Oh no you didn’t!

intriguing_usJust as I was getting over my dismay over Tuttle’s massively inappropriate re-branding of my “Intriguing Origami” book as “Beginning Origami Kit”, I somehow ended up perusing their official web page for the project, also referred to there as “Beginner Origami Kit“. Here I learn that you can create:

  • “fun and adorable origami projects in a few minutes in this easy origami kit!”

Adorable? Few minutes? These are models aimed at serious folders and some are relatively challenging.

  • A tiny reptilian dinosaur that is actually cute!

Hey – a reptilian dinosaur!

  • Two charming Snails in Love who snuggle

Snuggle? They are getting down and dirty!

  • and much more!

pickleThis ubiquitous phrase is surely past it’s sell-by date…

Tuttle are to be congratulated for producing some magnificent origami books, but clearly, when push comes to shove, the marketing people have the deciding vote and sad to say they clearly have no clue about the actual contents of an origami book (to be fair, they are not alone in this).

I did my best to retain the original title but to no avail. I’m sorry to bite the hand that feeds me and I realise these are “just products”, but my cat Pickle (seen right admiring a Lang design) told my I had to let off steam. Just call me Ed Reardon…..

Butterfly photos

I’ve been taking photos of the models for my forthcoming “Butterfly Origami” book. I’m delighted to say that Michael LaFosse has contributed both an article on the development of the subject in origami, and a brand new design. It also features a Yoshizawa butterfly, approved by his estate ;) #butterflygami



Paper Life by Laura Rozenberg

paperlifePublished on Createspace  ISBN: 1533312958  106 pages 8.5” x 8.5”

Origami books tend to fall into a few specific categories; the most common being collections of diagrams. Some cover the techniques required for folding and a few focus on the artistic qualities of work by master folders. Here, at long last is a new category, an autobiography of a talented but relatively unknown folder from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The author is Laura Rozenberg, herself an Argentine, who is a volunteer managing editor for OUSA’s “The Paper” and is in the process of setting up a museum of paper-folding in Uruguay. She is thus perfectly situated to research and write this book.

Montoya (1920-1967) was a recluse who spent her time in her room, obsessively designing and folding new models. Thankfully, she shared these during correspondence with several key figures of the origami world, including Yoshizawa, Harbin, Elias, Oppenheimer and Legman. All of them greatly admired her work and her untimely death at the age of 47 surely robbed the world of a major creative talent. Legman in particular had a close relationship over many years. The book tells her fascinating story with both empathy and objectivity.

The book is beautifully presented and makes us of photos, diagrams and more artistically presented images. It covers Montoya’s life, but also presents it as a fascinating social history. Rozenberg’s researches have unearthed some fascinating archive documents and anyone with the slightest interest in the history of paper-folding will find this utterly fascinating. There are a few diagrams, but this is primarily an academic text, albeit written in a style that younger readers would easily be able to understand.  I can easily see how this book would fit into several different areas of an educational curriculum.

I read the book from cover to cover and will undoubtedly do so again. Montoya’s work is graceful and inspiring. You can find a list of her published designs at www.giladorigami.com/origami-database/Ligia Montoya and many diagrams can be found on the “The Origami World of Neal Elias” DVD written by Dave Venables and Marc Cooman (available at www.nickrobinson.info/origami/elias_dvd)

Lacking the economies of scale that commercial publishers can enjoy, the book costs £20 including free delivery and if you have any interest in the history of paper-folding, I urge you to invest in a copy.