Perfect origami mushroom

Dave sez, "From the site of a group of radical origami artists called 'Le Crimp', here's a fascinating video on making a near-photo-realistic mushroom from a piece of wrapping paper. Le Crimp was featured in the new origami documentary 'Between the Folds' (which boing boing alerted me to) showing on PBS stations in December (check local listings)."

CRIMP!!! origami: (Thanks, Dave!)


  1. Bouncy, bouncy, oooooh such a good time,
    Bouncy, bouncy, shoes all in a line…

    Don’t try to seduce me with a crimp.

  2. There needs to be another word for this, not origami.

    I think of origami as a specific, enumerated series of folds… this guy is just sculpting soggy paper.

    Granted, he doesn’t tear or cut… but it still seems closer to papier mache.

  3. I love the shape and especially the final adjustments which bring out the annulus under the cap, but when you see that last shot it’s an almighty stretch to call it ‘near-photo-realistic’. I’ll bet it doesn’t even have gills under that skirt.

  4. wonderful bit of creation but I don’t think it’s origami. Paper sculpting yeah but the techniques used – crimping, wetting, sculpting, aren’t really origami.

  5. In the origami community, this variety of folding is widely accepted as being within the realm of origami and is highly regarded by most of us.

    Origami is a descriptive term, not a prescriptive one. Those who insist on touchstones like “squares only” or “no cuts” are usually speaking to their own preferences, rather than to the art’s history and evolution.

  6. I agree with knodi, this is clearly papercraft, but not classical origami. Oschene may be correct about the current community being open to anything, but at some point, calling ANY papercraft “origami” causes the word “origami” to lose any meaning beyond “stuff you can do with a sheet of paper”.

    To me, classical origami was directly related to Euclidean geometry and that relationship was part of the fascination. Just as there are more geometries than the classical Euclidean geometry, so there are more papercrafts than origami. No problem with that, I would just not call these more open methods “origami”.

    One reason – I think art is enhanced by rules/restrictions. Or can be. It’s great to break the rules, but then you are probably working in a new form.

    It’s like creating a model of something with Lego bricks. Working with Lego bricks is pretty restrictive, but there is a unique quality to the brick creation that is lost if you mix bricks, paint, clay to smooth out the transitions, etc.

    So what Le Crimp is doing here is very nice, but not origami. IMO.

  7. In my experience most people define origami as taking a flat paper and transforming it into 3-D without cutting or gluing it or it. I saw this artist last week in Between the Folds documentary (which is absolutely incredible) and it treats crumpling as a form of modern origami. -S

  8. “it treats crumpling as a form of modern origami. -S”

    Works for me – “modern origami” as opposed to “classical origami”.

    Sort of like “representational art” vs. “abstract art”. No value judgment, just a more specific (and IMO useful) description.

    “In my experience most people define origami as taking a flat paper and transforming it into 3-D without cutting or gluing it or it.”

    Most people think “ain’t” is proper English too. :-)

    I think most people have no direct experience with origami, so their impressions are necessarily vague. And of course, reasonable people can disagree, which is likely the case here.

  9. I grew up being told that beat poetry wasn’t really poetry, that Warhol’s and Lichtenstein’s work weren’t really art, that science fiction wasn’t really literature and that rock-and-roll wasn’t really music. And for the people who told me these things, it was true. How old were you when you stopped listening to such categorical pronouncements?

    Floderer’s work may not look like your idea of what origami is or has been, but the only evidence that it isn’t origami we see advanced here is that it doesn’t fit the writer’s idea of origami. Okay, tell me which rules have been broken? Whose rules are they? I see a man, folding with intention and shaping his paper by means of creasing. The use of water in folding is well-documented and widely accepted. (We call it wet-folding – there is no pulping involved.) It’s true that he is not folding step-by-step from diagrams in a book — he moves swiftly and with authority — but you will note that he is demonstrating his method. Origami is a viral art: it exists in the way it is shared. Floderer’s methods are reproducible and extensible. And, if you worry about such things, rather beautiful.

    Argument on the Internet is words written on water by the wind. I do not seek to cavil. But if you want to tell us this isn’t origami, you need to tell us why.

