Saturday, 27 September 2014

Floragami, by Armin Taübner (book review)


Create Beautiful Flowers from Folded Paper

By Armin Taübner

Stackpole Books

Paperback, £11.99, $ 16.95 US, $19.50 Canada

ISBN 978-0-8117-1336-8

Link to Amazon:Floragami

Star rating: ***1/2

This title is an origami-take on the seemingly neverending paperflower love affair. It is a fun origami-crafting book with a modular kusudama origami approach. This book is not for origami purists – some cutting, gluing, plus the incorporation of additional materials such as bead embellishments, string, and florist’s stems – is required to assemble most of the projects. All of the designs are extremely attractive and have a clean, modern appearance –  while at the same time being playful fantasy flowers.

The title is aimed at the hobby crafter and is perhaps a little dumbed-down – not once is the term kusudama used, although it is pretty well-known in the papercraft world, even for those who are not origami aficionados. The layout of the book is a bit non-traditional in that the basic nitty-gritty how-to techniques and get-acquainted- with -your materials sections are back-of- book with the templates (for leaves and suchlike) – so you just dive into the projects, which are grouped into three sections: Single Flowers, Flower Spheres, and Fancy Flower Decorations. A small gripe: no metric measurements are provided.

Many of the projects are constructed using circular paper, including dedicated origami paper, fluted paper baking cases, and paper doilies. There’s plenty of variety in the projects, including flat-based flowers that can sit directly on a tabletop, hanging spheres, floating flower arrangements made of waterproof origami paper (would make a lovely centrepiece), and twinkly garlands illuminated with L.E.D.s (excellent for festive occasions). There’s good use of double-sided paper.

Some of the most striking projects are the simplest. Example: Adorable Snowdrops, a simple stemmed arrangement. There’s a Clever Flower Hanger in which the blossoms interlock in puzzle-like fashion (I almost always fall for innovative construction methods). There are also Christmas trees made of graduated star shape which are strung vertically. Many of the flower shapes would make attractive festive decs.

The step-by-step directions are clear, with how-to illustrations provided wherever necessary. All of the projects are labelled with difficulty level – but there’s nothing here that would fox a papercrafter of average experience.

Verdict: an attractive, accessible, giftable title.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this title.

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