Facts About Origami

 

Origami, an ancient Japanese art of paper folding is believed to have originated in China. Some of the oldest surviving samples of folding paper models are from China. This is why many scientists believe that papermaking arts were developed in China. Nevertheless, the Japanese embraced origami and many people think that the art is distinctly Japanese. In its traditional forms, a square piece of paper is formed into an endless variety of shapes, using a few different folds.

 

Other than China, other countries have also embraced the art of paper folding. In Spain and France, for instance, in early 16th Century, documents, perhaps baptismal certificates, were found folded into little birds, known as "Pajarita" in Spain and "Cocotte" in France.

 

Flower origami artworks can be pretty simple hats or airplanes and can also include complex structures, for instance, animals or buildings, which requires skills and experience to fold. At times, the more complex shapes are made of foil instead of paper, because foils can be folded more times while creating less bulk as compared to paper.

 

A standard paper origami is a 6" (15 cm) square. Typically, standard folds are used to create bases, the most common of which are the kite, fish, bird, and frog. Once the base has been made, other folds are added to make almost any shape you desire.

 

One of the most traditional Japanese origami forms is the crane. Majority of the Japanese find the crane auspicious. A Japanese legend has it that anybody who folds a thousand paper cranes will have their heart's wishes fulfilled. In fact, the origami crane has since been made the symbol of peace in Japan.

 

In the 1920's and 30's, Joseph Albers started creating spiral and curved shapes in his origami artworks. Much later, Akira Yoshizawa inspired the contemporary revival of the art by using even more intricate strategies and introducing new methods such as wet folding. Wet folding assists the origami paper holds its shape better.  You may also visit and read more at http://www.wikipedia.orgwikiOrigami#History.

 

To showcase the flexibility and originality in origami, the American Museum of Natural History in New York erects a Christmas tree mainly decorated with varied origami shapes such as crabs, lobsters, birds, turtles, and dinosaurs. It's done on a yearly basis for the past 30 years, and it is amazing to behold!

 

Furthermore, many books on origami are available for beginners and those with more skills as well. One of the finest of such books is The Complete Book of Origami: Step-by-Step Instructions in over 1000 Diagrams with 37 Original Models", by Robert Lang. The first chapter of this book has an excellent introduction to the simple skills required to make origami. Every model is designed to allow learners to practice same skill many times.

 

What can be created from a simple piece of paper can be remarkably fantastic. Everyone is capable of making these miniature works of art. It is a craft that is worthwhile exploring.