Eric Joisel : Older Work

Animals are a very common subject in origami. I create them with a high-level of realism, trying to breath life into them. Using folding techniques like box pleating, shaped animals like snails, hedgehogs, pangolins seem especially attractive. Most of them are crafted into three-dimensional forms. For this, the choice of the best paper is always very important. After the folding is completed, I paint the origami with an acrylic fixative that gives the pieces a more attractive surface and strengthens the form.

  • Seahorse / Hippocampe

I have worked in clay, stone and wood before working in paper. I prefer creating human figures more than animals. Before I was able to attempt folding a complete human figure, I practiced making masks and faces for many years. This was more than just production, it was the process of breathing life into the paper and most importantly, partially improvising with every model so that each one was distinctive. This is different than traditional origami where every step is exactly defined so that folders could produce accurate copies. All my models are completely unique. I also experiment with unusual materials, for example, some of my “paper” models are fabricated in aluminum.

Origami often looks as if it’s “magic”. From the time I was a child, I have always been fascinated by the world of Tolkien and faeries. So as an adult dedicating my life to origami, you could suppose I continue act out as a child living in my fantasy world.

“Eric’s amazing work sometimes doesn’t even seem possible to be origami. He is a master of incorporating texture into his work; in addition, he is one of the few origami artists to have mastered the human figure. His masks have inspired others to pursue similar concepts, but Eric’s own work remains distinctly unique.”

Robert J. Lang