Most Amazing Origami Designs :: The portal of the largest rankings on the Internet!

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and originates back to as earlier as 600 A.D. Shortly after the invention of paper in 100 A.D., the Japanese used their artistic history and talent to make beautiful and unique shapes out of the newly invented thin paper. The origins of origami started in China, but it became popular and gained it’s name over in Japan. Throughout history, origami has been used for various special events including royal and rich weddings and parties. It has always been a symbol of rich and wellness as well as class and beauty but more recently it has become a highly thought of talent and skill. Those that possess the skills to make beautiful origami designs are highly regarded and some of them earn a lot of money from it too.

Since the popularity of origami is growing vastly throughout the world and has been doing for the past century or so, we thought it was only accurate to put together some of the best and beautiful origami designs ever created and talk about them a little. Everyone of them is special and unique to the artist so this ranking is completely biased and based on our preference.

The 10 Most Amazing Origami Designs

Origami Design
1 Black Forest Cuckoo Clock by Robert Lang Possibly the most complex origami design of all time comes in the form of an animal ridden forest in the shape of a cuckoo clock and was designed and folded by Robert Lang. It is intricately designed, and modern reconstructions of this piece can take many years to complete. Yet, nothing comes close to the pure brilliance of the original. The origami design is Robert Lang’s most famous piece and is a mixture of his original cuckoo clock (that was never published) and an incorporated black forest (which was inspired after he visited there). It was folded in Germany in 1987 and has become the face of origami and shows the world how talented an artist has to be in order to create a masterpiece like this.

Visit Robert Lang’s official website for all his official and up to date work:
2 Jazz Band by Eric Joisel Stepping up the origami industry and challenging typical perceptions of art, Eric Joisel was a French artist who took the Japanese art to a whole new level of complexity. One of the thousands of works he sculpted during his career was the famous Jazz Band origami piece, it incorporated many creatures playing various instruments such as the chello, trumpet and violin. Inspired mostly by the work of origami legend, Yoshizawa, a lot of Joisel’s work used different materials as well as paper. The Jazz Band was featured in various exhibitions in the world and other pieces designed and folded by Joisel were featured in exhibitions including at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Overall, the Jazz Band sculpture took him over 100 hours to fold as it was three dimensional and had a very complex design. Through many of his different sculptures and pieces of art, he showed off his personality, character, and fun-loving spirit which helps to carry on his legacy even after his death.

Visit Eric Joisel’s IMDb official profile for al the information on his artwork, life, and death here:
3 The Angels by Leo Lai Composed of two angelic figures playing musical instruments, this sculpture showed the artistic community how hard and intricate origami work is. This piece of work by Leo Lai is particularly stunning due to it’s complexity and sheer beauty, it was only formed of 11 sheets of paper but took over 200 hours to complete. The two angels in the sculpture are connected by the edge of one of the angel’s dresses but only one of the angels has wings and is flying highly than the other. Both angels are coming out of a book to symbolise fictional reality and beautiful fantasy. The whole symbolic idea behind the sculpture was to showcase true beauty in all its form and to show that even pieces of paper can be made into a form of stunning artwork. A lot of Leo Lai’s pieces follow the fantasy ideal and use angels, witches and even wizards to produce some of the finest origami art of all time. The detailing and folds within the sculpture give it an even more real feel which is why so many pieces of Lai’s artwork have been featured in exhibitions and museums all over the world.

If you want to find out more about Leo Lai, he doesn’t have an official website but his Facebook page is always updated on what he’s doing and where he is:
4 Chinese Dragon (Ryujin 3.5) by Satoshi Kamiya One of the most famous Eastern style origami dragons in all of history has had many refolds but it always seems to come back down to the original designed and created by Satoshi Kamiya. He is one of the most advanced origami masters in the world and after starting to fold and design at the age of just 2 years old, he seriously started folding hundreds of designs when he was just 14 years old. The Ryujin 3.5 is an elaborate model of a Chinese dragon who claws, horns and is covered in scales. The design and folding process is thought to have taken around 1 month to complete with Kamiya taking inspiration from all different sources like nature, mythology and even his passion for Manga. All of the designs he has created have been very complex and intricately thought out and the Ryujin 3.5 takes over 270 steps but still only requires one piece of extra large paper (however it has to be very thin in order to be folded so many times and for the design to look perfect!)

