BOS Booklet No. 60
The first origami books I bought contained a variety of model types in each book. If I needed a box model, or a flower, or a rabbit, I was sure to have something I could use. Recently I have been drawn to themed books that focus on a related set of models, and “A Medieval Court in Origami” certainly meets that criteria.
The visual design of the book fits the medieval look quite well. The cover looks as it it were dyed leather, the page background looks like parchment, and the illustrations of medieval scenes all follow the theme. Even the origami diagrams seem to match the look, being hand drawn and shaded, with neat hand lettering for the helpful folding instructions on each step. Sometimes the differences in the shading are a bit subtle, and the lettering a bit faded, but everything is clear enough for an intermediate folder.
There are a few simple models in the book, including shield designs with appropriate names designating the attributes they represent: Per Pale (strength), Per Fess (honor), and Per Bend (defense). The rest of the models fall more squarely into intermediate level folding. Knowledge of terms like petal fold, squash fold, fish base and reverse fold are necessary because they are used in the step descriptions without there being a basic folds section in the book. There are no folds that I would call complex or even high intermediate – no sink folds, double rabbit ears, or overly fussy shaping.
Keeping with the medieval look, there are no color photos of the models in the book, just line drawings. The drawings don’t really do justice to many of the models. The Lady and The Wizard in particular have more detail in their robes and I was quite pleased with them. The Charger (war horse) initially appeared to me to be rather chubby, until I realized it was supposed to be wearing a Caparison – a long cloth covering worn for protection during tournaments. The folding sequence on The Charger was fun and unusual, so even if it was not highly realistic it was recognizable and enjoyable.
You do need to pay attention to the author’s paper recommendations. The recommended sizes will provide models in scale to each other, so you should end up with models that would work together in a display. Folding the knight out of foil paper makes sense aesthetically, but also helps this model keep its shape. The recommendation for the dragon is thin foil, but American foil was too thick. Tissue foil would be a better interpretation of that recommendation.
Most of the models are from square paper, though several use rectangles. A large 1×3 rectangle is recommended for the castle battlements and towers. This relatively straightforward folding sequence provided a satisfying and recognizable model.
The author definitely seems to know quite a bit about the subject matter, and I learned a few things as I looked up terms in the book. While this book would not be for a beginning folder, I would recommend it for intermediate or above level folding, and especially for anyone with an interest in King Arthur stories, medieval times, jousting tournaments, or renaissance festivals.