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Origami All Kinds: Single Sheet and Modular Designs Paperback – June 1, 2017
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About the Author
It has been an amazing journey of 10 years of being published and 20 years of online presence for Meenakshi Mukerji (Adhikari). She was introduced to origami in her early childhood but rediscovered it in its modular form, as an adult, quite by chance in 1995. This newfound mathematical and structural side of modular origami rekindled her passion for the art, and soon after, she started designing and displaying origami on her popular website, currently origamee.net. In 2005, OrigamiUSA noticed Mukerji's work and presented her with the Florence Temko award. In April 2007, her first book Marvelous Modular Origami was published followed in quick succession by six more books including this current one. She has been a featured artist and special guest at many origami conventions both in the USA and abroad. Although known for modular designs, she has published her single sheet works as well. Mukerji regularly contributes to various origami journals, and also participates in exhibitions. She is a member of OrigamiUSA and British Origami Society, and an editor for OrigamiUSA’s online magazine, The Fold. Born and raised in Kolkata, India, Mukerji obtained her BS in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and a MS in computer science from Portland State University, Oregon. She worked as a software engineer for more than a decade but decided to stay at home in California, devoting her time to family, designing and authoring origami and, of course, spreading the joy of origami.
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The first eight pages are devoted to a quite wonderful introduction. Mukerji does not just include the usual explanation of folding symbols, but takes it a step further. She talks about recommended tools and gives insightful tips on how to get the best results for modular designs. It doesn't stop there. Then follows a list of commonly used paper types for origami and an extended section with details on folding symbols and how to fold bases used throughout the book. The diagrams are, as we've come to expect from Mukerji, of a very high quality. Indeed, the whole book is printed in color, which doesn't just make it visually more appealing, but also helps distinguish the front and reverse of the paper, making the diagrams even easier to follow.
This chapter is nicely finished off with a polyhedra coloring chart, which is super helpful if you want to achieve an even color distribution in modulars. Meenakshi includes colorings not just for the icosahedron (30 modules, triangular faces with 5 modules meeting in every point), but also for cubes (12 modules, square faces with 3 modules meeting in every point), octahedrons (12 modules, triangular faces with 4 modules meeting in every point) and dodecahedrons (30 modules, pentagonal faces with three modules meeting in every point). And for each polyhedron she provides schematics for a different number of colors. For example, for the icosahedron you get a guide for how to place the modules when using three, five, or six colors. Altogether, this chapter gives valuable information and already shows how thoughtfully Mukerji put together this book.
Part I: Single Sheet Designs
Our high expectations set by both Mukerji's previous publications and the first chapter Origami Basics is easily met as we dive into the first part, which concentrates on models folded from a single sheet of paper. The diagrams are clear and even include paper recommendations (size and color/pattern) where relevant. The chapter starts with a Fancy Frog and a peacock Mayur, then a plethora of 14 beautiful flowers follows. As can already be seen on the cover of the book, Mukerji also includes some stunning ikebana photos, which provide striking ideas for displaying the models.
Part I concludes with a guest contribution by Jorge Jaramillo, the Progressive Flower, which is a recursive design reminiscent of Chris Palmer's Flower Tower. It shares the same first steps as another model diagrammed in the book, Mukerji's Star of Wonder. It's worth mentioning here that Mukerji presents multiple models in the book that share folding sequences up to a point. By referencing the already diagrammed steps, Mukerji manages to pack even more content into the 110 pages of the book than you might have initially expected.
Part II: Tessellations
Ten years ago many people did not know origami tessellations. Now they have become quite popular, so this chapter is a really nice addition. The chapter starts with a one-page, condensed introduction to tessellations on a square grid. This might seem short, but it is concise and answers some important questions. In particular, Mukerji gives a formula with which you can easily determine which grid to start with once you have decided how many molecules (repetitions of the common pattern) you want to fold, how much space you want to leave between them, and how wide the border should be. This is extremely helpful not just for the tessellations presented in the book, but for the multitude of other tessellations you might want to fold.
Then follow seven different tessellations on a square grid. Rather than providing full diagrams, Mukerji gives general instructions. Diagrams for the bases of the molecules are provided - six of the seven start with a 4-Sink base, the final one with a Crossed Box Pleat. Then shaping details are borrowed from models diagrammed elsewhere in the book.
