Pagan idols

Two new masks I’ve finished recently share a bit of a pagan theme.

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

click on image to go to my Etsy shop

The first simply named “Golden Idol” –

Click on image to go to my Etsy shop

Click on image to go to my Etsy shop

The second, “Faunus”.

Both models are prototypes that I folded last year. Faunus would later inspire the similarly demonic “Azazel”


while the Golden Idol was the springboard for two different designs. A variation of the face would become Vishnu:


and the headdress was the inspiration for the Nouveau tessellation:


These two masks inspired other creations while they themselves languished in darkness, not through any fault of their own, but simply because I was not satisfied with the paper with which they were folded. They just weren’t pretty.

That was, until my wife got some paints she wanted to try out.

The Idol was spiffed up with some gorgeous gold iridescent glaze and became the Golden Idol.

Faunus was treated to some marbling with black, blue, yellow and copper paints. My wife had been experimenting with paper marbling and decided to try the technique on a piece that had already been folded rather than just a flat piece of paper. It worked! And now a model that was a rather drab gray has become quite elegant.


3 thoughts on “Pagan idols

  1. Dude, your stuff is off the chain (vernacular for exquisitely amazing)! The lips… the lips… the lips… you’ve got lips with pouts! Is origami supposed to look so kissable? I thought that the natural face would surely not be created for another decade, but as I’ve come to learn and as I like to say, if you get the math right, anything is possible.

    Your stuff is awesome! I would love to own such a mask, but I know any of my house guests’ first comments upon seeing it would be, “OMG, did you make that!” A comment that would always be followed by a defeated “no.” Hopefully it will not be a decade before your book of folding diagrams is released so that I may be able to proudly respond to my friends, “If it weren’t for Joel Cooper, I would not have been able to make this.”


    • Well thanks for that! Using folded paper to reproduce the curves of a human face is a fascinating challenge to me and it’s what keeps me coming back to the subject. It’s like I’m trying to find the perfect algorithm.
      As for the book of diagrams, I’m sorry to say that that is not likely to happen. It’s not that I don’t want anyone else to fold these masks – it would actually be very cool if people did (and a couple of people I know of have successfully reverse engineered some of my designs from my photographs alone, which I whole-heartedly endorse). It’s just that I wouldn’t know how to create useful instructions for making these things. It isn’t a step-by-step process. It’s more of a figure-out-how-all-the-elements-might-fit-together-then-start-folding-from-one-end-until-you-get-to-the-other-and-be-prepared-to-make-some-of-it-up-as-you-go-along process. I actually started this blog as an attempt to figure out how I might be able to teach at least some techniques, but that didn’t go so well. I’m not really very good at teaching and it’s not much fun.
      Sorry about that.


      • As long as you get the math right, the book will be possible 😀 I for one would not be the one to learn by reverse engineering anything. I guess I’m timid when it comes to exploratory learning (thank you public school) so unless I have an exact recipe to give me the warm and fuzzies as I make it to each and every subsequent step, I shrink away from it.

        Some one will appear one day to help you diagram it, I’m sure.

        I wish you all the best and keep doing what you do!


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