Origami Convention 2008

Last week was the annual OUSA Convention. It was a great time and it was great to see all my origami friends. Most years I work intensely to come up with a new design, but this year I had so many new designs it wasn’t necessary. I did fold some of John Montroll’s unpublished polyhedra, and talked with him about some polyhedra ideas I have. But mostly I hung out. I met some Brits, and a Canadian / South African folder (Hi Quentin!), plus all the usual suspects. (Hi John, Brian, Marc, etc.) Although not strictly origami, T. J. Norville had a cool thing he did making geodesic balls out of paper plates.

Jeannie and the girls came this year. It was Michelle’s first time, and Lizzy’s first time going 2 days. The girls made crowns and flowers, and Jeannie folded tessellations and flexicubes. Both kids had their models in the Origami By Children exhibit. Back in the spring when the kids did their models, I had them fold a bunch and picked the best ones to submit. Michelle didn’t want to part with her Candy Cane at the time, but shortly forgot about it. When she saw it on display she suddenly remembered, and got upset until I explained to her the whole point of the exhibition was so people could see her model. She seemed to like that.

I taught my Adirondack Moose, which is a new model, not diagrammed and I hadn’t taught it before. I rated I intermediate because it had no closed sinks or other crazy moves, and is not as difficult as many of my other models, but in retrospect maybe I should have rated it complex. The students of complex classes self-select and are all expert folders. With intermediate classes it can be more of a mixed bag. In this case it seemed most everyone was up to it, but the class was very full and the desks were large and far apart, so most people couldn’t see as well as they would like. I spent most of the class walking up and down to make sure everyone got a good luck. In the end everyone came out with a successfully folded moose.

I put a lot of work into my exhibit. I came up with about ten new models this year and folded new versions of some of my existing designs out of better paper. Of course as I get better, everyone else does too, and lot people had interesting cool stuff. On Sunday Dan Robinson led a critique of a group of people’s displays, sort of a round-robin atelier, which I found quite productive. I got some complements from folders I really admire. Dan, who folded an awesome Egret and is into birdwatching, praised my Loon. Robert Lang, who had a whole chapter on elephant design in his book, liked my elephant for it’s massiveness and power. And Brian Chan, who does alot of sci-fi themed subjects, liked my Rocket, UFO and Balloon.

The Monday sessions were interesting, especially the afternoon ones. Dan had a discussion on the aesthetics of origami design. There was alot of discussion of paper. I haven’t used alot of this, but need to find better paper, larger thinner sheets. There are a handful of exotic papers people use for origami: Washi, Hanji, etc. The are very hard to find in larger than 25cm sheets. I’m also out of Wyndstone paper, which had been my main paper for extra-large models, but I can’t seem to find it online. I also ran into Marc Kirschenbaum in the morning; he was on his way to do a seminar on publishing. This lead me to realize that I now have over 30 original models, and seem to be generating them at an accelerating rate (I just came up with a Wizard this morning because I friend brought a Balrog action figure into the office.)

So I decided to start work on an origami book of my own. I have 10 or so models diagrammed and need to diagram a bunch more. I’m hoping to get the diagramming mainly done in a year and then turn my attention toward assembling the book and getting it published.

Coming soon: Pictures!

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