Monstrous Origami Creature 6.29.2017

Awful Origami Lion

“OK, you can fold this Origami Lion,” I thought, studying the YouTube picture.


I failed to take serious note that it was designed by an expert and folded by an expert.

After two hours of struggling to make my fingers manipulate the paper to this lion shape, I gave up with the result below.

Monstrous Origami Creature 6.29.2017

Monstrous Origami Creature 6.29.2017

Doesn’t it look rather like a partially emaciated bloodhound with a tongue half out of it’s mouth?

“What a monstrous Origami creature,” I muttered to myself then, tossed the thing into the trash.


Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

Cini and Ebru: 2 Traditional Turkish Crafts for ArtWeek Boston 2017

Last week, I attended two excellent workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center in Boston during ArtWeek Boston 2017.

The first workshop was on Cini, Turkish Pottery Painting.  The second workshop was on Ebru, Turkish Water Marbling.

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

As a welcome to the students in each workshop, we were served Turkish Coffee accompanied with delicious Turkish Delight.  The instructors related some history about the beverage and confection along with their preparation.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

I discovered that Turkey’s national flower is a Tulip while researching an Origami fold.  Tulips, native to Central Asia and Turkey, were brought to Holland in the 16th century.  The tulip features prominently in both Cini and Ebru work.  You can find the stylized form of tulips in Turkish tiles, ceramics, carpets and marbled papers.

Tulip Design on Ceramics

Tulip Design on Ceramics

For the Cini workshop, the instructor provided templates with traditional designs for the students to use.

I selected the “Sultan’s Caftan” template and traced the design on thin paper.  Then, using carbon paper, I copied it to a ceramic plate.  Next, I painted a black outline around the tracing and proceeded to color the design.  It was quite difficult but lots of fun.

The Ebru workshop involved adding paint to a pan of oily water and manipulating the colors which can produce a gorgeous marbled design when paper is laid on top of the water.

Pans were already set up for the students so we could add the paint, swirling in the water then laying the paper on the water and pulling it from the pan.  This resulted in lovely papers – some with the tulip flower design.

I highly recommend these workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center for both adults and teens.  Also, check out ArtWeek Boston (@ArtWeekBoston) next year too!

Of Trains and Bears

Announcer calls the 6:20 am Newburyport on track two.  Eight of us stumble to the train.  Damn, it’s cold and with the rain, raw.  We all don hats, scarfs,  gloves and coats.

Lucky if it crawls to the upper 30s.  Never trust the forecasters.


Half asleep nods at recognition as we claim vinyl seats with dripping umbrellas.

Last call.

Great rumbles, clacks and screeches on the old tracks.

It’s still dark out.

Through dirty windows are leafless trees and telephone pole silhouettes.   Half hour passes to reach Salem, a few exit, two board.

Thin rays of sunshine slice the landscape.  Thirty more minutes.  Break in the light.

We approach Ipswich.  I disembark and watch the train disappear.  It’s  going to be a bear of a morning.



Colorful Action Toy – 3D Hexaflexagon

What a colorful action toy this 3D Hexaflexagon design is!  One definition of a Hexaflexagon is “paper hexagons folded from strips of paper which reveal different faces as they are flexed.”

You need three different colored papers – in this case blue, yellow and green – to see the changing shapes and colors.

As you push the squares inward, the shapes change.  Keep pushing towards the center of the model and the changes continue until you get back to the cube-like form you started with in the beginning.

Watch the YouTube video to get the complete motion effect of the 3D Hexaflexagon and great instructions on how to create this Origami action model.