The story of a fox hound

Dating from 1975, this is a very early design of mine but it remains one of my favourites. It’s not too difficult, and you can soon knock up quite a pack of baying hounds from a few 2×1 rectangles obtained by cutting standard origami squares in half. The traditional 22.5 degree geometry easily lends itself to changes in pose to enliven the scene. Here are the diagrams.



The seated dog is essentially the same thing: here are the diagrams for that.

It began with my studies of the blintz bird base, even before I joined the BOS in the early ‘70s. I’d collected a small library of origami books, one of which is a still-treasured copy of Randlett’s Best of Origami. This contains the marvellous Elephant by George Rhoads, an original of which has recently come to light in a box of models from the late Gershon Legman’s collection.



This example is marked GR Feb 1955. This classic elephant uses a blintz bird base, Rhoads’ invention, according to Legman. In 1973, Rhoads’ Elephant was a complete eye-opener for an impressionable 24 year old like me: “How is it possible to obtain all those details from a single square?” I’d read Secrets of the Blintz, an article by Gershon Legman, Rhoad’s friend and correspondent. This appeared in a fascinating periodical by Dokuohtei Nakano called The Origami Companion in 1973. Legman describes the development of the blintz technique, which extends the possibilities of the square by doubling the number of corners. My question was answered!

From this point, the blintz bird base seemed to me to be the only way to overcome many of the problems of the creative animal folder, who wishes to portray the animal’s four legs, head, two ears and tail. The blintz bird base gives the right number of flaps for everything. I was so excited that I overlooked the disadvantages of the approach, such as bulk and wasted paper, which many later animal designs have circumvented. I attended my first BOS convention, meeting active creators such as Max Hulme and Martin Wall, at the Russell Hotel in London in April 1975. It then became obvious to me that the best solutions for origami designs involved planning and analysis before even starting. The doodling method which I had previously used suddenly seemed inferior, and I realised the blintz bird base was not after all the only way to go.

My subsequent experiments produced a number of animals: a fox looking over his shoulder, then a horse and rider from a 2 x 1 double blintz bird base (this has all the necessary points, but is very thick), and then the fox hound, this time from a 2 x 1 half blintz bird base. So the Fox Hunt scene was born. All are described in Brilliant Origami.

Now, 43 years later, I’m happy that Sara Adams has chosen to feature the hound in her latest video. Thanks to her, you won’t be out-foxed in folding it. Happy Year of the Dog!