Saturday, 13 October 2007

Finger-bustin' holiday fun with Ted Norminton!

For those idle moments during this year's annual holiday in Cornwall, I took along a pack of paper and the two booklets of folds by Ted Norminton from the British Origami Society. "Sink Or Swim" was tough enough, but "Petal Folds and More" made me feel as if my fingers were breaking and my brain melting. Still, I managed a half-reasonable stab at several of the figures, and Janet took the photographic evidence. I left the figures on the bookshelves at our holiday cottage for the next occupants to discover. Wonder if they realised the toil and torment that went into them?

One recurring problem I had with Ted's creations was the whole area of sinks.It gradually dawned on me that I'd not really grasped the distinction between open sinks and closed sinks - let alone such niceties as half-closed sinks, and closed/open unsinks. Time and again, the next step in a diagram would show the figure-in-progress with four pouch-like pockets arranged radially, whereas I had eight separate vanes flapping about. After the holiday, I did some serious Googling on the subject of sinks, and spent several evenings just practising putting closed and open sinks into a waterbomb base until I started to understand the distinction from a geometric point of view, as well as from a practical point of view. I was horrified to learn that a closed sink often inevitably involves making quite a mess of part of the model, and then tidying it up. I'd been thinking of Origami as always very neat and precise, but obviously I need to learn to be unafraid to allow things to get messy sometimes.


Thomas Pritchard said...

I did some googling and your page came up. I was on the lookout for instructions on how to make an origami bird that I had seen on the T.V. program 'Skins'. I found out that it had been designed by Ted Norminton ( ) and that it was in his book 'Petals and More'. I would just like to check if this design is actually in that book? and if so, where did you purchase your copy?

PaulV said...

Tom, yes, the Swan is in "Petal Folds And More", which is available from the British Origami Society. Go to the page you linked to, and click "Supplies" in the left-hand menu. That'll take you to the BOS shop. Under "Categories", click "Books", then "Books of models". The book's on page 4 - "Norminton - Petal Folds and more". Price is £5.50 - I can highly recommend both of Ted's books. Good luck - some models are quite tricky to fold, but well worth the effort!