Monday, 17 February 2014


Eric Joisel’s Origami Jazz Band has become one of the most spectacular compositions in origami. It is composed of 11 dwarves, each one with a different music instrument, flute, drum, violin, …. Using four different CPs you can get 4 different costumes, eleven different hats and 11 different faces.

The Great Origami Jazz Band (GOJB) by Eric Joisel in Zaragoza exhibition in 2013

Each dwarf is unique, one-of-a-kind, but the most important thing is not the fold but the final modeling of the paper, the curves, the face expression and the pose of the body with the instrument. Even Joisel said he was unable to repeat any of his models.

Eric Joisel passed away in 2010 without leaving clear instructions about how to make the models, only the base of one of the dwarves and sketches of  some instruments remain. The yet to finish work of dozens of origami artists all over the world has deciphered most of the models allowing other origami folders to give The Band a try.

A couple of months ago I decided to give this first step and as a result I came up with this model, a dwarf playing a clarinet.

As my first dwarf in the band I chose the ‘classical’ model. Its folding instructions where released by Eric Joisel himself in the French origami forum. You can see them here 

It is made with a 60x60cm 40g Kozo square paper. It is a paper made in Japan from long and strong plant fibers that make it very strong and flexible. Once I finished the base I started a long process, spanning several days, in which I wet folded every detail of the dwarf using water and methylcellulose. In some parts of the model  I used carpenter's glue to harden the paper, especially in the legs that support most of the weight of the model. After several cycles of wetting-modeling-drying I got the final model. The total height is 26 cm.

I learned about this paper in the beautiful Eric Joisel Exhibition hold in Zaragoza in 2013. It is the type of paper Joisel used in his last creations, Barbarians, Commedia dell'Arte,… but with less weight (40 g vs 90 g). Personally, I have tried other papers, triple silk, sandwich, Nicolas Terry foil, etc., but none of them has allowed me to get the details I was able to fold with Kozo. I bought my paper in a great paper shop in Madrid, La Dominoteria

Nicolas Terry's foil paper

Triple silk paper

The instrument, a clarinet, is made with the same paper, in this case a 12x4.5 cm rectangle painted with brown water color for the body and bronze acrylic for the keys. The CP was designed by the Bolivian master Ricardo Montecinos mimicking Joisel’s model. His web page is well worth a visit

Before folding the final clarinet, just 8 cm long, I made a preliminary model using foil paper. Here is my CP interpretation:

After folding the CP you get the collapsed base with 16 keys:

Here you can see the details of one of the keys:

We close the model locking the two sides of the paper together:

We model the mouthpiece:

We open the front part to form the bell:

And we get the clarinet:

Finally you can see the display I used to make the photographs of the models:

and two more photographs of the model showing the back and the right side:



my name is Picaruelo, a lover of the old art of paper folding. Dry folding, wet folding crumpling, with a square, a rectangle, a triangle, a pentagon, with one piece of paper, with two pieces, with many, with copy paper, cardboard, silk, kraft, kozo, unryu, napkins... Even aluminium foil. It is not paper but it is folded as if it were. 

Without further ado I introduce myself:

This is me, a Picaruelo folded from a square paper in a cave made with pieces of crumpled paper. And with ropes and even a red LED. Yes, I know they are not made of paper but I didn't know how to make paper light yet!!!!

I begin this blog to share ideas and contents that could be interesting to ‘crazy’ paper folders like me. And, why not? To obligate myself to document the models I fold and design. How many models are lost because they have not been properly documented?

Some of you may know me because I have already published some photographs on my Flickr page. You can see them here. Comments will be welcomed.