To me, this is a great way to introduce tessellations, as it exemplifies how you can start creating your own tessellations: first, find a pattern that meets the basic requirements for a molecule; then tessellate it; finally, play around with the shaping to receive many different finishes.
Part III: Modular Designs
We all know Meenakshi Mukerji for her stunning, modular designs. This chapter introduces 27 of them, plus variations. This should keep modular enthusiasts happy for a while!
Interestingly, only a third of the models start with a square, the others require rectangles of different proportions. Thankfully, cutting the paper to the right proportions is easy in most cases. The rectangles used are usually either variable, so no precise cutting is required, are half squares, or easily cut from strips as also diagrammed in detail in the book. Some models can even be folded from squares, provided they are sufficiently small, as the deviation from the required rectangle is small enough then. The size recommendations given throughout the book are especially appreciated here. And of course Mukerji also added diagrams on how to cut the paper to the exact proportion when using larger paper.
Plus, let's be honest, when we see the beautiful results, a bit of extra work doesn't deter us, does it? And as photos are included for all models presented in the book, we can admire the models and whet our appetites for that next fold!
With Origami All Kinds: Single Sheet and Modular Designs, Meenakshi Mukerji has published another great book for us to enjoy. It is particularly nice to see a book that touches three quite different areas of origami. At the same time, Mukerji manages to bring them together beautifully, sharing design concepts and folding steps. In particular, tessellations serve as a pleasantly surprising connecting piece.
The 110-page, full-color book presents 50 models plus variations, providing not just clear diagrams, but also valuable information all around folding - be it on how to get a nice finish on modulars, which paper to use, or how to determine which grid to use for a tessellation, just to name a few. Altogether, a truly wonderful book!
Her seventh origami book is a collection of 50 new designs that cover a wide range of different genres (from single sheet designs and tessellations to modular designs), whereas her previous books have tended to focus on a single genre. In this book, Meenakshi encourages readers to try their hands at different genres, as indicated in the title of the book.
‘Origami All Kinds’ is published in full colour, as a print on demand book (published via the CreateSpace platform). This book certainly has plenty of varied content, that will keep enthusiastic paper folders busy for many hours. As with all Meenakshi’s other books, the presentation is spot on, with clear diagrams and wonderful photographs for many of the designs.
Even if you’re relatively new to paperfolding, you can still enjoy this book, as it starts with the basics, guiding the reader through tools and paper choices, then symbols and bases, and includes a polyhedral colouring chart. The chart is particularly useful for achieving an even colour distribution when using multiple colours in modular designs.
Part I of the book is comprised of 15 single sheet designs. These are mainly flowers and stars, but this section also features a lovely recursive design by Jorge Jaramillo. Part II discusses tessellations, with photographs for 7 interesting designs, but no diagrams, as such. Finally, in part III, Meenakshi presents 27 delightful modular designs.
Apart from the clear diagrams and wonderful photographs, what I particularly like about this book, is the inclusion of background information and paper recommendations, for many of the designs. This additional information provides the reader with a fantastic insight into the design of the models and what inspired their creation.
All the designs in this book require no cuts or glue, although some do require the paper to be prepared prior to folding (instructions are given to create the right ratios where required).
If you don’t own one of Meenakshi’s books already, then this book would make an ideal first purchase, to get a flavour of Meenakshi’s fantastic designs. If you’re a keen follower of Meenakshi’s work already, then this is a must have book to add to your collection.
Although this book can be used by beginners, it’s really aimed at paper folders with intermediate skills (or above). Having said that, I’d highly recommend this book to more experienced beginners, looking extend their folding skills.
If you’re still unsure whether to buy this book or not, then Amazon’s ‘Look inside’ feature can provide you with a sneak preview of the contents.
Models folded in a single sheet of paper give nice decoration items, or beautiful flowers (arum, sunflower or strelitzia).
A few tesselations are also described in this part.
I especially like the modular models, the most appealing being the series of kusudamas. Unusual paper formats, infrequent techniques, surprising and beautiful results make us want to do all models.
As usual, the creativity of Meenakshi Mukerji surprises and pleases.
A beutiful book to have and to work on.