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The life-size paper bear against the back wall took four people seven hours to fold!

The life-size paper bear took four people seven hours to fold! The red miniatures on the wall show the steps.

Artist and master carpenter Ian Montgomery tried his hand at  paper arts  back in 2007 by collaboratively making this life-size bear. As you can see in the video, it is constructed from several pieces of brown craft paper, taped together to make a single giant square piece of paper with which to fold. He writes,

Troy Hurtubise, in his film Project Grizzly, constructed a “grizzly-proof” suit of armor in which to battle his fear of bears. In response I embraced a project that would confront my own deepest fear: failure. My goal was to create a life-size grizzly bear using origami techniques, something I did not excel at even on a small scale. I also had to accept the fact that I would not be able to complete this project on my own.  The shear size of the paper required was too cumbersome to manage and I would have to rely on others to help me (another fear). Armed with scale models and a security camera to document whatever the outcome, four of us began constructing the giant piece of paper needed. From there we folded our way through the dozens of steps and after 6+ hours on our knees the bear emerged. I set out to fail and failed to fail whereby truly failing and thus count this project a success.

The artist Ian Montgomery working on a prototype of the paper bear.

Maker Ian Montgomery working on prototype paper folding techniques.

The life-size paper bear in situ during a gallery opening.

Life-size paper bear in situ during the Grizzly Proof opening at Flux Factory in Queens, NYC.

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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