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!

Star Wars Epic Yarns

Star Wars, Episode FELT!

Jack and Holman Wang are the creative duo behind the adorable Cozy Classics series. They have moved on from literature and into a galaxy far, far away…

Let us introduce you to Star Wars Epic Yarns!

The Epic Yarns series; three board books each containing 12 iconic scenes, handcrafted in felt and pithily summarised in just a single word are the perfect way to introduce your Jedi apprentices & little princesses the Force.

Bookstore of the Week – GOSH! Comics

Gosh! Comics London

We are letting our geek flag fly with this week’s Bookstore.

We are celebrating the one, the only GOSH! Comics. GOSH! are veterans in their field selling incredible comics, graphic novels and anything else you could ever dream of related to the comic book genre, for the past 25 years.

It moved to a new home on Berwick Street around 3 years ago, leaving behind it’s Bloomsbury roots in search of the vibrant energy of Soho. Their new store also got a brand new look. The Soho space has something of an industrial feel with large old factory lights and a concrete ceiling. The place is oozing character from the counter tops made out of old desktops to wooden stock shelves, all holding a striking array of comic books and graphic novels; from both well-known and indie names. They even have a section for high design children’s books.

Inside Gosh Comics

With events coming out of their ears GOSH! is the place to go to engage with your favourite artists and talent previously unknown to you. They are ever the home of one of our publishers; SelfMadeHero, and they hosted super-talent Jeffrey Brown on his UK tour in 2013.

Jeffrey Brown Painting GOSH window

Jeffrey Brown painted an incredible window for them depicting his take on the Star Wars™ universe.

Jeff window painting

We are big fans of Gosh! and not just because we grew-up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and reading comic books. We love Gosh because they are experts in their field and you can tell they love what they do the moment you walk in the store. They continue to thrive in a niche section of a declining industry because they are passionate. For that reason, Gosh Comics, we salute you! Keep doing your thing because we can’t get enough!

In their own words:

“Our range of graphic novels is second to none, and we’re always striving to source new and interesting product, whatever the genre. From translated European albums to mainstream superhero antics; vintage children’s books to contemporary graphic fiction; compulsively readable manga to cutting edge small press: we’ve got something for everyone.”

In the words of their fans:

“I got seriously derailed by my visit here, spending 2 hours reading the first few pages of dozens of comics. The selection can’t be beat, and I discovered so many things while here.” Kendall M 

“Great comic shop! Very in the know! Exclusive deals directly from the cartoonist! Special events all the time! Something for everyone even if you’ve never read a comic!” Clockwork C.

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