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Julia’s Dragon

12 September 2011

Every month I look forward to the monthly origami group that meets in my area. One of the group members, Julia Neiman, is a very advanced and skilled folder. She created an original origami dragon model and taught me how to fold it during one of the group sessions.

Because I kind of fail at folding sometimes, this is how my model looks. (No, I did not step on it or accidentally smash it.)

This is how the origami dragon should look:

Julia's dragon, folded by its creator. (Photographed by Julia Neiman; used with permission.)

Regarding this model, Julia states,

“…Keep in mind that the model lends itself to individual shaping. This (picture) is merely my representation of the model. Everybody has their own version, and should. I only teach up to the wings usually for this exact reason. I feel like the joy in the model is that it is an easy form that has infinite versions.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 September 2011 9:40 pm

    Flora, I’ll teach you how to fold this better next time I see you. Try it with something that is not kami first though. I found that the model does better in virtually anything else other than kami. Try it in wax paper, or cooking parchment, those are both decently cheap and will hold the necessary creases for shaping well. Another thing that might help is keeping the model symmetrical until you shape it, and staying to the reference marks. With exception of the widening of the wing flap, all of the folds are along natural angles (i.e. angle bisectors) until you get to shaping.

    To get a nice neck make your crimps small, and pull them to the edge of the paper, so that either the front or the back of the neck is ‘curving’ (Origami has no actual curves, merely the illusion of them created by a lot of straight lines). Once you get a hold of that, I’ve gotten into the habit of putting the corner of the crimp in the middle of the paper area. Doing that will force the side of the neck to be curved as opposed to flat like in the picture of my model. It may be a nice picture, but it is a little outdated by now.

    I recommend looking at other people’s versions of dragon wings. I stole mine from Charles Esseltine. The tail is a modified Elias stretch (the fold being upside down, and removing layers of paper instead of adding layers of paper) Honestly the only thing that this picture shows off well is the neck.

    My over all advice on this model is to look at other versions online. Copy features that you see in other models. Origami is just roughly 20 or so combinations of paper added together in smaller or larger combinations in a specific order to create different objects. Go ahead and steal any techniques from any source that you can find. It’ll help later on.


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