A while back there was the famous "Insect War", and just look at all the awful, demented, terrible , finger breaking insects that gave us. Maybe it's time to start another one? :twisted:

Thanks (in Hebrew ?)

Thanks - Toda
Thanks alot - Toda Raba

One more thing: geometric models.... I've got to admit I like geometric designs/symmetrical form. In fact, I'm looking for a Celtic Tree of life diagram and/or Greek key style labyrinth,... any suggestions ?

Well, Jeremy Shafer has a great flasher labyrinth. The idea is a "flasher" - a piece of paper folded very small, that can then be openned up real big. The maze versions open up to reveal a real maze. There's also a version that looks like a walking person, and opens up to a maze. The diagrams can either be found in his excellently deranged book "Origami to Astonish and Amuse", or be downloaded for free from his website at:
http://www.barf.cc/jeremy/origami/PDF_diags/Action/action.htm
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Postby wolf » June 6th, 2004, 1:17 pm

bshuval wrote:"...have you noticed that we have, without saying, declared that the only "good" origami is technical, representational folding..."

Hey, I'm not saying that. :D
I'm saying that there exists a disparity instead. If we assume that convention numbers are typical of the rest of the folding population, then there are many, many more female folders than male folders. Let's say that 50% of the male folders do "complex" stuff - then it's a bit surprising to find that only 1% (or less!) of the female folders doing this. It appears that male folders are more willing to try everything from "simple" to "complex" and are the ones who design more, while female folders tend to stick to "simple" models with well-trodden routes. Why this is so, either nobody knows, or no one is willing to put forward an explanation, except... :D

PaperMate wrote:Male ego-trip ?
... BTW: I've mastered the 'closed sink' My living room is full of tiny grey elephants of varying sizes, think Botswana.

You go, girl! 8) There's one new model you've come up with already - an abstract closed-sunk elephant. Just squeeze out some ears and a trunk from the flaps of the waterbomb base (try rearranging the flaps of the base before sinking, if you haven't done so), then diagram and publish it. :)

PaperMate wrote:In fact, I'm looking for a Celtic Tree of life diagram and/or Greek key style labyrinth,...any suggestions ?

Look up Alex Bateman's tessellation page:
http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Users/agb/Origami/Tessellation/
As far as I know, no one's tried using this tessellation folding method yet for labyrinths. Finding the right symmetry group might be a bit hard, but there's no reason why it can't be done this way.
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Postby TheRealChris » June 6th, 2004, 6:35 pm

...I have met only one woman who was good at technical folding...


what do you mean? the ability to fold something, the ability to fold something accurat, the ability to fold something technical (?) correct? I mean, at my only regular origami meeting, there are 90% females, and most of them are really good modular and/or box-folders. they are folding with so much fun an passion, and their patience to finish a model is incredible. and some of them produce nearly perfect looking models. I think it's a art for itself, to produce great looking modulars, with straight lines and little mistakes. know what I mean?
what is "good at technical folding". if somebody produces a big knotology star or a multiple piece modular model, he is good in technical folding, isn't he/she?


1) ...I don't know exactly why, but it's probably for the same reason that there most of the students in the mathematical oriented fields are male...


as I wrote before, it's a fact, that THE AVARAGE female don't have a very good spatial sense. but to understand the complex diagrams, you have to have a good spatial sense to follow them.
in my experience (and that's not proofed), females have more fun with decorative and colourful stuff. in germany, it's mainly the females, that do decorate their apartments with all those little "dust catchers". in this special case, I wouldn't say that the avarage female does it, but the majority. maybe that also influences the females decision of models?!


and that modular stuff and simple decorative stuff is not "good" or "worthy" origami?


I must have missed this, and i completely disagree. I like looking at it. I really like colourful modular stuff and boxes, but I get bored when I have to fold to many of the same pieces, and so I don't like doing modulars. but recently, I bought montroll's "A Plethora of Polyhedra in Origami"... that's a really nice and challenging book. geometric models from a single piece of paper... really nice :)


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Postby bshuval » June 6th, 2004, 7:20 pm

I think that gilad_zn meant that "good at technical folding" = "good at origami sekkei". Or, to take the train of thought one step further, good at folding complex representational origami.

By the way, if gilad_zn is talking about who I think he is talking about, then not only is that woman a good folder, she also has an EXCELLENT memory. She remembers by heart hundreds of models, including complex ones such as Kawahata's pegasus (from Origami Fantasy)!!!

The fact that women have more patience with modulars is not surprising. There are several jobs that women are much better at. Men get bored much quicker than women. For example, soldering chips to cards is a job that women can do well (requires patience and accuracy), and men cannot.

TheRealChris, I also think that all sorts of origami are "worthy". I was merely stating that this discussion has shed a different light on things.

But, my point still stands. Papermate wrote that she enjoys viewing galleries, and that they make her feel a sense of "woeful inadequacy". Why do people only publish their amazing complex folds, and don't show the simple things on their galleries? There are very few websites that showcase simple models. People are only interested in seeing the complex stuff.
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Postby Tjips » July 21st, 2006, 10:59 pm

Hey everyone. This is quite a concidence, me finding this topic at this very time. I just finished reading an article about "O'Beirne's Cube and Its Origins". I stumbled onto this ebook while diving into the depths of the puzzling world (not the strange world we live in, but the world occupied bythose guys who design those insanely difficult mechanicle puzzle eg. the soma cube). In it the showcase this gem of a puzzle in all its mathematical brilliance, along with a short study of the creative prosess.
Here it is
One important quote:"variation on a theme is the crux of creativity"

I'm not saying this is the alfa and omega on the subject, it is just another opinion. Still interresting though.

B.T.W. I'm a 19 year old male studying B.Sc. Physics Mathematics and applied mathematics, which I think makes me almost an archetype :lol: .
There is a time for everything, that time has been pre-ordained be almighty God. Trust Him, and no harm shall come to you. He will keep you safely inside his loving hands.

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Postby ~folder~of~paper~ » July 22nd, 2006, 3:18 am

I just want to say that I'm a girl and I mostly make elaborate modulars, 30 units +. Normally I'm messy, disorganised and impatient. The only thing that I'm organised, neat and patient with is folding paper; especially modulars. Now I am good at most aspects of origami but that's only cause origami has taught me one thing. Patience. If I go and come back to a complex model, I can almost always do it again. One misconception about origami...

"Origami isn't mathematics!"
You'll never guess who said that. My maths teacher. Much to the disgust of my maths teacher and the joy of my maths tutor, I went and photocopiedand article from book on the mathematical aspects of origami. I can tell you, Origami is mathematical. Geometry, Spatial analyzation etc... Do you remember is 3rd grade when you had to work out the net of a prism and stuff like that? That's what origami is! Advanced Geometry.
Maths is interlectual right?
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