Origami creche in the works…

World Origami Days ended, but I still haven’t finished my origami manger scene for the parish Christmas fair…  It takes time to do it right.  I’ve been working on the designs for the ox and the donkey that are traditionally present in the manger. I am trying to A) remember and B) fine-tune the models I designed in the past. Also, I’m trying to get the relative sizes right. I looked up the sizes of bovines and donkeys on the internet, and used that to calculate the desired paper size. I don’t know how successful that is, but it’s worth a shot.

The first time I made the ox (a few years ago), it was way too small, and my mother looked at it and said, “Oh, is that a goat?” So I realized I had to work on it. She also thought my first version of St. Joseph looked like “a goose woman”. Not a woman who was half-goose, but an old woman who raises geese.  My mother has a very active imagination. She also says what she thinks, which is invaluable when you are looking for constructive criticism.

I just finished a “rough draft” of the ox, and did the donkey a day or two ago. They are folded out of old flip board paper I found in a storage area a while ago (back where I taught in the seminary), so they don’t hold their shape very well, but it worked as a test of the general design and relative sizes compared with Mary and Joseph. Here’s the result:

Yes, they still need some work, but I think I’m getting close… I just hope I get time to make the final versions on time for the Christmas fair! Besides these figures, there will (of course) be the baby Jesus lying in a manger, and an angel, but those figures are a bit easier/more familiar for me.


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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4 Responses to Origami creche in the works…

  1. CMSmith says:

    I can’t wait to see your finished product. Have you ever thought of putting together a book of your designs?

  2. CMSmith says:

    You don’t think you could do it with a digital camera and Word?
    I don’t know if you know that I recently self-published a book in print through Createspace, and as ebooks. Let me know if I can lead you in the right direction. (Not that you’re not capable of getting there on your own. I’m pretty impressed with your intellectual gymnastics.)

    • Diagrams are better than photos for origami instructions, although some books have been made with photos instead. I have talked with a number of authors of origami books to find out the best software, and some have offered me help getting published. It’s mostly a matter of money and time… Thanks, though!

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