Posted by: Jeoss | April 3, 2015

look who’s back.

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything meaningful. I haven’t been all that active as far as origami is concerned. I do hope to change that and I’ll start off by revealing a new original design!

Model: Porcelain Crab (Petrolisthes eriomerus)
Designer: Geoff Mayhew
Paper: 25cm x 25cm Japanese Foil + Tissue (I think)




Time for a fun fact: All crabs have five pairs of legs! All have a pair of chelipeds, legs with pincers. True crabs, or brachyurans, such as dungeness crabs, use the remaining four pairs of legs as walking legs. Anomurans use either three pairs (your king crabs and porcelain crabs) or two pairs (your hermit crabs) for walking. The remaining 1 or 2 pairs of legs are greatly reduced and may serve no purpose (although hermit crabs use their diminutive legs for holding on to their borrowed shells!)

I developed the prototype for my crab while on a flight from Seattle to Honolulu back in 2013. I was originally trying to make a true crab. However, after realizing I didn’t leave enough paper for five pairs of legs, I figured I would just keep going and make a crab with four pairs of walking legs.

After getting the basic layout down, my design had lots of paper budgeted for claws. I naturally thought of the porcelain crabs I frequently found while tidepooling in Bellingham. They are extremely docile and use their oversized pincers as giant shields and for wedging themselves under rocks.

After the first few drafts, I realized that the carapace was proportionately too large. I slimmed down the sides and folded the front in to make simple mouthparts.

Another feature I wanted to include was the crab’s tail. Although you typically don’t see the undersides of origami crab designs, I was going for anatomical accuracy. It extends from the carapace and nicely wraps around the underside of the body with pleats representing segmentation.

I can’t consider myself an invertebrate zoologist and exclude such details, right? But what about the fifth pair of legs!? In the case of porcelain crabs, these tiny legs sit tucked back along the sides of the carapace. I ultimately opted to not include them as they would probably just be distracting. There are also not any antennae as they are supposed to be inconspicuous. Including such ridiculously skinny and long appendages would be difficult and again, distracting.

Overall I’m pretty content with the proportions and simplicity of this design. I do have a CP and about 75% of the diagrams drawn, but for some reason I’m compelled to keep them secret, at least for now…


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