  10. Hallo !
    thanks for your comments!
    I’m the mushroom -not perfect!- man.

    After over 10 years, it seems this model creates always the same discussion :Is it origami or not?.
    (ORI=folded GAMI=paper)

    I created many models in the classical way before I started this way, influenced by Paul Jackson’s ideas.

    To my eyes, a crumpled model is nothing else than an origami model with thousands of creases; which allows to create much more than this basic mushroom.

    Does it matter if you produce more folds or creases than usual?
    How many creases and which folds are “allowed”?
    Who writes the “laws”?
    Many Thanks to Vanessa Gould who describes our group as “the anarchists” in her wonderfull documentary “Between the folds”.I prefer origami anarchism to integrism …from far.

    Please folow this link to an article (in english) about the last ten years research with my team:

    To my eyes the most important thing in Origami is the motion – or a sequence of motions- that creates the steps and finally the model.
    You cannot separate the résult: the crease or crease pattern from this action which is:”TO FOLD”.

    If you look closer to the video you will notice that the finger and hands movments are exactly the same than those used in classical origami sequences,for those who can fold in space.
    Actually it was an attempt to control and better understand just the movment of these sequences.
    I’ve also drawn a diagramm of this mushroom using the international symbols.
    I still draw notes using them to design other organic and geometric models.

    Always more,I have to fold difficult patterns with great accuracy before I crumple them, which gives amazing results since … 1997
    And it does’nt seem to go to an end.

    Our web site gallery shows some recent results.
    It will be updated soon.

    Here is another experiment using Jeff Beynon famous Spring into action structure. Sorry Jeff we’ve crumpeld it! but respectfully!

    I will enjoy your comments

  11. I’ve loved origami since I was so small, I went through all the origami books at my local library during elementary school and folded all the models I liked. This is totally origami, as the word means “folding paper”. To limit the term with any other preconceived notions seems like ignorance of the art form, in the same sense that john cage was not “music” or warhol was not “art”.

    for a lighter look at origami
    check out the origami episode of the hilarious 日本の形 (nihon no katatchi – the shape of japan – translated to the japanese tradition) by one of my favorite comedian groups – ラーメンズ – Ramenz
    Take note in particular of the “Origami masters battle” in which a crumpled origami makes an appearance

    This first link has english subtitles

    this second does not, but the video quality is much better

  12. Does this mean my Origami Boulder is more impressive than most people seem to think?

    Anyway, this is a very impressive sculpture, though I also tend to feel like it doesn’t represent origami as I consider it. Papercraft, and quite remarkable, but I feel like origami suggests precise folds and (usually) stylized results, as opposed to crumpling, sculpting and realistic results.

    Very cool, anyway.

  13. Both Vincent Floderer and “Oschene” have been exploring fruitful edges of Origami for years, just as the more traditional origami extenders like Robert Lang have blasted past limitations of conception that restricted what origami was possible of expressing. Modern folders are not restricted by straight folds, square papers or traditional bases. The results don’t need to be flat, immobile or symmetrical. They usually try to get away with not being cut, but a great number of modular models are made of separate, usually identical parts. AS normal paper cannot handle some of the extended techniques, foil backed paper, wet folding and other materials have been used to realize these new models. It’s a very exciting time to be exploring folding techniques and breaking old preconceptions.

  14. Well, I’m only a dabbler in origami (for 30 years), but to me this is definitely origami! My own rules for origami is simply that it uses pieces of paper that haven’t been cut or glued, so it definitely fits into that. And even more, it takes what I see as the essence of origami… taking a simple piece of paper and bringing it alive. (To Vincent: I absolutely love your work!!!)

    I wonder how many of the “not origami” writers above have actually explored origami beyond the traditional models like the crane? Origami has moved much further than that a long time ago, with masters like Akira Yoshizawa. There are so many wonderful origami artists doing amazing things, so I would encourage you to fire up your favorite search engine and go look. Two of my favorite links are: (see the gallery page)

  15. If I had the great fortune to live in France, I would certainly become a working member of LeCrimp. I have been an artist all my life, and have always been on the fringe of what alot of people consider true art; this is certainly a medium I would love to incorporate into what I regard as art. So glad your group was featured in ‘Between the Folds’ on Independent Lens; it was an incredible look into the various uses for manipulating paper into art.

Comments are closed.