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Origami for the Enthusiast

Origami for the Enthusiast

By: John Montroll

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Origami enthusiasts who have mastered the basic folds and seek advanced projects have found little to inspire and challenge them — until now. Origami for the Enthusiast presents 25 intricate paper animal projects, the original creations of John Montroll. Montroll's reputation among origamists and with the Origami Center of America has been growing since he showed a penchant for paperfolding at age six. At age 14, when he became an associate of the Center, he was already creating unique models. Today he is considered one of the most original creators in this elegant Japanese art — and this is the first published collection of his extraordinary work.
Animals can be among the most demanding subjects in the field. Montroll's animal patterns are perhaps more rigorous than most, but the lucid, step-by-step instructions, illustrated every step of the way, enable the dedicated origamist to learn advanced techniques. The animals are arranged in order of complexity, with Pegasus, the camel, the mountain goat, and a few others requiring as many as 70 steps. Careful attention to the first projects will smooth the way for the later animals. The paper menagerie consists of a fish, vulture, robin, squirrel, Pegasus, goldfish, catfish, peacock, rhinoceros, moth, seahorse, rabbit, elephant, stink bug, whale, stork, skunk, beetle, sunfish, mountain goat, goose, mouse, camel, grasshopper, and ostrich.
As will become apparent, once the basic form of the animal is achieved, slight variations may be introduced to alter the stance or even the nature of the animal, as with the moth, which after the eleventh step may metamorphose into a stink bug at the artist's whim.
Instructions for the standard folds and a guide to the symbols pave the path to some of the most intriguing and enjoyable challenges in origami. This book of original paperfolding projects offers origamists the chance to exercise their skills on original designs of great and delicate beauty.

5 Questions with John Montroll: An Exclusive Dover Interview

We sat down with Mr. Montroll to discuss his influences, the impact of math on origami, and what he sees for the future of the artform.

How did you first get interested in origami and what were your influences?
I was four when a Japanese neighbor taught me origami. At six, I had some books, showing the Japanese style.

Where do you find the inspiration for your original models?
The models in the books were made by folding, cutting, using multiple sheets, and sometimes from non-square paper. I wanted to make origami where each model could be folded from a single uncut square so I had to make them up. Since I started as a child, "creating" was natural. Whatever I wanted to fold, I would make up. There was nothing great about my models, but I enjoyed exploring and found there was no end. In time, my work evolved as I discovered more techniques, and also philosophies, in the quality of origami. Now I can say that developing new, theme-related ideas and writing books gives me inspiration.

Do you think that there is a strong relationship between origami and mathematics?
Yes. There is much math — geometry, algebra, trigonometry, etc. — in the structure of folding which can be used to develop and control the folding methods and designs. Math is especially used in my Dover books Origami and Math and Classic Polyhedra Origami. Still, math is not essential and there are many aspects of origami that do not use math. Even if math was used in the design of a model, the folder need not understand it.

As a teacher, do you integrate origami into your lesson plans?
As a math teacher, I can say students love doing origami! Sometimes, if my students finish their class work early, I let them fold from my books. Or we have some days, such as before vacations, where we do origami. But I will admit that I do not use origami as part of the math lesson!

What new directions do you think the art of origami will be taking in the future?
In the past few decades, origami has made huge developments in many directions. More people are involved, more ideas have been explored, all with more styles and techniques. The future will reveal newer directions for more people to explore and find their particular interest.

Bonus Question!
Do you have a favorite Dover book?
I actually have two favorites, both by Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas, Volume I and Complete Piano Sonatas, Volume. II. I enjoy playing his work and these books are well tattered!

AvailabilityUsually ships in 24 to 48 hours
ISBN 100486237990
ISBN 139780486237992
Author/EditorJohn Montroll
Grade level7 and Up (ages 12 and up)
Page Count128
Dimensions9 x 12

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