Learn about STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI with Marc Hagan-Guirey

Get FOLDING for Force Friday II…

In STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI, celebrated paper artist and designer Marc Hagan-Guirey applies his genius to the Star Wars galaxy in this book of 15 unique kirigami (cut and-fold) ships featured in the saga’s films. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, each beautifully detailed model features step-by-step instructions and a template printed on cardstock—all that’s needed are a utility knife, a cutting mat, and a ruler!

Curious?

We asked Marc everything you need to know about the world of kirigami, getting started with the craft and his interest in Star Wars:

Photograph by Seamus Ryan
Photograph by Seamus Ryan

What is kirigami?

Kirigami is a bit like origami except that instead of just folding the paper, you cut it too. ‘Ori’ - means fold and ‘kiri’ means cut. Kirigami is traditionally used to create architectural replicas but it’s perfectly suitable for spaceships too! The cool thing about kirigami is that it’s just one sheet of paper – nothing is glued or added to it. It’s part of the joy that you can create something so interesting from a ubiquity of a piece of paper.

How did you get started creating kirigami?

I feel like it was a bit of a serendipitous moment that lead to me experimenting with the craft. I’m a big fan of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and back in 2012 my partner and I told a few white lies to get a private tour of one of his most elusive buildings – the Ennis House in LA. It was a condemned building and had been out of bounds to the public for over 20 years. We may have told them we had the $14 million needed to buy it and were very keen to come and see it. The experience had a huge impact on me – I’d go as far as saying it was spiritual. I wanted to mark the occasion by making some of sort of memento. As a kid I always loved to craft, my currency was egg cartons, toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes (it still pains me to see these things put in the recycling) but as an adult we all know too well that life gets in the way. I’m a designer director in digital but I still had that yearning to use my hands again. When I was researching what to make, I happened upon examples of kirigami. I felt paper was the perfect material to make a replica of the Ennis House due to its fragility. I quickly saw that kirigami wasn’t just limited to buildings and I started making scenes from movies.

Is your book suitable for complete beginners of kirigami?

There are a few ‘beginner’ projects in the book to get you started. I feel kirigami is easy to advance in and you’ll soon want more challenging projects. The most important thing is to be patient, take breaks and enjoy the process. I find it meditative to concentrate and not be distracted by the ‘coke machine glow’ of mobile devices.

Do you need any special tools to do kirigami?

You need a few inexpensive things – a cutting matt, a metal ruler, an x-acto knife with replaceable blades. Also a toothpick will be really useful to pop out some of the smaller folds.

Why did you decide to create Star Wars ships using kirigami?

Why not?! It was more of a necessity for me. I was already creating Star Wars kirigami back when I started experimenting with it. The idea to do a ship focused book was suggested by Mike Siglain, the Creative Director of Lucasfilm publishing – he’s a man with good ideas.

Have you always been a Star Wars fan?

I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and was essentially born into it. I’m an 80s kid so never saw it first time around at the cinema but I have an older brother who was the right age. I feel a bit guilty now for commandeering all of his original Kenner action figures – it must have been torture for him to see his baby brother destroy them but I did just buy him a full scale licensed replica of Vader’s helmet for his 40th birthday so I think we’re even now.

How did the book come to be?

A lot of knocking on doors and badgering people with emails. I started talking to Lucasfilm about the idea in 2014. During that time I was invited to the set of Episode VII and in a serendipitous moment I ended up chatting to JJ Abrams about my work. He was really excited by it and frog marched me across the set of ‘Star Killer’ base to meet Kathleen Kennedy. It was the only time I ever had a business card in my wallet – albeit a very dog-eared one. I had an unofficial exhibition of Star Wars kirigami scenes in 2015 – it had a lot of press and went viral. Lots of big media outlets such as the BFI, Wired, BBC World News, CNN were covering it. I guess it was inevitable that Disney took notice and that dog-eared business card eventually made its way to the business development department. I thought I was in trouble when they called! I’ve got to say the process of working with Disney, Lucasfilm, my publisher Hachette and my US publisher Chronicle has been wonderful.

Click here to find out more about STAR WARS KIRIGAMI, which publishes today!

Five Questions Monday – Deborah Underwood

Deborah Underwood, author of Interstellar Cinderella took our grueling Five Questions Monday Quiz!

Deborah Underwood and her cat

1.       How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I don’t eat eggs, so I like them under the chickens in the hen house.

2.       What’s your favourite joke?

At the moment, the one about the Higgs boson walking into a church, the priest asking what it’s doing there, and the Higgs boson responding, “You can’t have mass without me!”

