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North American Cardinal

Designed by Michael G. LaFosse

This crested, brightly-colored finch is a favorite that every person putting out a backyard bird feeder hopes to attract. No wonder it has been chosen by seven states as their State Bird. This model shows a modern design using the older origami style of creating flat profiles of familiar objects. The beautiful simplicity, harmony of shapes and proportions makes this model elegant, yet deceptively sophisticated. The model also reduces the subject to a minimalist abstraction. The design takes advantage of two-toned, or duo paper that is all red on one side, all black on the other. The folding process or sequence is direct, economical, interesting and enjoyable.

Even as a youngster, I was smitten with the Cardinal. I remember begging my parents for a plastic, Cardinal model kit that I could assemble and paint by myself. They did not buy it for me, but shortly afterwards, Santa Claus did. I tried for several years to design a fitting origami rendition of my favorite bird, but it was not until Richard asked me to determine the landmarks on my Mourning Dove, so he could successfully teach it to beginners at the Origamido Studio. In the process of trying to landmark the Dove, I discovered the potential to reshape the bird's head, and explored the opportunities to accomplish a color-change. I never did finish the job of land-marking the Mourning Dove. My vision for the origami cardinal years ago, was for a fully, three-dimensional bird, just like the plastic model that I had glued together and painted as a child. The resulting flat fold is quite a departure, yet just as satisfying to me, since it has a pleasing geometry and harmony that just gels. Like a wonderful poem that everybody can recite and understand, it has an honest quality in its simplicity, even though it is folded flat. :: 808-927-5768 ::
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