Sunday, 6 April 2014


When I decided to fold my second Joisel's dwarf  I chose the violinist because it is one of my favourite instruments and also because of the dynamism it could give the model. As always, the first step was investigating and selecting a proper model. As far as I know, Joisel didn’t leave instructions for the violin. I only found a CP by Jorge Gracia (zenutrio), published in the AEP internet forum:

The next option I found was Leo Lai’s cello. Both the CP and the final model can be found in his flickr page. If you don’t know it, it is well worth a visit. 

Leo Lai's cello

When I analysed the CP I discovered a great design. The bottom of the paper is used to form the cello’s body. The upper part is used to form the strings, neck and scroll of the instrument. It is folded accordion like and then folded down to lay on the body using the string of diamonds in the middle of the paper. This last fold also produces the colour change of the strings, neck and scroll.  

You can see it here in a very preliminary fold I made to see how the CP worked:
The top area is folded accordion like
The top of the paper is folded over the bottom using the line of diamonds
The final model, with a short neck, but useful to learn the folding procedure 
At this point of my investigation I had two options:

  • Trying to fold the original model by Joisel
  • Modifying Leo Lai’s design to lenghten the neck and reduce the number of strings from 8 to 4 turning the cello into a violin (although in Leo Lai's folded model you can only see 4 strings, when you fold the published CP you get 8) 

To my delight I found that just a few days before, a wonderful violin design by Gen Hagiwara had been published in the 143th number of the Tanteidan Magazine.
The concept behind this model is the same as in the cello, a long stripe of paper, the bottom to form the body and the top to form the strings, neck and scroll. I only had to choose the proper size of paper (22x5,5 cm), paint it with brown and black water colour and fold it.
My final violin
Although Gen Hagiwara’s violin is beautiful I couldn’t stop thinking about Joisel’s one. So I decided to give it a try. Using Jorge Gracia’s CP I made some small changes, added some detail and ended up with this CP:
Here you can see a simple photo diagram to help you fold the CP as well as a final photo with the violin and the dwarf:

And as a final reflection, I want to give some ideas on how to improve the design even more. The three models, Joisel and Hagiwara’s violins and Leo Lai’s cello are opened.
The back of the violin is hollow
How could a closed violin be designed? A possible solution could be to use a wider stripe so that after folding the body we had more paper left. This paper could be folded to form the back of the violin. I may try it one day if nobody does it before. The model would be spectacular, at least the image of the model I have in my mind!!!!

19th may -2014

A few days after I released this post an origami friend from Madrid sent me two Eric Joisel's violin CPs. We think that they were on his web. I leave them here as a curiosity. They are very, very similar to the ones I presented in my post. The model in the second photography is simply spectacular.