Wednesday, 29 October 2014

LaFosse & Alexander's Origami Flowers. Kit review.

LaFosse & Alexander’s

Origami Flowers

Lifelike Paper Flowers to Brighten Up Your Life

By Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander, Origamido, Inc.

Tuttle Publishing 2014

Kit: Paperback book, DVD, 180 folding papers

ISBN: 978-0-8048-4312-6

Star rating: ****1/2

Here’s another origami kit review during World Origami Days.

Origami lends itself to kits. This “box set” is comprised of a paperback book, plus an accompanying DVD, and 180 sheets of origami paper. There are instructions for making 18 different origami flowers of varying intricacy – so there’s something for all origami skill levels.

This package is nicely timed to coincide with the paper flower-making trend. Origami, of course, lends itself to paper flower-making, the blossoms being interpretive rather than realistic-looking (my strong preference). The flowers, the majority of which are designed by Michael G. LaFosse, origami guru (contributions by others are attributed), are of both one-piece and modular construction. Constructing the modular interlocking units is fascinating. 

Some of my favourites include: the Maple Leaf (LaFosse) – an autumnal beauty. The fancy folding even conjures up a suggestion of leaf veins impressive! Plumeria, with its gently curling petals, and the modular Star flowers, which are dramatic in either one colour or two. The showstopper project is A Rose for Irene, its 3-D centre offset by swirling petals (and an accompanying calyx). The intro-chat for each project is informative and friendly.

The DVD is a powerful learning tool when used in tandem with the book. Clock the fold diagrams in the book, then watch the DVD for the accompanying step-by-step video segment to clarify and fine-tune. The videos are no frills, but effective: grey background, hands folding paper, voice-over. It works. 

A highly commendable feature of the kit is that after you’ve folded your flower, you are not left high and dry. There are how-tos for the rest of the flower components – the calyx and leaves. And on the DVD, there’s a segment about flower and leaf assembly using florist’s tape, wires and glue (not included in the kit) – so you can rustle up a boutonnière – or a bouquet.

The book contains some good suggestions about alternative flower-making materials – recycled sweet wrappers or foil paper. The papers that come with the kit are pretty basic, regulation-issue origami papers – solid on one side reversing to white (sizes: 15cm (6in) and 7.5cm (3in). The papers a a  tiche disappointing, which is why the 4-1/2 stars rather than 5. 

Full marks for the content of the book and DVD. This box set is prime gift material. 

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this kit.