Lost Origami is an experimental casting technique. Like the traditional lost wax, or the newer lost foam, is uses expendable patterns. My first “proof of concept” cast used an origami “water bomb”, to which I attached a sprue, then packed it in loose sand and filled it with molten aluminum. This destroys the paper origami, but as Picasso said: “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction”. Click on Proof of concept above for a link to the Flickr image of the work.
sculpture cast into a cardboard pattern, foam base
Next I made some cardboard patterns, but these were cut and taped, and not true origami. This project was quickly limited by my elementary origami skills, but I was fortunate to find collaborators to provide me with origami, particularly Eric Gjerde and Joel Cooper. I used their origami tessellations to cast 4X4 inch aluminum tiles, which I combined for my successful entry for the Regional Art Competition for Festival 2011, shown at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Lost Origami at Festival 2011
Origami Face, iron
I didn’t have the heart to destroy Joel Cooper’s wonderful origami face, so I cast this using resin set sand at the Indianapolis Art Center. I later cast two aluminum faces using a Portland cement and sand mold. I sent one to Joel.
Aluminum origami face
I would like to develop this technique further, and use two pieces of origami, one for the front of a sculpture and a second for the back. If anyone reading this has the math and origami skills to do this, please contact me.
I have done some other expendable patterns using bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, and a dead pony tail palm.
Lost Bubble Wrap Tile, large bubble 4X4 inch tile
Ziggurat: corrugated cardboard expendable pattern
lost pony tail palm casting