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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we’re taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89

Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Chinese Dragon SKetch by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89
Dragon Head by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Golden Dragon Up Close by Richi89

First off, please introduce yourself?

Hi my name is Richard Wong, I’m 19 years old living down under. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always enjoyed drawing, origami and making/fixing things. I used to study Civil Engineering/Commerce but next year I will be commencing a degree in Architecture.

Please explain what we are viewing.

This is a paper sculpture Chinese Dragon I made using gold card. It stands approximately 38cm tall from the base of the wood to the tips of its horns. The dragon itself consists of an aluminium wire spine to help guide the shape of the body. The rest is gold card cut and glued to shape. I ran some wiring through the inside of the body so that the LED eyes and ball would light up.

Can you describe for a layman how it’s made?

For all my paper sculptures, I always begin with a sketch. The sketch makes the process a whole lot easier by providing something you can always refer back to. Once I’m happy with the design I usually construct the head first.

Ok it’s gonna be a bit hard to explain my techniques in writing but bare with me :XD: My method of cutting each individual piece involves folding the card in half and then cutting so that the piece is symmetrical. It involves a fair bit of trial and error to get the shape exactly right. Sometimes if I’m really unsure about a certain section I will use a scrap piece of card or paper to find what shape I need to cut first. From the flat card, volume is created by scoring with a craft knife then folding along the cut. Once you’ve played around enough, you will know where to cut and score to produce the desired 3d effect.

After finishing the card component of the head, I then installed the red LEDs and glued them using hot glue. I had the head completed for a month or so before I started working on the rest of the dragon.

The next step was to bend a piece of aluminium wire to form the spine of the dragon. Without this wire guide it would be very difficult to shape the paper accordingly. It also adds plenty of strength to the model keeping it rigid. Once the wire is in shape, I then glued on the main body scales. Once the body was formed I fed through some wiring for the LED’s. The most difficult and frustrating part came next, the arms and legs. Both arms were reinforced with inner steel wiring. The right arm especially needed it as the marble ball it holds is quite heavy. I then soldered the wiring to the LED’s, scary stuff!! I was afraid I’d end up burning the card...but it all turned out good in the end hehe.

So after the whole dragon (minus the tail) was made I started on the base. Initially I wanted to carve out a cloud. I tried but it turned out really dodgy so I decided to carve a mountain peek instead. I used a chisel and hammer and a rotary tool to do this. I drilled a hole in the peak all the way to the bottom so that I could feed the wiring through the base to make it invisible. At the base I hacked out a cavity to fit some batteries and a switch. After attaching the dragon to the base I then made the tail and then finito!! It was complete :D

Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Chinese Dragon SKetch by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89
Dragon Head by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Golden Dragon Up Close by Richi89

What tools did you use?

The tools I used were general scissors, special scaly scissors, craft knife (which snapped in the process T.T but I fixed them with some reinforcing paperclips and mass sticktape keke), hot glue, soldering iron, wood saw, chisel, hammer, rotary tool and I’m sure some other random tools I forgot about. I use my study desk as my studio. It can get quite annoying though as papercraft can get very messy. That combined with the fact that I am a rather messy person means majorrrr clutter :XD:

What was your inspiration in creating this?

Well I’ve always been fascinated by dragons of all sorts. When dealing with dragons, there is no set rules of what they must look like (well of course they all have their stereotypical features) but you can really use your imagination and just be creative.

How long time did it take you to make this?

It took me over a fair few months to complete this dragon. Over that time I think I spent around 20 hours on it (that’s including time just sitting and staring at it trying to think of what to do next haha) Hopefully my next model won’t take as long :P

Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Chinese Dragon SKetch by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89
Dragon Head by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Golden Dragon Up Close by Richi89

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

Well this is my third paper dragon so most of the techniques I used were recycled :D
The major obstacles were the arms and legs. It was just difficult to get them at the right angle and to look natural. Also the addition of the LED’s required some extra thought but nothing too difficult.

Are you happy with the result?

I’m actually really happy with the result as it turned out pretty close to what I was hoping for. Of course there are always things which could be improved :P

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

I have a lot of origami books which have built up my paper crafting abilities. However this style of paper craft has been self taught by just playing around and experimentation.

Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Chinese Dragon SKetch by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89
Dragon Head by Richi89 Golden Chinese Dragon by Richi89 Golden Dragon Up Close by Richi89

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

Yes I take my own photos. I don’t believe them to be the best but they do the job haha. I usually photograph against a black backdrop (my black jumpers). After that I slightly decrease the brightness of the photo so that the background becomes completely black. In future though I would like to try some more natural backgrounds.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

Well I would suggest starting off with origami. And just experimenting with card. Scoring card at different angles/with curves yields different effects. Just play around and have fun :D

Are you selling your work?

At the moment I’m not selling my work. Partly because I’m not too familiar with selling artwork. However I do plan to make more models and once I build up my collection I will sell some :D

Thank you Richi89 for participating and taking the time to answer my question!

Golden Chinese Dragon 2 by Richi89 My Pet Dragon by Richi89 DinoRider by Richi89 Rising Dragon by Richi89 The Dragon and I by Richi89 Paper Wasp by Richi89

I'd love to recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

Also, let me know if there are any questions you are missing in this type of interview!

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Add a Comment:
QookiQoo Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2009
this project is awesome!! truly nd utterly amazing!! :) so much effort and hardship has been put into it... not to mention the skill! hehe and it looks even better in real life!
ART-fromthe-HEART Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Unreal! I didn't know that paper could have so much potential! :omg: :jawdrop: :clap:
WolfMoon85 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I love Chinese dragons they're so pretty! It'd be a cool tattoo to have as well.
TwistingMyArm Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
That is way too awesome!
artistladysmith Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
radiomaniac Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008  Professional Artist
...interesting and quite refreshing to hear that siple materials are still a nice startingpoint for good work and result.
...also good to remember that work takes it's time.
...only light-weight-indoors-gliders have a time limit of 2 or 3 hours in building, made by experts who haven't done anything else ever;)

sweet! lohikärme (dragon in Finnish)
50calWolf Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
very cool :D
water-gingle Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
Ninina-nini Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
Quite amazing! :clap:
WazzaDaMingeBag Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
Awsome! :D
Francision Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008
Very interesting!
dollmaker88 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
really cool
great artical. :heart:
fairiesnest Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Wow that was a fascinating read!
snowmask Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Utterly fascinating :heart:
Add a Comment:

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Submitted on
December 15, 2008


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