Saturday, 7 June 2008


(Click to enlarge image)

Of all the master paper folders, the Frenchman, Eric Joisel, is perhaps the most expressive and, dare I say, artistic in his approach. You can find a gallery of his animal models here.

It’s very clear when you look at his Snail or his Pangolin (spiny anteater) that he has a firm grasp of the complex geometry that underpins modern origami. At heart though, Eric’s creations are pieces of sculpture, infused with soul and personality. A fascinating insight into how he goes about designing his astonishing human figures can be found on his website here. If you feel up to it, and have at your disposal a robust sheet of paper and three hours to spare, you can have a go at making his Baby Hedgehog.

Pictured above is my first attempt at folding Eric Joisel’s fish. It’s an economic design that absorbs very little of the paper into the interior of the model. I started with a nine inch square and finished with a model just under 6 inches long.

I shaped the body by massaging a dilute solution of wallpaper paste into the paper and then holding it in place while it dried. I seem to have spent much of the past couple of days walking around the house with various parts of this fish pinched my thumb and forefinger. The eyes were formed by dipping the base of a pen cap into a saucer of water and then pressing it firmly against the paper.

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