Folding from the book “Origami Essence”, by Román Díaz

When I entered the religious life 19 years ago, and consequently stepped out of the world of orgami, Uruguayan origami artist Román Díaz was not yet well known. Last summer I left my religious community to join the diocese, and jumped back into origami too. Very soon I saw photographs of origami designs by Román Díaz on the internet. Last summer I got to meet him briefly at the origami convention in New York, and I bought his second and latest book, Origami Essence.

I can sum up my reaction to his models in one word: “Wow!” He truly is a master designer, with beautiful and elegant models – and his diagrams are clearly drawn and well explained, although it’s not a book for beginners. I’ve folded three of the models so far: the bullfrog, the complex owl model, and the unicorn (pictured below). I’m looking forward to doing more!

Unicorn by Román Díaz

Román Díaz's unicorn model, folded by me

The author recommends using solid colored paper (the same on both sides) with the technique of wet folding, but I don’t have the right paper prepared nor an appropriate surface for wet folding. So, I used origami foil paper instead (foil on one side and white on the other) so I could still do the sculptural modeling steps. That makes it less natural looking, and the reflections make it harder to photograph, but it will do for a first try.

The book was a bit expensive (around $60), but it’s worth every penny. The quality both of the book as such (materials and printing) and of the content is excellent. I heartily recommend it to any origami enthusiast.


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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