Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who invented all the figures on your site?
A: Everything here is my own composition and the pictured works were folded by me.
Q: Does this site include everything you've ever composed?
A: Not nearly. I've got about 160 compositions represented here, but I've composed and cataloged several hundred figures over the last 40 years or so and I compose 10-20 new ones each year. I'll be adding new compositions to the site as I design them; I will also go back and fold a few older compositions now and then, and will include them.
Q: Can I buy one of your folded works?
A: Yes, if the pictured work is still available; if it isn't, I also do commissions. Email me with what you're interested in. Prices range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on complexity.
Q: Is there somewhere on your site where I can download diagrams?
A: No. My diagrams are in my books and other publications. You'll have to buy the publication to get the diagrams (there are links in the Books section).
Q: How can I obtain diagrams for your models that are published in magazines or conference proceedings?
A: You can contact the society that published the magazine to see if back copies are available. Here are links to the societies I most often publish in:
Q: Can you send me some diagrams?
A: Sorry, no. See my previous answers.
Q: But I have a really good reason! Please?
A: Sorry, no. End of topic.
Q: Would you make me a video?
A: Only if you're willing to pay commercial rates for it. If you're not a commercial entity, you probably can't afford it. (If you are a commercial entity, please contact me.)
Q: I'm having trouble with a model in one of your books. Can you help?
A: Sorry, not usually. It's not that I'm being contrary, it's just that since I composed the thing originally, I only see it the way it's supposed to be folded rather than seeing the problem you might be having. However, there are several origami mailing lists, notably the Origami-L list, where you'll often find people willing and able to help troubleshoot via email.
There's several hundred people on that mailing list and you can often find folks willing to help out, but no one is required to respond to queries. So, to maximize your chances of getting a helpful reply, you should give a detailed description of what you are working on (which book, which model), and a description of what step(s) you're having trouble with; also, if you can say what you've tried already, that's helpful. The more fully you can describe what you're seeing, the more likely it is that folks on the list will be able to visualize the problem you're having and be able to offer helpful advice.
Q: I have instructions for one of your compositions. Can I display and/or put on the web my folding of your composition?
A: Yes, you are welcome to fold and display my compositions if you own the instructions. I do ask that you label them "folded by [your name], composed [or designed] by Robert J. Lang." That way we both get credit for our relative contributions to your artwork.
Q: I have instructions for one of your compositions. Can I sell my folding of your composition?
A: No. The original compositions are protected by copyright (see here for more details), and the permission granted above does not extend to commercial use. Contact me with your desired use; I'm usually pretty reasonable about rates.
Q: Why do you name your compositions with an "opus" number?
A: It's an idea I got from music, which deals with the same problem: how do you distinguish between two different compositions that have the same structural description? For example, Dvorak has "Slavonic Dances, opus 49" and "Slavonic Dances, opus 72", which are two completely different compositions. In the same way, I use opus (plural: opera) to distinguish different origami compositions of the same subject.
Q: Why doesn't everything in your gallery have an opus number?
A: I only assign a number when I've cataloged a composition by making notes that are sufficiently detailed that I could reproduce the composition. This can be a lot of work, and I usually have a backlog of 10-20 figures that I haven't yet gotten around to cataloging. But if I've folded a nice one, sometimes I just can't resist putting it on the site.
See this information in French.