Wentworth 2017

Another superb weekend with my friends at this private origami weekend, now in its 9th year. I urge you all to try it, find a nice venue with cheap accommodation, keep the numbers down and gather your folding friends. Below is some background, written for the BOS magazine :


Maxi-meeting or Mini-convention?
Way back in Spring of 2007, the BOS held a convention at Wentworth Castle, just outside of Barnsley. This was part of an experiment too see if there were any benefits to holding a major and a minor convention each year, to reduce the strain on convention organisers. Wentworth was scaled back slightly and had no special guest. Council decided upon discussion that they did not wish to return there.

I felt this was a shame, since the venue and the location were marvellous, so I discussed with my fellow mini-meeting attendees about hiring it for a “maxi-meeting” in mid-summer 2009. I negotiated with the venue and we arranged a very fair price for the weekend, including accommodation, meals and use of a large meeting room.

We agreed that the key to success was to keep the numbers low, so that it could be kept informal and avoid the necessity for too much organisation. I started by inviting those who came to my mini-meetings in Sheffield, then essentially, asked some of my close origami friends if they wished to attend. In the end, 13 people came. Most arrived Friday night and trooped off to the nearby village pub for some home-cooking. The next day we had some sessions where everyone was together, then split into two groups. The schedule was arranged entirely on the fly, with everyone free to suggest what we did.

With Wentworth being surrounded by the most glorious grounds, we went for a walk after the evening meal, exploring the woods, the faux-castle and enjoying the stunning views of the countryside. After that, we settled down to fold and make merry until the wee small hours. The rooms were a few yards from the room and people retired to bed according to their stamina. Sunday was along similar lines and we parted, tired but happy around 4.30.

Since then, we have had a similar event every year, with numbers ranging from 10 to 21. We have agreed that around 15 is the magic number and this creates possibly the only down-side to the weekend, having to limit numbers. We have a core team who have been in from the start and depending who amongst these is able to attend, a few extra places are possible. We offer these to people who we feel will fit in with our relaxed ethos and try to invite different people each year. It’s awkward when people wish to return, but if the numbers kept creeping upwards, we would lose the magic and it would have to become more formal.

The reason I’m sharing this is not to create a mass of requests to attend, but to encourage you to try and organise a similar event yourselves. It’s a private event, nothing to do with the BOS and so you can invite who you like and meet where you like. Essentially, it’s like a private party.

Small Stories Family Fun Day

I’m teaching at Weston Park Museum as part of a touring exhibition from the V&A Museum. You’ll be able to learn various items of origami furniture ;)

Saturday 5 August 2017 between 12 & 3pm (the event is from 11-4)

Free but donations are welcome. No need to book, just turn up!

Origami 2D by Daniela Carboni

Published 2016 by Centro Diffusione Origami 100 Pages, Paperback, in Italian

For many years, the author has been one of my favourite Italian creators, but I suspect she is less well-known outside Italy than she deserves. I place “character” high on my assessment of models and Daniela’s are full of character. Sadly, my Italian is almost non-existent, so I couldn’t follow the introduction, nor the numerous pages of information about the designs. As you can guess, the models are mostly 2D/flat, although some are inescapably in three dimensions!

You get to meet Mr and Mrs. Kami, an Angel and a Devil, a male nd female Alien and a variety of other simply-folded characters. Next are designs such as “Yin & Yang” (very elegantly achieved), the Peace symbol, a “flattened man”, then a series of animals that used a plain square as the basis for their bodies, with appropriate heads poking out. You get the Three Kings and a camel, as well as other festive subjects, around forty models in total.

The A5 booklet is produced by the CDO (Centro Diffusione Origami) and is part of a regular series promoting the work of the many creative folders to be found in Italy. They are to be congratulated for this! Their sparkling website has an English language option, but it looks like you need to be a member to access the shop. www.origami-cdo.it/indexen.html

Exhibition in the Museum

My book “Origami Poems and Pictures” is being widely promoted during the “Hokusai – beyond the Great Wave” exhibition at the British Museum. Many thanks to Gwyneth Radcliffe for sending me these images ;)


Grenfell Tower – in memoriam

Nobody could fail to be touched by the human tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London. It’s perhaps too early to point fingers, but an inquest must surely take place to determine if landlord’s profit was placed above resident’s safety. Here’s a simple tribute to those who lost their lives.

Skool days

Sadly, I’ve had to cancel this term at Watercliffe Meadow school due to a brief stay in hospital and the resulting recovery period. I miss my weekly interaction with the students. Here are a few photos from last term to show you what we get up to…