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Review: Gen Hagiwara's "Spirits of Origami"

Spirits of Origami
Hardcover
208 pages
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Spirits of Origami is the latest in Nicolas Terry's monumental Passion Origami series. While many of the Passion books feature designs from a number of artists, Spirits follows more in the footsteps of earlier entries Origami Sequence and Eco Origami which highlight Quentin Trollip and Bernie Payton respectively, with this installment being made up entirely by pieces from Gen Hagiwara.


Hagiwara's models cover a good span of the simple/complex spectrum, but with nothing in the extremes of either direction. You'll need to have a good handle on your Reverse Folds and Rabbit's-Ears for the easier stuff, but there aren't any extremely technical multi-stage collapses either. There are still Sink Folds, but they tend to be pretty straightforward, not demanding any overly complex collapses. Yet his comparably simple brand of complex origami produces some incredible results. The cover features a delightful kangaroo, though my personal favorites include the Labrador and chipmunk. Whichever piece you pick, though, the model is sure to be bursting with life and charm.


Like every entry in the Passion Origami set, the book's presentation is almost as impressive as the origami within. Mine is a beautiful hardcover, though books in the Passion Origami series also tend to come out in paperback later. It has a photo table of contents, displaying stunning examples of what the final pieces can look like. The diagrams for each model all start with the crease pattern, a paper size suggestion, and a paper type suggestion, as well as a ratio of the finished model compared to the size of the original sheet. On top of all that, the even go so far as to provide dates that the models were each designed and when they were diagrammed, allowing you to view the artist's progression over time.


All in all, it is hard to understate the quality of this book. It delivers on every level, from the quality of the models, to the artistic suggestions for the folders, right down to the presentation in the book itself. Even non-folders will enjoy looking at the beautiful photographs and possibly even reading through the very clear diagrams. Highly recommended.


-Travis Taft