The drunken swan


I can’t spend forever making origami cranes, I decided. I need to branch out and do siomething different. And what did I plump for but this–an origami swan.


‘Twas a decision fraught with difficulty. My first attempt, following the instructions in Eric Kenneway’s classic, Complete Origami, resulted in a swan that looked more drunk than elegant. Its head lolled to one side and threatened at any minute to pull the rest of its body to the floor in a dishevelled heap. I couldn’t work out what had gone wrong. I had followed the diagrams perfectly. To be fair, I couldn’t blame Eric Kenneway himself, since the drawings for this model had the name of a certain ‘John S. Smith’ appended to them. The pseudonym for an embarrassed E. Kenneway perhaps, after having folded one too many sozzled swans? We’ll never know. Help, however, was at hand via the imaginatively titled Origami by Zulal Ature-Scheele. This book is full of colour photos and simple instructions, which don’t mention such origami technicalities as outside reverse folds or the preliminary base (these things are used–they’re just not explicitly named) and I finally produced a good and upright swan, seen above, drifting down the tinfoil river.

Eric Kenneways book, by the way, begins the swan page by telling you to ‘use a square of white paper’, but then provides a photo of a completed swan fashioned from black paper. Sometimes I feel Kennway/Smith is just being contrary for the sake of it.

The black tissue-like paper I used was from the box that my latest pair of slippers came in. The most tasteful materials, it seems, crop up in the most unlikely places.



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