Visit Satoshi Kamiya’s official website to keep updated on the latest designs and events he is taking part in here:
5 Mother and Baby Fox by Hoang Tien Quyet Alternatively, Hoang Tien Quyet is a unique origami expert who uses water paper techniques to create beautiful curves and folds in his origami sculptures. After starting to fold and sculpt his artwork at the age of 6, he has since gone on to achieve a lot of success in the industry especially with his mother and baby fox piece. The original two foxes designed by Quyet incorporate two colours; orange and white but other colours can be used if someone decides to recreate the design. However, the water paper technique is really difficult to master as if the artist uses too little water the paper will dry before the folding is completed whereas too much water, and the paper will rip before you can fold it. Hoang Tien Quyet is one of the world’s most famous origami artists and the two foxes are stunning and designed perfectly. The fox design is so famous in the industry it has been recreated hundreds of times by budding origami artists.

Visit the official Hoang Tien Quyet for any updates and all of his current work here:
6 Grim Reaper by Miyamoto Chuya This sculpture is chillingly scary but beautifully designed and folded by artist Miyamoto Chuya. The Grim Reaper character is known for being dark and mysterious and Miyamoto captures all of the best qualities of him. The sculpture is symbolic of fantasy and death, which is why the sculptures always show him wearing a black hooded clock and carrying a large axe. This particular design emphases the darkness of his character yet it only uses one square sheet of paper with different coloured sides. Attempting to create a design and fold it like the original is extremely difficult as there are many details and intricate patterns that allow the design to come together and be unique. Although there have been replications of the original nothing ever compares to Miyamoto Chuya’s work. Miyamoto Chuya has released many books in the last few decades showcasing the work they have done throughout their career and teaching the basics of origami to those who want to learn.

If you’re interested in finding out more information about Miyamoto Chuya and his work you can visit his origami profile here:
7 The Violin by Gonzalo Garcia Calvo Japan maybe known for its origami legends, but Spain has its fair share too, Gonzalo Garcia Calvo is a musician by profession but spends a lot of his spare time folding and designing his own intricate origami. One of his most well-known pieces is a tiny beautiful violin that is a very famous picture seen all over the internet. All of Gonzalo Garcia Calvo’s work is miniature and he specialises in origami that is normally smaller than hand size which is very unique compared to other sculptures which can be up to 3 or 4 foot tall. The violin symbolises the beauty and sound of music and how precious it actually is musicians (like himself) and even the fans from around the world. The design was put together in a unique way and define every aspect of the violin and what it stands for. This violin incorporates pegs, scroll and strings just using one rectangle of leather paper (double sided with black silk).

Despite not having an official website, Gonzalo Garcia Calvo has a Flickr which he posts regular updates and upcoming events onto here:
8 Dragonfly by Artur Biernacki Texturizing origami is another skill completely different to the actual designing and folding of the paper to create an animal or object, there are certain animals that require a lot of detailing in order to catch their real beauty and if this isn’t caught it can make the origami seem a lot less professional and not like real pieces of artwork. The dragonfly creature created by Artur Biernacki uses a folded florist piece of 50 x 50cm paper. Since the dragonfly is a very delicate and stunning insect, it must be small yet show its true beauty and it is definitely captured in this piece by Biernacki. Unlike other origami artists in the modern industry, Biernacki takes his inspirations from the simple things in life rather than using other people’s ideas. He uses his personal experiences of being out in nature and seeing so many different animals and insects to allow his creations to come to life.

Artur Biernacki does not have an official website but you can see all of his origami work and anything upcoming on his Flickr account here:
9 The Eagle by Nguyen Hung Cuong Designed and folded in 2006 by Vietnamese origami artist Nguyen Hung Cuong from Hanoi, the eagle is the representative of the freedom and eye of life. Since folding at the young age of 5 years old, Cuong has been focusing more on the animal work of origami and leaving th more human elements to others. Despite origami just being his hobby, he wants to become one of the biggest origami influencers in the world. The eagle is one of his best pieces of work because of its symbolism and pure elegance, the wings of the bird are perfectly aligned with each other and the peak is just right too. There is nothing more beautiful about nature than when it looks real but is made out of a sheet of paper instead. Cuong’s work is so popular because he likes to relate to his followers and produce pieces of art that people can relate to and love all at the same time! This particular sculpture shows the eagle flying above grassy hills chasing its smaller prey, showing that if you aim to succeed and you’re determined then one day you will get there.

