25 November 2007


At Barnes and Noble yesterday, I found a very nice book of Christmas oriented origami. It's called Ornagami, and seems only to be available new through Barnes and Noble. I've run across dozens of ornament-origami books in the past, without buying any of them. Often this was because their example pieces, proudly displayed on the front cover, seemed rather pathetic. At the other extreme, they sometimes seemed impossibly elaborate, so that I didn't even want to get started. This book has a good mix of simple and difficult folds, most of which produce a decent-looking ornament/decoration.

Two very cool things about the book. First off, it's spiral bound. Sometimes I think there should be a law that all music, puzzle and origami books must be spiral bound. That way they stay on the page that you're working on. Second off, it comes with some starter origami paper, bound right into the book, with easy-tear perforation lines. It's not the best quality origami paper, but there are some very pretty patterns there. Also, once you've pulled all the paper out, the origami book will "collapse" from being about 12" by 8" to 4" by 8", since you'll have pulled out all the 8 by 8 paper.

By and large, the instructions in this book are very clear and easy to follow. I've tried close to a third of the models now, and only once have I had to sit and stare at a picture and instructions for several minutes to figure out what it meant. Admittedly, I've done quite a bit of origami now, but there are still some things that are just hard to get written down coherently. On the other hand, the instructions for making a "bird base" in this book are the clearest that I can ever remember seeing. Most books don't explicitly mention a few steps that make it a whole lot easier; this book does.

I'll probably post a few images when I get some made from decent paper. I generally try out new folds on generic/ugly/mutilated paper, so that if I mess up, I haven't ruined any of my good paper.

Quick break down by difficulty (for ones I've tried):

Easy enough that just about anyone could get it on the first try:
Quickie Tree
Paper ball
Candy Cane
Holiday Wreath (joining last two pieces is slightly tricky)

Candy Cup
Octahedron (1 & 2)
Bell Bauble
Angel (would be under easy if not for the "thirds")
Banded Hexahedron
4-point Estrella
Harlequin Diamond

Saar Star (simple...except that you have to be more careful)
5-pointed Saar Star (easier than the 4-point one, actually, but first you have to get a pentagonal piece of paper)
Reindeer (haven't tried it...but getting decent quadrupeds is ALWAYS tricky)
Faceted Star (the folding is easy, and the assembly is ALMOST easy...until you get to joining the last two bits together)

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