Paper is an amazingly flexible medium to work with.
Able to be bent into shape at a moment's notice, or rolled into remarkably rigid and strong constructions, it can look attractive with or without designs patterned onto it.
Here are just some of the awesome things you can make with paper...
Image by Joel Cooper.
As you may have noticed from the above image, origami based on tessellation, also known as ‘paper mosaics’, tends to be a tad bit more complex than your typical frog or crane design.
The difference is entirely due to method.
Rather than starting with a design for a fixed pattern that will produce a fixed result, people who work with tessellating origami tend to start from a grid then make symmetrical folds until they end up with something that looks really cool.
Due to its intuitive nature, you can get some truly mind-blowing results...like this dude!
Image by Joel Cooper.
There is no trickery involved here.
This is just paper, folded into the shape of a bearded pharaoh of old.
This is what can be done with tessellating origami - why not give it a go yourself?
Paper can be fairly inflexible at times, especially when rolled up on itself into a cube.
People use this attribute to make some impressive weapons, even if they would be (thankfully!) ineffective in a real life situation.
If you're in need of a laugh, check out this video by Professor Ronald Duncan, it involves martial arts with a rolled-up newspaper...
Highlights from the video include Prof Duncan rolling up his newspaper in eager anticipation of delivering a painful-looking shot to a pseudo mugger’s groin as soon as he asks for the time.
This video by Youtube user "Nighthawkinlight" is even more impressive He teaches viewers how to make their very own paper crossbow! But unlike most so-called paper crossbows, which use elastic bands to power the projectile, this design functions like a true crossbow. The power comes from the arms!
You might be interested to know that you can find entire worlds built of beautifully illustrated paper, right here on the internet.
Sure, you have to print, cut and stick them together, but the end results are pretty amazing.
Some of the premium ones, like World Works Games, require you to pay to access their designs, but you should be able to find some free designs on the internet somewhere.
My personal favourite theme is the Deadfall range, set in a Western/Victorian age, but there are all kinds of designs that can get your imagination fired up, if nothing else.
Despite all the bizarre weapons and weird worlds you can make out of paper, I think I’m still most impressed by the tessellating origami art of Joel Cooper. I've genuinely never seen anything made of paper on the same level as this.
What about you?
Have you seen paper designs even more awesome than the ones shown here?
Blensfarnt Spundunkler writes blog posts for Cartridge Shop and constructs elaborate mazes made from bendy straws for ants to fight in. He concentrates mostly on the blog posts though.