Thursday, 25 September 2014

Curlicue Kinetic Origami, by Assia Brill - a new spin (book review)


Curlicue Kinetic Origami

By Assia Brill

Self-published, 2013, available on Amazon
Paperback £8.36

ISBN 978 1494234935



Star rating: *****



The Curlicue is a genius origami variation invented by Assia Brill in 2005. It is an outgrowth of those two-strip paperchains you may have made as a child – you know, where two strips of contrasting-coloured paper are folded together at right angles to produce a dimensional chain (help me out here – there’s a name for them – what are they called?...). Assia Brill’s eureka innovation is to use two tapering strips which are folded flat and twisted. The twisting mechanism produces fabulous kaleidoscopic op-art results.  Her design tweak is indeed a new spin on an existing technique. Wow factor!


Assia Brill says of the Curlicue in her intro, “It is a new type of moving or kinetic origami. You can rotate the Curlicue’s stacked layers to reveal fascinating, constantly-changing patterns of radiating stars and zigzag spirals.”


This self-published book is the author’s labour of love. It is a distillation of the formidable knowledge that she has garnered about her new technique. The book has excellent production values – the illustrations, photography, and book design are all of excellent professional standard. Throughout the book are kaleidoscopic photo galleries of twist variations. The book includes 20 original designs – curlicue squares, hexagons, rectangles, plus detailed how-tos for cutting the paper strips and folding the Curlicues. There are lots of helpful tips.


Assia Brill’s mind-boggling innovation makes her an origami pioneer. Her new technique has necessitated the coining of new origami terminology: a twist fix is an important new move, and a Valley Curve is a new origami configuration- both are specific to the Curlicue.


Curlicues have obvious geek-appeal. Although probably not for absolute origami novices, the models are archievable if you work carefully and follow the instructions to the letter. A degree of motivation is required because you are required to precisely cut-your-own paper strips.


My input: this fascinating new origami variation is catching on bigtime since the book's publication last November. Curlicues are here to stay. Why not offer commercially-available pre-cut Curlicue Strips?


The verdict: fascinating, fun, worth a try! A challenging new origami variation.

Note: I purchased my own copy of this title.

Watch this space for more origami book reviews. I was thinking of running an "Origami in October" strand - but I just couldn't wait!