Want a challenge? Papercraft for aspiring architects

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 28, 2011 

BOOKS BOOK-ORIGAMI-REVIEW 1 MCT

"Origami Architecture" by Yee (Tuttle Publishing, $24.95) is an ultimate craft book for architects. The book and accompanying CD-Rom will allow you to cut out and build icons of world architecture. Here is the hardest, the palace of Westminster. (MCT)

HANDOUT — MCT

Want a challenge?

Most people are familiar with folded paper origami cranes or napkin swans. Some paper folders have graduated to folding elephants, crabs or geometric shapes.

Then there are true papercraft artists whose creations are above and beyond a hobbyist’s skill. In this case, you have Yee.

“Origami Architecture” is for anyone who aspires to be the type of artist who is meticulous, exacting and fascinated by complexity. A budding architect would find hours of work putting together even one of icons of world architecture in this book.

Readers might also want to keep a ready supply of Band-aids and iodine close at hand just in case the blade slips.

Hong Kong-born artist Sheung Yee Shing, or Yee, says he started folding paper as a poor boy. He cut out designs and designed new ones. Later, he graduated to making toys and other designs out of paper. Now he sells his masterful creations and their plans from his website, Yee’s Job, out of Canada.

These are highly detailed architectural creations, including the White House (32 pieces), Westminster Abbey (37 pieces), the Eiffel Tower (71 pieces), and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers (46 pieces.) You go around the world in this book.

The book and CD include plans for 16 well-known buildings that will challenge any creative artist. Using acid-free card stock, a ruler, cutting mat, hobby knife and, in some designs, glue, you can spend hours making them. Some are put together by just folding paper into notches. The book rates them from easy — the White House — to expert — the Palace of Westminster in England. The end result is dazzling.

Yee provides you with full instructions for his creations. There are over 900 photographs and a CD-Rom with the templates necessary to create them.

He specifically says in the introduction that “You must understand completely what you are trying to do before you do it,” adding “Do not skip any steps, they are all important.”

To complete even one will be an accomplishment to be proud of. What you will have in the end is a work of art.

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“Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World’s Most Famous Buildings” by Yee; Tuttle Publishing, North Clarendon, VT (144 pages, $24.95)

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