This pre-columbian origami frog was inspired by a visit to the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) in my native Bogotá, Colombia.
The museum collection illustrates the social and cultural life of many different groups of people such as Muiscas or Chibchas, who lived in what is now known as Colombia from approximately 500 BCE until the time of the European Conquest.
Frogs were a recurrent theme of these Pre-columbian cultures and often featured on pendants, pins, necklaces and bracelets.
Frog Folding Paper
This frog can be folded from many different kinds of paper including kami, or even a page from a magazine. But to fold the frog as a pin or a pendant I needed a paper with specific characteristics:
- The paper couldn’t be too thin.
- It needed to take creases well.
After a bit of experimenting, I discovered that Tant and Stardream papers satisfied both requirements and come in a variety of beautiful colors. Stardream includes some gorgeous golden tones.
Each one of the golden frogs in the photographs was folded from a square red piece of Stardream (3 x 3in.). After folding, a couple of shellac glazes were applied followed by gilding with 23 carat gold leaf. For an antique look, the gilding process leaves some tiny gaps through which the red of the paper shows through.
My husband, an expert in antique furniture restoration, taught me the gilding process. I have to admit it was a bit disconcerting to see flakes of real gold drifting all about my work table, but I think the result was worth the effort and anxiety. Please note that some finished frog pins are available at my Etsy store.
In celebration of World Origami Days (Oct 24 to Nov 11), I’d like to share a video on how to fold this pre-columbian style origami frog.
Diagrams: Published in Creased Magazine, issue 4
Have you folded this frog?
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or share with us a comment on how you liked it.