The Art Of Paper Folding – Origami

2021 is here! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! The celebrations have been simple and joyous. It was about spending time with family at home for most of us. All of us have been thrilled to bring in the new year filled with hope for a better tomorrow. New Year resolutions are not my thing. 2020 has been a difficult year but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. They say if you want a different outcome then do something different today.

So how about this? Let’s make an Origami model of your dream, of what you see yourself as, of something you want! That model on your desk will keep telling you, you can do it! It will tell you to keep your focus. If it’s something you want to get rid of, make them and throw them away, let them fly away or vanish into mid air. This activity helps you get rid of the negative emotions and works on building the positive ones.

I want to be free like a bird in 2021. Somewhere our freedom has been curtailed because of the pandemic. Free to fly, free to meet people, free to eat wherever you want, free to roam about, free to breathe. These are some of my wishes. So I am going to make birds – ‘As free as a Bird’.

But why Origami? I could do this with anything else? True! Origami because all you need is a sheet of paper. It shows that something so common and simple can turn into just about anything you want – as long as you are really willing to! This exercise also helps generate new ideas for creativity and innovations. Just in case you haven’t heard of it yet, I’m talking about ORIGAMI – The Art Of Paper Folding.

Origami  Animals and Birds
Origami – Animals and Birds

We can create a model or a sculpture by folding a sheet of paper. Origami is a Japanese Art. Usually a traditional Art from Japan will have a given set of rules or instructions to be followed. Traditional Origami does not permit the use of glue or making any kind of cuts in the paper. Hence modified versions have also been adapted and are quiet popular. The methods and techniques of Origami have seen applications not only in the field of Arts and Crafts but also in other fields such as Medicine and Engineering.

Origami is for all. One can learn it at any age. Some popular Types of Origami include 1) Modular Origami or Unit Origami 2) Kirigami 3) Action Origami 4) Wet – Folding Origami

Japan is earthquake prone. Hence the materials used in their houses are light weight. We can notice a significant use of paper in their houses. Another observation I have made is about miniatures in Japan. Being a densely populated country, land is very expensive. This makes them use their space optimally as a resource. Japan always amazes me. Creating things, making the best of what we have and making a come back when you are knocked out – Japan aces it! I see it’s reflections in Origami too.

I wanted to convey that Origami isn’t just about building tiny or toy models. It is real and much more than that. I learnt traditional Origami when I was in the 7th Grade in School. I had books on Origami – a set of five volumes. I remember at one point of time I had made all of them. Folding Paper neat and precise, visualising something in a sheet of paper – builds concentration and imagination. And of course that feeling of ‘I made it’. One of the most fascinating things I have seen made with Origami is ‘Jewellery’.

Materials required are as simple as square sheets of Paper. Ready packets are available in the market at all stores that keep stationery. Books to guide you and inspire you are also easily available. So even if your country has some lockdown restrictions, this is one activity you can easily do at home. Not to mention all the other added benefits it would have such as make you smile and stress- free.

Origami  Cranes
Souvenirs from the Paper Museum in Japan

The most popular design is ‘The Crane’. From animals to objects – there are so many things one can make. Did you know? Now there are apps that can show you some folds. There are websites that show you the popular designs for free. You must definitely try out a few!

This zeal for Origami attracted me to ‘Napkin Folding’. I think Napkin Folding is very similar to Origami. Only here we use a Napkin – a well starched cloth to fold. I was reverse engineering this design at a restaurant when the person in – charge of setting up the table noticed me. He said “would you like to learn that?” Surprised! I immediately said “Sure, why not!” He was kind enough to show me three four different folds. The rest I learnt from books.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! Share the Origami models you make or about your experience creating them. Have an Arty Week!

Published by #artistniralimehta

Nirali is an Artist doing Art and Illustrations both hand drawn as well as digital. She is a trained professional with good work experience in her field. She masters various art styles and has shops on Etsy, Redbubble, Society6 all three by the same name ‘NMartworks’

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