Origami Shop USA

My friend Brian has recently opened the North American franchise of Origami Shop at www.origamishop.us. For those of you who don’t know, Origami Shop was started by Nicolas Terry in France and is probably the premiere place to get high-end papers for origami for complex models. They have a great variety of papers in large sizes, many of which you can’t get elsewhere, and they have reviews of the different papers detailing things like thickness, texture, and what kind of folding they are appropriate for. Of course you never really know until you have that paper in your hand and start folding. So once a year or so I’ve been placing an order to restock my favorites as well as sample a variety of new papers. The only downside is the expense and slowness of having paper shipped from Europe.

Until now, that is! Brian now can ship to addresses in the USA and it arrives within days. Woo-hoo. I noticed on the website that some of the papers have an accompanying photo of a model, but many don’t. So I offered to Brian that I’d fold a bunch of models for his site, in exchange for the exposure, if he’s send me some paper. Brian graciously agreed and sent me quite a lot of different kinds, including a few I’d never heard of, and some suggestions for things to fold out of the different papers.

As luck would have it, the package arrived on Boxing Day, just as I was loading of the family for a trip upstate to visit my parents. It’s pretty relaxed up at their house so I had some time to dig in and start exploring. I folded one of my Brown Bears out of a paper called Bear Hide. (I think I may have seen it before but under another name. Brian and Terry seem to be rebranding different kinds of paper out there as “Rhino Hide”, “Lizard Hide”, etc., after Elephant Hide, which is the name in the origami community for Marble Wyndstone, the gold standard for heavy paper for complex models. For a while Origami Shop was the only place you could get Elephant Hide, at least in the States.)

Bear Hide is a great paper. I don’t think I’ve ever folded a nicer Bear in fact. And believe me I tried quite a few when I was doing the photos for my book, but they were all either the too thick, or to thin or the wrong color or whatever. I liked it so much I folded another, and then a Moose, and another Moose.

Then I tried a paper called Grainy. Brian had suggested I fold one of my Roses out of it. I almost felt bad taking a big sheet and dividing it down into smaller squares, but I made 5 squares out of it, the largest of which is 2/3 the original size, so it’s still pretty big. This paper is a bit thicker than I normally use for the rose, but it came out quite nice. I had to wet fold the tabs that tuck underneath to finish the model, but that’s it. For the big remaining square I think I’m going to use it to fold a Dragon.

I hope to fold a bunch more models in the days ahead and send them to Brian when I have a boxful. So look for them to appear on origamishop.us later this winter.

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