The Lister List


Catching Up

From David Lister to Laura Rozenberg,

Dear Laura,

I am sorry for my delay in writing to you. However the past week has been a chaotic one for my e-mailing activities. So many enquiries have come in that I have been trying to do several jobs at once. They have included from the Ukraine, who is doing a PhD on the sustematisation of origami - and this has today been replied to by who is also doing a PhD in Origami. Who would have thought that. I have also been writing to JC Nolan but his book Creating Origami of which a second edition has recently been published and about my account of the Kan no Mado dragonfly, which, as you will be aware, has now been published in Ther Fold. Then yesterday my friend, Edwin Corrie who works in Switzerland sent me a copy of his collection of papers about Troublewit,about which I have previously been corresponding with me. This led me to go into the outside shed where some of my papers are deposited to find my old files relating to Troublewit. I came across my files relating to Jay Marshall, the famous conjuror from Chicago who was a great help to the members of CHAOS, the Chicago Area Origami Society. about whom I have promised (when i have the time!) to write an article. So yesterday, despite my intention to write to you, I got nothing done.

This morning, I have been going through my files refreshing my memory for the things I want to write to you about. Things have become very complicated because there are cross-overs between different topics and correspondents so it has all become very confusing. Anyway, I will pick up the topics as they come to me and not in any particular order.

You wrote to Origami-L in October asking what diagram is considered the earliest crease pattern in history. Hank Simon replied: "I'd expect David Lister to have the definitive answer". However, I'm not sure that I really can answer this question. Crease patterns have been used for many years but without looking through many books and other sources, I don't know the answer. But there is one pattern that may or not be paperfolding and that is the pattern for what has been called "the astrological square". This was devised, apparently by an Italian, Gerado Cremone (who lived 1119-1187). He moved to live in in the in Toledo and is said to have devised the Astrological Square to be used as a basis for diagrams of horoscopes. The pattern was formed from a the creases of a double blintz, which formed a central square surrounded by twelve triangles. The triangles represented the twelve signs of the Zodiac. For a particular event such as a person's birth, the relevant stars were placed in the appropriate triangle and written particulars were placed in the central square. Square horoscopes of this kind were used until the 19th century. No horoscope that was actually folded has ever been found, but it is conjectured that the later birth brieves (so-called baptismal certificates) in southern Germany and Switzerland in the 17th century were successors of the astrological square, modified to be more acceptable religiously. Theses were, indeed folded. I hope that gradually more information will comre to light about this topic.

You sent me copies of the pages of the Japanese magazine, "Homemaker" with diagrams and instructions for models by Yoshizawa. I have never previously known anything about the publication of Yoshizawa's models in this magazine, although I have a large collection of photocopies of Yoshizawa's models from other Japanese women's magazines. Gershon Legman never mentioned it. I see that the magazine is dated Oct - Nov 1960. That is eight years later than Legman's Bibliography of Paperfolding.

In a previous e-mail to me, you said that you would send me a copy of Legman's writing on the History Of Paperfolding which you had found. I should dearly like to see this and I shall be most grateful if you will send me a copy.

I have found no more about Newton's Paper lantern., although I have come across one Web site where it says that he attached one of his lantern to a kite and flew it in the air, much to the consternation of people nearby. But his doesn’t give us the method of construction. Incidentally, Newton is also credited with the invention of the cat flap!

I am pleased to say that i have found my copy of Joan Sallas's book on napkin folding, the title of which is "Gefaltete Schonheit" It was privately published. Apart from napkin folding, it includes some information about paperfolding.In his correspondence with me about Troublewit. Edwin Corries says that he has been helping Joan Sallas to translate the book into English. So It is to be hoped that an English edition will be published. It is hoped that Joan will bring his exhibition of napkin folding to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. If he does so, it will be a remarkable achievement for him. The publication of the translation into English would presumably coincide with this. Joan's napkin folding, which reproduces the large centrepiece display models in the old books really is astonishing. I just do not know how he does it.

I don't think I have thanked you properly for the various diagrams of the Kan no Mado dragonfly which you sent me. There was one copy of instructions for the dragonfly in Gershon Legman's handwriting. (At some time he adopted an italic style of writing, but this is a kind of italic scribble) Then there is a typed copy of the same text.. This is interesting as showing Legman's approach to the model. You also sent me instructions headed "La Libelula + Dragonfly" whith the text in Spanish which was attached to the lLegman diagrams. I suspect that this was written by Ligia Montoya and is for her uncut dragonfly form a hexagon. Am I correct in this? Unfortunately, I have been unable to pint out any of these instructions properly. The way they appear, in my mail program they are too large to fit. Then,,when I try to save them into Paint-shop ProI find that I cannot do so..

On 14th November you sent me instructions for a 5 Point Star paper Relief. This came through normally and I was able to print it without any difficulty. Would it be possible for you to use the same format to send the dragonfly papers and diagrams?
My leg infection is now almost entirely cleared up, although I am still having to put cream on it every morning. So I am now getting back to normal.

If I find anything else, I will write to you again.

With every good wish,

David Lister
December 8, 2012

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