Origami Site Update

Yikes! It’s late November already. Winter coming soon. Tons of leaves all over nowadays and the trees are mostly bare. Hoping to get the Mustang out one more time. Run baby run.

Lots going on. Work had been busy with deadlines, planning and releases. I worked part of last weekend, and I’ve been slammed all week this week, but there’s the holidays coming up. Also the plus side, I’ve been learning Scala, which is the first really new thing I’ve done at work in a while. On the downside, I ran out of time over the weekend and didn’t work on my recording project. I’m getting close to finishing two songs, Is It Safe? and Now and Forever. Guess they’ll have to slide one more week.

I taught a Special Session at the museum last Sunday. My dog Timber and cat Sophie. Class went well. One of the students was a total whiz kid, and another was her dad, who’s not a folder but still did really well, although I had to explain everything in much more detail. I dropped off my models for the Holiday Tree and gave myself a quick tour of the museum while I was there. The dinosaurs and the whale room remain essential highlights.

I’ve been getting ready for a pair of gigs coming up with The Relix. We added a few new songs and have been sharpening up the ones we already have. Trying to get from a run-of-the-mill bar band to a truly awesome bar band. I think we have what it takes but it’ll take time to get that tight. Right now we’re in the better-than-shitty category. Looking forward to the shows. Should be a really good time and I expect we’ll get better each gig. So ya, lots of practice. I’ve been working especially on my singing.

This last practice our bass player was sick so I had to cover all the bass parts with my left hand. It went pretty well, in that my left hand has gotten pretty solid and I was able to cop a fair imitation of most of the bass lines. However, the sound wasn’t the same, and I don’t know all the songs as well as I’d like, so there were a few “I’m thinking” clams, especially when I was singing too. Nevertheless it went pretty well, and Mike will be back for the show, and I got an interesting new perspective on the songs. I’ve been practicing soloing in Light My Fire over the bassline, and I’m glad I did cuz I was able to keep it together and still pull off a pretty good solo.

But the main news for this post is that I’ve started making new updates to my web site. The first thing I did was to update my origami pages to include my new models from 3013. I have nine of them, and there’s still a month and change left in the year, so there may even be one or two more. I also update the page for my book now that I have a cover image and know the real title, which BTW is now Origami Animal Sculpture and not Origami Untamed. There’s even a link to preorder it.

Beyond that the big change in the offing is to add some kind of slideshow or multi-image capability to the pages for the models. Once that’s in place it’s on to the music site, hopefully just in time to line up with a new round of songs. As I mentioned I’m getting close to finishing two more songs. I’ve also taken on doing an upgrade to the Relix site, so watch for that.

Speaking of updates, I finally got the second proof of my book this week, so there was a mad scramble to review it and get feedback to the publisher. The good news they fixed most of the layouts for the diagrams, and got rid of the GoOfY CaPiTaLiZaTiOn thing they were doing. The bad news is, for some reason they didn’t fix all the layouts, so there’s still one more round of reviews ahead.

In completely unrelated news I found out today that John F. Kennedy grew up just a few blocks from my house, up the hill on Pondfield Road.

Origami Gila Monster for AMNH Holiday Tree

Every year Origami USA puts on an origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It’s always a great attraction full of all kinds of wonderful origami. Ros and Delrosa, who organize the tree, have asked me to contribute a model for the last several years. I look forward to this because they often ask me to come up with something new, so it’s a good design challenge and a chance to show some new work. The tree usually follows a theme that has something to do with the exhibits in the museum. This year Ros and Delrosa asked me to fold a Gila Monster, a poisonous lizard from the American Southwest. They supplied a couple of sheets of great paper for the project.

I used my Lizard a starting point for the Gila Monster model. At first I thought I might just tweak it a bit, but once I started looking at the subject I decided to make a whole new model. Although it uses a hex base similar to the Lizard, there are substantial changes. First the body proportions are altered. The Gila Monster has a longer, fatter body and a shorter, fatter tail than my generic lizard. Second, to make it more realistic, I went with five toes rather then three. As you can imagine, this resulted in a lot more folding toes. Third, I decided to go with a closed back, to show off the excellent paper Ros and Delrosa gave me. These changes added up to a major reworking of my Lizard, to the point where it’s pretty much a new model.

I folded two or three tests to work out the details in the design, particularly for the sculpting once the base is achieved. Once I was satisfied the design would work I started in on the final models. Ros and Delrosa gave me two sheets of paper. One was an 18” square with a black-and orange pattern like lava. It was not even really paper at all but some kind of plastic sheet material, maybe originally intended for wall paper. It was kind of thick and shiny. The other paper was a rectangle of pink and black in a kind of op-art pattern. This was a high-quality paper for folding but on the soft side. Both papers, different as they were, were great choices as far as capturing some aspect of the essence of the subject.

But neither was suitable for an exhibit-quality model as-is. So I took each sheet and laminated to a large sheet of foil, and then colored the reverse side black. This resulted in thick, durable and workable sheets. The black-and-orange plastic one had the look and feel of leather, and the pink-and-black paper resembled tissue foil. I cut the paper rectangle in half and was able to get two 15” squares out it. I ended up folding three models, one orange and two pink. I gave two to the museum and had one to keep.

The origami Holiday Tree is on display from sometime in late November thru the New Year. If you’re in New York during the holiday season be sure to check it out.