50 Hours – Origami Samurai Paper Folding

by Cristian I

Although origami seems like a challenging hobby or art form to start, it’s actually fun and easy to do. The only thing you need to get started is some paper, and you can use virtually any type you prefer.

The Samurai Warrior

When you think about origami, you consider swans, boats, and other objects that take a few minutes to create. If you get the folds correct, the outcome is immediately satisfying.

If you want to be like artist Juho Könkkölä, you’ll need to step up your origami skills. He uses only one sheet of Wenzhou rice paper to create detailed images that include a origami samurai wearing plated armor, a helmet, and a sword.

Könkkölä works in Finland, incorporating wet and dry techniques to shape figures that can be up to 28cm tall. The item stands by itself when completed, immediately identifiable because of the intricate details incorporated by the artist.

According to Könkkölä, it takes several hundred steps to fold his finished products from the original single 93 x 93cm square. He says that the most challenging component for the origami samurai figure was to get the armor’s geometric patterns correct.

It was such a challenge that the artist had to abandon his original design of using two swords to ensure there was enough paper available to make the figure symmetrical.

Although it looks like one would need to cut the paper, there is no tearing of it at all.

How Challenging Is It to Practice Origami?

Although origami seems like a challenging hobby or art form to start, it’s actually fun and easy to do. The only thing you need to get started is some paper, and you can use virtually any type you prefer.

Könkkölä uses rice paper because of how it retains folds and shaping while offering above-average malleability.

Two basic folds are part of the origami experience. They’re called the “mountain” and “valley,” with almost every action being one or the other. When you get into the more complicated designs, you’ll find hybrid folds that use both techniques.

When you perform a mountain fold, the paper crease sends the material downward, making it seem like the apex becomes a summit. The sheets look more like a “V,” resembling something closer to a canyon for the valley fold.

Once you get to know those basics, you can start performing more complicated options, such as the inside reverse fold, the rabbit ear fold, and the open sink.

In the making
In the making
In the making 2
In the making 2

What Are the Pros and Cons of Origami?

If you’re thinking about taking up the art of origami as Könkkölä did, you’ll want to consider the different pros and cons of this unique skill. Although it is a suitable option for everyone, including children, it can also be frustrating.

List of the Pros of Origami

  • The folding work required to be successful with this art form enhances individual motor skills with ongoing practice.
  • You don’t need to use any sharp objects when creating figures, making it suitable for virtually anyone to try. The only risk is the occasional paper cut.
  • Since glue, tape, and other materials are not needed, even toddlers can start folding paper safely to explore their creative energy.
  • For many people, origami provides a fun way to explore the ideas produced from a different culture.
  • Since this art requires precision, you must work on your math skills to understand where to make creases, how big of a square you need, and other factors.
  • It teaches perseverance and patience because each shape and fold get more challenging to make as time passes. Complicated works can easily take dozens of hours to complete.

List of the Cons of Origami

  • Although origami works with most paper types, some are not compatible. The best products are the ones manufactured for the purpose of folding.
  • If you purchase origami-specific paper, the cost is often significantly higher than what you pay for materials that you’d put into a copy machine or a printer.
  • You must stay focused when performing the various fold styles. If you don’t have constant concentration, you can miss an integral step of your creation.
  • If you haven’t tried origami before, it helps to have someone familiar with the art guiding you through the processes.
  • When your work doesn’t match your expectations, the only option you have is to throw it away, wasting the paper you were using.

Although commercialized rice paper is approximately $2.50 per sheet, authentic handmade squares can be as much as $25. That’s why it often pays to practice on cheaper materials before stepping up to something like Könkkölä uses for your origami.

Check out artist’s Website, Instagram and Youtube for more info.

Konkkola Origami
Konkkola Origami
Konkkola Samurai
Konkkola Origami Samurai
Details of single Sheet of Paper Samurai
Details of single Sheet of Paper Samurai
Konkkola Paper Artwork
Konkkola Paper Artwork



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