Report of the Spanish Convention
== Versión Español al pagina web de AEP ==
in Aranjuez, May 11-13 2001
The twentiest birthday of
the Asociación Española de Papiroflexia
We went to this convention because I would like to go to one foreign convention a year;
because my husband, Gerard van Wierst, was learning Spanish for the third year; and because
we had planned a holiday in Spain.
The convention started Friday afternoon at about five o'clock, but Gerard and I met the
organisators the evening before: Fernando Gilgado, Aníbal Voyer and Matías Martínez. First
of all I would like to thank them very much for the warm welcome and the splendid
organisation of the whole weekend.
Then there was an opening speech, and everybody had to stand up one at the time and say
who they were and where they came from. Because I don't speak Spanish, I did my bit in English.
After that, we all got a convention book. This book was a normally published book (ISBN
84-607-2169-8) called "Matemáticas y papiroflexia" and written by Jesús de la Peña
Hernández. It's a book about mathematics and origami, and I hope there will be an English
translation of this book on the market in the future, because it looks very good but my
Spanish is too bad.
After the opening, the tables in the room were devided into three groups.
The special guests Eric Joisel and Michael LaFosse began to teach a model to the first two
groups (Eric a mask and Michael a sea-turtle), at the third table José (Pepe) Quintana
Delgado explained how to make the Sphere94 of Heinz Strobl from ticker-tape, available on my
website. He was very surprised to see me at the convention and I was very surprised that
something from my website was being taught.
I folded a mask with Eric Joisel, and after that a simple frog and a butterfly with Juan
Gimeno. At the centre table Fernando Gilgado Gomez was teaching a very difficult model of
his, an Alien. I found myself too tired to join in. The next day however I learned from him
how he made the paper.
In Spain you can buy in every papershop rolls of paper, metallic on one side and white paper
on the other, and very cheap (about $2.50). These rolls are 50cm in width and 10 or 25
meters long. I've seen silver, gold, red and blue. This is perfect stuff to make
sandwichpaper with, because one side is already sandwiched.
On the bright side of the (red) paper I glued a (purple) sheet of tissuepaper with a giant
gluestick. The effect was very beautiful.
Then we went to dinner, it was half past nine in the evening and I was hungry. Normally in
Holland we eat lunch at half past twelve and dinner at about seven o'clock.
Dinner was served in the dining-room, next to the convention-room.
We sat at a table with Eric Joisel and Matías Martínez. Eric could not speak Spanish either,
but he speaks English very well, so the conversation was pleasant.
Because it was the birthday of the Asociacion Española de Papiroflexia (or because it was
also her birthday, I didn't understand exactly), Claudine from France was handing out folded
candles for everyone and after blowing at the candles the light went out and we sang Happy
After dinner the shop went open and I collected some books. There were many books in the
shop, most of them in Spanish and English, but I was surprised to see some books by Dutch
autors, especially the book about making jewellery from my friend To Dierdorp!
The next day the convention started again at about ten. I learned a Vincent Floderer
creation from Niviere Patricia from France; wetfolded a happy good luck bat from Michael
LaFosse and made a walking stick with as a knob the head of a ram (in my case it looked more
like a camel with horns) from brown corrugated cardboard and plenty of water.
I was too late to join the teaching session of Carlos Gonzalez Santamaría who taught
Idéfix, but when I asked, he very kindly taught me afterwards how to fold this lovely
The convention was held in a three star hotel in the center of Aranjuez, close to the palace
and the beautiful gardens.
The convention itself was in one big room, with tables on one long side for the exhibition.
The room was divided into three big tables for teaching. In a smaller room there was the
shop and then there was the dining-room.
There were about fifty people, about 40 male and 10 female. Most of them were Spanish, two
from the Canarian Ilses. There were three people from France (Eric Joisel, Niviere Patricia
and Claudine), one from the USA (Michael LaFosse) and two from Holland (us).
In Spain everybody has one given name and two surnames, the first of the father and the
second of the mother. I asked Aníbal Voyer how this worked with his name and he explained to
me that his given name was José, and many people in Spain have this name. Therefore he uses
his first surname as given name, so he's called Aníbal.
During the holidays before, my camera broke. We bought a very simple camera for the time
being, with a fixed focus distance of 3 meters. Good for holiday snapshots but not for
origami exhibition stuff. Happily we found Pere Olivella, who was willingly lending us his
reflex camera to make some pictures of the exhibition. This was the first time I made
pictures with such a camera and I hope that they will turn out well. Thank you very much,
At the exhibition there were (from left to right):
Old numbers of Pajarita, the magazine of the Asociacion, all with a bookmark.
A complete ship with pirates and sea.
Some of my creations (sprinkler, puffin, Spanish box) folded at the spot.
A bunch of stuff from France: many Floderer creations, a flower designed by Chris Palmer and
A great display of creations from Fernando Gilgado Gomez, mostly from his latest book with
dinosaurs and from his previous book "Monstruos de Papel".
Things from Michael LaFosse, his home-made paper, a sea-turtle, a frog, a praying mantis.
Things from Eric Joisel, different kinds of masks and figures, his rat and his great
A display of comic book characters, like Daffy Duck, the Pink Panther, Asterix, Obelix and
Idéfix and many more, made by Carlos Gonzalez Santamaría. One figure is made of more than
one piece of paper, but the assembly is without glue and the result is very resembling.
Michael was impressed by my sprinkler-invention and I folded a sprinklersphere for him. As
an exchange he wanted to fold a butterfly for me from his hand-made paper. I felt very
honoured and now I'm the happy owner of an original LaFosse-butterfly!
At saturdaynight, after dinner, we've been treated to watch a couple of video's. There were
old 8mm-films of some exhibitions in the seventies or eighties, a shot of Akira Yoshizawa
making a beautiful swan and showing his models about ten years ago, some very funny
animations with the pajarita, and an origami exhibition in the Japan Pavillion at the expo
(1996?) in Seville.
After that we were divided into groups of six, and we had to fold as quick as possible
different things. For instance "an animal beginning with the character C!". Later we had to
fold in pairs holding hands, one with the left and the other with the right hand. Then there
was pictionary but in stead of drawing a couple of people folded, while the rest had to
guess the answer. At that time I went to bed, it was already after one o'clock and the
language was too much a problem.
At Sunday I learned another mask from Eric Joisel, more a mask-base, from which everybody
can make a different mask. I attended a lecture by Michael LaFosse about making his own
paper. I taught the sprinklersphere to some people and my newly designed "Spanish box" (I
invented it during my holidays in Spain).
I learned a Chris Palmer flower from Niviere Patricia and a very beautiful stand for the
Kawasaki rose with three leaves from the other French lady, Claudine.
After lunch we said goodbye and see you later to everyone and went to the airport to catch
the plane home.
I have had a very good and enjoyable weekend with all the kind and nice people from Spain,
and I hope to come back one time to attend to another convention in Spain.
I'm sure this report isn't complete and I mistakenly left very important stuff out. I'm
sorry for that, but I still hope you enjoyed reading this.