3.       What film character are you most like?

I wish it was Obi-wan Kenobi, but lately I’ve felt more like Dory in Finding Nemo. What were we talking about?

4.       What is the first book you ever read?

Probably Dr. Seuss’s ABC. My 80-year-old father can still recite much it from memory.

5.       Would you rather be Cinderella or Snow White?  

I’d rather be Interstellar Cinderella!

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Five Questions Monday – Michaela MacColl

The incredibly talented Michaela MacColl, author of Always Emily, The Revelation of Louisa May and Nobody’s Secret answered our Five Questions Monday pop-quiz!

Louisa May Quote

  1. How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I’m not a big egg fan – but I’m rather partial to an omelette with onion, swiss and bacon, cooked French bistro style (very thin and a little dry)

  1. What’s your favourite joke?

I don’t think I have one – does that make me humourless?

  1. What film character are you most like?

I feel like I’m always the crazed mom in the teen movies – they always seem to write for kids and they don’t have a clue!

  1. What is the first book you ever read?

I don’t really remember – but my earliest favorite book was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. I used to know it by heart!

  1. Would you rather meet Emily Bronte or Louisa May Alcott

Hands down, Louisa!  I understand Louisa. She’s practical and focused on taking care of her family. My approach to writing is a very professional one, like hers. Just do your job – even when it’s tedious. But Emily – she’s a wild child and a poet. I don’t think she ever did anything she didn’t want to do. I suspect she wouldn’t find me very interesting!

Always Emily_1

Five Questions Monday – Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett
Author number two of the Terrible Two and self-proclaimed member of The Terrible Two, Mac Barnett, took our grueling 5 Questions Monday Quiz. 
How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Poached on toast with tomatoes and garlic.

What’s your favourite joke?*

Q: What’s Beethoven’s favorite fruit?

A: Ba-na-na-na

Except you have to say “ba-na-na-na” like the opening of the Fifth Symphony. This joke doesn’t really work in writing. Do I have time to choose a new joke?

*N.B – We promise The Terrible Two is filled with better jokes…

What film character are you most like?

The T-Rex in Jurassic Park.

What is the first book you ever read?

As in, read myself? I don’t know. Maybe But No Elephants by Jerry Smath.

Would you rather always win pie-eating contests or always win wheelbarrow races?

Depends on whether I’m driving the wheelbarrow or I have to be the wheelbarrow.

The Terrible Two

Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

‘Ingenious and hilarious! I couldn’t stop reading it! One of my favourite books of all time.‘ Victor age 11; Ottie & the Bea Bookclub

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett & Jory John – OUT NOW!

Five Questions Monday

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With the countdown to Ensnared leaving us impatient for all things Splintered we asked the amazing A.G Howard to take our Five Questions Monday Quiz…

1.How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I’m not picky, as long as the egg doesn’t sit on a brick wall where he can easily fall off. I don’t have any king’s men or horses around to help me put him together again.

2.What’s your favourite joke?

Q: What did one eye say to the other eye?

A: Don’t look now, but something between us smells.

3.What film character are you most like?

Well, a really awesome blogger that I know once did a post on authors who were secretly animated characters. I was Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon, so let’s go with that.

4.What is the first book you ever read?

The first book I ever read by myself as a child was Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat.

5.Would you rather live in Wonderland or in the Human Realm?

Both.

I’m a Gemini, and although I’m not a close follower of astrology, since I unofficially have a twin side, I will choose the human realm, and she can choose Wonderland. ;)

Ensnared is out in January, pre-order your copy now!

Five Questions Monday

Kamran Siddiqi

The VERY talented Kamran Siddiqui of Hand Made Baking fame took some time out of baking to answer our little Five Questions Monday Quiz!

1.How do you like your eggs in the morning?
It varies quite a lot… Often times, however, it’s soft boiled eggs and dippy bread soldiers. There’s just something so classically beautiful and comforting about soft boiled eggs.

2.What’s your favourite joke?
I’ll admit, I do love a good dirty joke… A boy fell in mud.

3. What film character are you most like?
With the exception of being a guy, I’m most like Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice

4. What is the first book you ever read?
Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham.

5. Would you rather bake a one giant cake or 50 miniature ones?
Though it’d require a wee bit more effort, I’d rather bake 50 miniature ones. It’d be neater; and to not have to futz over doling out slices of cake is important to me, especially when I want to focus on the company around me. Cupcakes are easy— they come in their own plate (the wrapper), they’re delicious, and indulging in a cupcake brings out everyone’s inner-child. I adore sharing food, and if I can positively alter at least one person’s mood with a cake— be it a slice or a cupcake— I know something is being done right.