Check out Nguyen Hung Cuong’s work on his Flickr account here:
10 The Hieronymus Face by Joel Cooper Moving away from the animal aspect of origami, Joel Cooper is an American origami artist who designs and folds faces from various sheets of paper. His faces are often referred to as masks and he prides himself in having the best and most intricate designs. The Hieronymus Face is a small mask with a sad expression and an elaborate beard, it is folded from one single piece of elephant hide paper and then sprayed with a dark glossy grey paint (to make it look glossy and polished rather than dull). It is 15cm tall which means it isn’t very tall, but it a very unique piece of artwork that you won’t find anywhere else. Most of Joel Cooper’s work focuses on human emotion and his artwork always has faces pulling various expressions which makes every piece simply beautiful.

If you’re interested in keeping up to date with Joel Cooper and all of his current work as well as maybe purchasing some of his pieces, you can see his blog here:


The History of Origami

Dating back to as early as the 6th century when Buddhist monks discovered the invention of paper from China, origami is the art of designing and folding paper. However, the first usage of paper as a folding form of art is debatable as it was so long ago. There are many historians who still debate when the Japanese or Chinese people started folding and designing on paper and made it into what we know it is today. The first talk of origami being an art was in a poem reference in 1680 by Ihara Saikaku in which origami butterflies symbolise the bride and groom during their wedding. Yet, the first book focusing on origami was only published in 1797 called Senbazuru orikata by Japanese origami artist. It details how to fold basic origami and gets the reader interested in learning more about the art and how they can do it themselves.

Between 1600 and 1870 the art of paper folding has become more of a recreational and ceremonial thing in Japan and it often started to feature different cuts and folds. Towards the end of the 19th century origami was regarded as a form of art and started to become mass-produced and more-affordable for everyone who wanted it. Europe started mass-producing origami in the 1800’s too with young children learning to fold paper in school.

Those who know the history of origami and are an artist within the field will know the Japanese legend and master, Akira Yoshizawa who developed the system of folding patterns using symbols, diagrams and arrows. He is often considered as the biggest progenitors of modern-day origami but unfortunately died at the age of 94 in 2005. During his origami career he developed many different techniques of origami that are still used in the art today, such as wet-folding. The Yoshizawa-Randlett system was the name given to the symbols and diagrams he created, and it was later improved upon by Samuel Randlett and Robert Harbin. The book ‘Secrets of the Origami Masters’ was written by Robert Harbin in the mid 1960’s, it used many techniques by Yoshizawa and revealed the wide world of paper folding to everyone who wished to know it.

Since the development of books and origami masters speaking about the industry, it has become even more popular world-wide. Every year beautifully intricate designs and new techniques are developed by other artists and more variations are thought up of. The most famous origami design in Japanese culture was the Japanese crane and although nobody knows the original artist, the legends say that those who fold one thousand paper crames have their heart’s desire come true. The crane has slowly become symbolic of peace and rest ever since the little 12-year-old Sadako Sasaki (a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb) decided to fold one thousand paper cranes so that she could live after she was diagnosed as terminally ill with Leukemia. Before her death, Sadako Sasaki folded 644 cranes and a popular version of the tale suggests that the rest of her classmates carried on folding the cranes as she was buried with 1,000 cranes at her funeral. There is now a statue of the young girl stretching out and holding an origami crane in the Hiroshima Peace Park and every year on her anniversary the statue is adorned with a thousand origami cranes (also known as senbazuru in Japan).

Today, origami is often thought of as more complex than many math theories as it seen between the folds, various mathematical origami pioneers have created patterns which emphase the complexity and puzzling aspect of origami. There have also been various origami artists that regularly develop new designs and take their origami designs to other worlds and levels. Abstract paper folders such as Jean-Claude Correia and Paul Jackson have further developed the origami art.

Popular forms of origami include wet-folding, which is when artists wet the origami paper before they form it into their own designs, this allows for the origami to look more real life and creates curves in the paper. However, it is extremely difficult to master and there are a lot of origami masters that cannot use this technique. There is also the art of modular origami which requires two or more pieces of paper that is typically folded into a shape called a ‘module’. After folding all of the separate shapes they are assembled together to form the final origami unit. The final model that is made looks completely different to the units themselves which means that certain artists can’t do it. One of the most popular techniques of origami is action origami as they move. It can be anything from a jumping frog to a paper airplane (which is one of the oldest action models in the world). The models often move due to the nature of how they’re made. The flapping bird is a classic action piece of origami which was invented in 1870 by accident when the inventor was unable to remember the paper crane. Often modular and action origami can be mixed together the artist needs to make up various butterflies before assembling them into a ball which can be used to play with.