Large-scale folding

What's that?

People normally fold models in "ordinary", "handy" sizes. There are, however, certain attempts to do miniature, or the contrary, large-scale works. During my paperfolding career, I managed to gain some experience in the latter. It may be surprising, but as the scale grows, our working material starts to act more and more differently from what we are used to. The paper's own weight counts increasingly, while the stability of the finished model decreases reciprocally. This changed behavior demands a modified approach in model choice and folding strategy. No surprise that large-scale origami works are rarely to be seen. They most likely show up on special occasions, which don't last too long (annual meetings of folders, trade fair installations).

Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in Kölesd, Hungary

In August, 2003 we decided with my friend, József Zsebe, to take a challenge and try outdoing our previous large-scale origami attempts. Our goal was to fold Issei Yoshino's (1964-1996) trend-setting Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton model using 21 sheets of 2x2 meter square-shaped paper. This allowed for a finished model about half the size of a fully-grown prehistoric reptile. Although life-sized versions had already been made before by others (Yoshino's T. rex skeleton is perhaps the most popular topic among those who attempt large-scale folding), we wanted to achieve better results concerning the stability of the model.

The project was kindly sponsored by Dunapack, who provided a roll of their strong wrapping paper to us. To further improve the strength of the finished model, we applied a special type of wet folding, dampening the paper with methyl-cellulose solution instead of pure water. After the units dried, they were threaded upon a solid steel rod, which we previously bent to shape. The tiring work lasted for a couple of days, but the result fulfiled our aims. Of course we learned further things on the fly, so next time we will be able to do even better. By the way, the skeleton has got a fixed place in the community house of Kölesd (a settlement in Central Hungary) and can be visited any time during open hours.

Address: Művelődési ház, Kölesd, Kossuth tér, 7052 Hungary

Tel.: +36/74/436-050 vagy +36/74/436-013

Open hours: weekdays from 8.00 till 16.00 CET

Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton

The finished skeleton
Model: Issei Yoshino © 1989
Folded by: József Zsebe and Péter Budai, 2003
Photo: Péter Budai, © 2009

Large-scale origami X-mas tree project

when paper turns back into tree...

A letter in November 2012 asked about the possibility of folding large origami Christmas trees, which were to be set up as decoration in supermarkets. Since I like to tackle such challanges, I decided to accept this one as well. As it is usually the case with large-scale folding, a few unexpected problems had to be solved along the way, but thanks to my previous experience, none of them proved to be a serious obstacle. Afterall, the 10 trees measuring 1.5 m in height were ready for the deadline, shipped out to different towns of the country and set up as part of the Christmas decoration along with other origami items.

large-scale origami Christmas trees

A "forest" of large-scale origami Christmas trees
Model: © Francesco Guarnieri, 2011
Folded by: Péter Budai, 2012
Photo: © Péter Budai, 2012

decorated at one of the exhibition sites

A tree decorated at one of the exhibition sites