Thank you Kamran Siddiqui! We are eagerly anticipating those 50 cupcakes, we are big chocolate eaters here…

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Five Questions Monday

Jeff Vandermeer, author of The Steampunk User’s Manual, Wonderbook and The Steampunk Bible, answered our grueling Five Questions Monday quiz!

1.      How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Four in number. Scrambled. Yes, I am basically a komodo dragon.

2.      What’s your favourite joke?

What’s brown and sticky?

3.      What film character are you most like?

Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein…or maybe not.

4.      What is the first book you ever read?

The one I remember is a picture book of William Blake’s Tyger Burning Bright read to me by my parents.

5.       Would you rather be the villain or the hero?  

I would rather be the person tapping his toe impatiently waiting for those two jerks to finish showing off.

Thank you Jeff for taking our little quiz, we didn’t know komodo dragons were fans of scrambled eggs, I guess you learn something new everyday!

Five Questions Monday

Image ©Bogie Uram

Star of today’s Five Question Monday is Andrea Beaty, the wonderful author behind Rosie Revere, Engineer; Iggy Peck architect and the brand new Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau!

1.  How do you like your eggs in the morning?

At a diner booth watching the drizzly world go by as I sip hot coffee and riddle over a storyline.

2. What’s your favourite joke?  

The Reverse Knock Knock Joke. You start …

3. What film character are you most like?

The Cowardly Lion. If I only had the noive.

4. What is the first book you ever read?

Dick and Jane. I am old.

5. Would you rather have to greet everyone with a high five or a fist bump for the rest of your life? (imagine fist bumping in an interview!?)  

I would prefer to greet everyone with interpretive dance.

Thank you Andrea, we would LOVE to great everyone with interpretive dance!

Five Questions Monday

We asked the lovely Molly Idle to take our little Five Questions Monday Quiz, we laughed maybe a little too hard at the joke…

1.       How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Scrambled or sunny side up! Come to think of it, those two terms describe the two most common states of my mornings too…

2.       What’s your favorite joke?

A man walks into a bar… Ouch.

3.       What film character are you most like?

Hmm…. I’ve frequently been called Mollyanna, because I’m an eternal optimist. So, I’d say I’m most like Hailey Mills portrayal of, Pollyanna… ever playing the Glad Game.

4.       What is the first book you ever read?

All by myself? I believe it was Cinderella. My mom still tells the story of how dramatic and distressed my recitation became when the stepsisters shredded the dress the mice made for Cinderella.  “They tore off the trimmings and ripped off the sash and her dress was RUINED!”

5.       Would you rather dance with a Penguin or a Flamingo?

I would rather see a Penguin dance with a Flamingo!

Thank you Molly! We would also like to see a Penguin dance with a Flamingo, we reckon it would look akin to a ballroom dance competition.*

*Penguins look like they wear tuxedos & flamingo pink is a great colour for a ballgown….

Five Questions Monday

 

From great taste in eggs and films to a truly terrible joke. We learn a little more about Cat Winters, author of The Cure For Dreaming and In The Shadow of Blackbirds through her offering to the 5 Questions Monday Gods…

1.       How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Scrambled, with a dash of pepper.

2.       What’s your favourite joke?

Hmm, I’d probably say my favourite is the very first one I remember learning as a kid: Where do sheep go to get their hair cut? The bah-bah shop!

(I didn’t say it was a great joke, but it was hysterical to me when I first learned it.)

3.       What film character are you most like?

Sally Albright, from the classic romantic comedy WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. Like her, I’m a notoriously picky eater who sometimes takes a while to order her food, plus I was friends with my husband before I ever fell in love with him.

4.       What is the first book you ever read?

The first book I remember being able to read out loud by myself is NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS by Irma Joyce. It uses entertaining animal drawings and poems to teach lessons about stranger danger, and I most certainly didn’t talk to strangers because of it!

5.       Would you rather be hypnotised or attend a séance? 

Hypnotized. As much as I love ghost tales and tours of haunted sites, the idea of communicating with the dead through a séance terrifies me. I’d be frightened of either interacting with an actual ghost or getting swindled by a fake medium, as what happens to my IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS protagonist. However, I did hold séances with friends as a kid.

Want to know more?

Twitter: @catwinters

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catwintersbooks

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Website: http://www.catwinters.com/