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Archive for the ‘Origami’ Category

butterfly_curtain

Seems I hardly every get around to posting anymore, but here’s an image from a couple of weeks ago, when I was working (and playing) with 22 students from Heartwood Montessori School in Cary, NC. In preparation for a performance for their parents, the students learned to fold origami butterflies and folded 305 of them over the course of a few days. We attached them, with glue dots and tape, to fishing line and hung a “curtain” of butterflies as a backdrop for their performance.

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‘Tis the Season

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Yikes, it has been four months! Which means the holiday season is almost upon us. I get the Christmas blues, like many people, but wrapping small gifts beautifully—especially with origami boxes—makes me feel good.

In a book of Japanese package design I bought a few years ago, one artist’s essay pointed out that Japanese spirituality holds that all things are living, including things that we Westerners might consider inanimate. So a package for a gift or even an item of food is essentially a little house, a dwelling for the living thing inside. I love that idea.

 

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opening_leafmore_open_leaf

I love walking on the carriage trail at this time of year because of what’s unfolding…literally. Is there anything more intricate and beautiful than the process of a bud opening into a leaf?

Nature’s origami, the most elegant geometry, has inspired origami designers around the world. One of them, Tomoko Fuse, has created many beautiful designs for containers. She’s famous for her boxes and other modular designs, but I’m also very fond of this leaflike chopstick holder she invented. It’s one of many fun—and surprisingly easy—projects I hope to introduce to willing folders in my Origami Containers class at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center this August.

Check out the Road Scholar website for more information, and join me at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center near Ripley, WV this summer!

chopstick_holders

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These are just two of several origami envelope designs you’ll learn in “Origami Containers,” the workshop I’m leading at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center this summer. Join me for a week of gentle folding in good company. Then, next winter, you can send your friends holiday greetings in these exquisite handmade envelopes.

The class is scheduled for August 17-22, 2014, and I’d love to fill it up in advance! This is a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) class. With prices starting at $487, it’s a remarkably good value for a week that includes tuition, a comfortable lodge room, and plenty of good food. All this in a picturesque place chock-full of West Virginia hospitality. Get all the details at the Road Scholar website.

 

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calendar_box

Instead, make it into a handsome, sturdy origami box! This one was made from eight of last year’s calendar pictures. For me, this is the most satisfying way of recycling: making something beautiful-but-outdated into something beautiful and new.

If you’d like to learn how to make this box, along with many other fascinating origami containers, start planning now to take my weeklong class, “Origami Containers,” at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center in Ripley West Virginia. The class is scheduled for August 17-22, 2014, and I’d love to fill it up in advance! This is a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) class. With prices starting at $487, it’s a remarkably good value for a week that includes tuition, a comfortable lodge room, and plenty of good food. All this in a picturesque place chock-full of West Virginia hospitality. Get all the details at the Road Scholar website.

 

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This is another fabric box, a Tomoko Fuse design (she’s the best!), made from two cotton “fat quarters,” as those 18 x 21-inch pieces are called at the fabric store. I enjoyed choosing the fabrics because there were so many with small patterns, perfect for little origami projects. This box measures about three-and-a-half inches square and is very sturdy. A great container for earrings, soap, keepsakes, or small gifts.

Learn this design and several other boxes, along with various envelopes and other containers, at my Origami Container Workshop at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center in Ripley, WV. The class runs from April 22-27.

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Here’s another fabric box we might try during the Origami Container Workshop at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center. This one is a Masu box, an ancient and traditional Japanese design that is truly elegant in its simplicity and utility. I love the way it looks in this luxurious fabric, although the thickness of the brocade presented a bit of a challenge.

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Two views of an origami box in fabric

At Christmastime, my friends Faith and Vicki gave me some wonderful squares of fabric from vintage feed sacks. (They came from Diane Gilliam’s Etsy Shop, by the way.) Today I bonded eight pieces to paper and folded my favorite origami box with them. The folding was a little bit more demanding than paper, and the fitting-together slightly more demanding as well, but the finished box is a treat—and remarkably sturdy! If my students seem up to it, I will add a project like this to my upcoming Origami Container Workshop at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center April 22-27.

Learn more about the class and register by visiting the Road Scholar website.

In the next few days, I’ll be adding more pictures of origami containers we’ll be constructing during the workshop. Cedar Lakes is beautiful, peaceful campus for craft workshops, and Road Scholar workshops tend to be good value for a reasonable price. Tell your friends who might be interested!

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Origami Mania

This is a sampling (not all!) of the containers my six students made in four days. They have constructed envelopes, tato purses, star boxes, masu boxes, six-part modular boxes, eight-part modular boxes with lids, chopstick holders, and more. I’m very, very proud of them. And very, very tired. Off to bed.

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Boxes Galore

Above are boxes made today by several students in my Origami Containers class at Cedar Lakes. I’m awfully proud of their work! This box design is one of Tomoko Fuse’s, and is probably my favorite origami construction. It’s elegant, beautiful, and accessible. I like teaching it, and even beginners (as long as they are patient and persistent) can create a splendid work of art.

This is my first experience teaching origami for more than day, and I was slightly nervous when Gloria Gregorich, the director of the Cedar Lakes Craft Center, suggested that she would be willing to introduce a Road Scholar (aka Elderhostel) workshop in origami. But it has proved to be fun for me, and my six students have produced such wonderful work, and have been such an enjoyable group of people to spend time with, that I’m no longer worrying about anything except…how to keep up with them!

Below, another pile of containers from a couple of days ago.

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