Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into interesting shapes, is without a doubt a very delicate process. Not only you need to have the foresight for the specific shape you want to make, but you also have to be careful enough not to rip the delicate paper you’re working on.
While most of us can barely make a simple paper airplane or origami swan, artist Juho Könkkölä has taken the art form to a whole new level by folding a 20 cm tall samurai out of a single piece of paper:
The paper he uses for this particular piece is CMC-treated Wenzhou paper – a super thin rice paper praised for its firmness and strong resistance to aging. Juho takes a 68 cm x 68 cm SINGLE piece of this thin paper and works wonders only a man with tons of patience can achieve.
Before starting the folding process, Juho has to first precrease the paper. This allows him to set up the folds he will be making without the aid of a marker and makes the paper easier to collapse. Without this initial process, the paper could easily tear while working on his origami
Once the creases are set up, he can now begin the process of folding the paper. We can’t see it, but Juho already has a plan of attack set up. He works on different sections of the paper to create the individual parts of the samurai and uses metal clips to keep the main features in place.
As a rough outline of a samurai begins to emerge, Juho starts folding these individual parts together. He then starts folding in the finer details, such as the fingers, face, and – of course – the individual plates of the samurai’s armor.
To help keep the folds in place, Juho applies some liquid adhesive to the paper before drying it out with a blow dryer. He also uses a small wooden toothpick to help with the finest, tiniest folds to round out the final samurai design.
The video may have been only 5 minutes, but it took Juho 50 hours to fold this wonderful origami samurai from a single square piece of Wenzhou paper. As you can see, not once did he cut the paper into workable parts nor did he add to it. The amount of dedication he has spent on this single piece of paper can only be outmatched by the time he has spent on it.