The Encyclopedia of Origami

2004 – 9 languages

Shortly after I was offered a contract for the Origami Bible, a similar proposal came from Quarto (folding basics, simple, intermediate, complex sections, then a gallery. Out of fairness I asked both parties whether they felt there was a potential conflict and the general answer was; "as long as they're different models and words, no!".

So, off I trotted. The "Bible" had been earmarked to feature largely my own designs, so for this book I did the rounds of people whose origami I felt deserved a bit of exposure and put together a contents list. Some, like Brill and Fuse, are well established, but others, like Beynon and Corrie haven't been widely published, for some reason.

The intial proofs I had back were very encouraging. The designer, Karin Skanberg, produced clear, attractive layouts, with a subtle geometric feel to them. The final book looks superb, in my impartial opinion, and anyone "flicking" through it won't be disappointed.

The gallery section generated the most discussion, as I refused to allow several models that the publishers really liked, but I felt were a little substandard. In the end, lack of time meant I had to compromise with a few photos, but it would have been wonderful to feature (for instance) the works of Takashi and Yoshizawa. The average newcomer to origami should be uniformly impressed by the entire gallery.

I managed to squeeze in a glossary at the very end - something I think more origami books could do with. Like any craft, we have our fair share of jargon and often seem to suppose people just work it out...

The cover looks great, although I wonder how many people will expect to find instructions for the designs featured. Several are from the gallery section. However, it's a small niggle and, as ever, the author has bu**er all say in the cover!

It's been translated a few times, here are the covers. Please let me know if you see any others - I'm usually the last to know ;)

- the publishers have reissued this book and took the opportunity to revise the gallery section inside. I provided a list of current top-flight creators and introduced them to the company. This is a good thing, since some of the images they sourced first time round were less than wonderful. However, they also changed the cover, managing in the process to produce perhaps the first origami book where none of the models on the cover are inside the book!! I pointed this out to no avail and of course, I don't get a single penny for the reprint.

ISBN 1-84448-025-9:

Waterbomb Fish by Nick Robinson
page 38 (from Square)

Tarumpty Tum Tum by Seiryo Takegawa
page 40 (from Square)

Printer's Hat by Traditional
page 42 (from Other Rect)

Rocking Nun by Traditional
page 44 (from Polygon)

Fuse Box by Tomoko Fuse
page 46 (from Square)

Baggi's Box by Guiseppe Baggi
page 48 (from Other Rect)

Grasshopper by Gay Merrill Gross
page 50 (from Square)

Sail on the Horizon by Nick Robinson
page 51 (from Square)

Headlands by Tony O'Hare
page 52 (from 2x1)

CD Cover by Traditional
page 54 (from Square)

Masu Box by Traditional
page 56 (from Square)

Square Dissection Puzzle by Nick Robinson
page 58 (from Square)

Rectangular Dissection Puzzle by Nick Robinson
page 60 (from Other Rect)

Giraffe Passing a Window by Nick Robinson
page 62 (from Square)

Ten-Point Star by David Collier
page 64 (from Square)

Modular Cube by Mitsonobu Sonobe
page 68 (from Square)

Open Cube by Nick Robinson
page 70 (from Square)

Triangular Box by Nick Robinson
page 72 (from Square)

Skeletal Cube by Jeff Beynon
page 76 (from Square)

Ali's Dish by Nick Robinson
page 78 (from Square)

Money Box by Christoph Mangutsch
page 80 (from Square)

Double Fish Tessellation by Nick Robinson
page 82 (from Other Rect)

Baby Eagle by Lore Schirokauer
page 84 (from Square)

Square Bear by Edwin Corrie
page 88 (from Square)

Star Unit by Nick Robinson
page 92 (from Square)

Peacock by Edwin Corrie
page 94 (from Square)

Spinning Symmetry by Brian Cole
page 98 (from Square)

Jet Plane by Nick Robinson
page 100 (from Square)

Double Cube by David Brill
page 104 (from Square)

Twisted Paper by Shuzo Fujimoto
page 108 (from Square)

Tube of Paint by Guillaume Denis
page 112 (from Other Rect)

Floral Pot by Jeff Beynon
page 116 (from Square)

Flower by Ligia Montoya
page 118 (from Polygon)

Elias Figure Base by Neal Elias
page 124 (from Square)

Images have been sourced from the web or the author. If you want an image removing (or have a better one!) please get in touch.