Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. It comes from the Japanese words 'oru', meaning folding, and 'kami', meaning paper.
Originally from China where early techniques were developed, it was introduced into Japanese culture in the early seventh century by Buddhist monks.
At first origami was something that only the rich or powerful could do, due to the expense of paper. New production methods resulted in the greater availability of cheap mass produced paper in the Edo period(1600-1868). This opened origami up to the masses, allowing the artform to blossom.
Akira Yoshizawa helped to develop modern origami in the 1930s and created thousands of different techniques and patterns. He is also responsible for developing the the pictures and patterns in origami instruction books, that are still used today.
One of the easiest and most popular things to make is the crane(some examples of which I made with my own fair hands can be seen in the picture above). It is believed that if you make a thousand in a year you will have good luck for the rest of your life.
Next week I will be making a full scale model of the Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, using a squeezy bottle, some double sided sticky tape and an egg carton.
Click here for a really good origami website which has got many interesting and beautiful examples on it.Here is the site for the Official Japanese Origami Society.
Click here for the British Origami Society.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Posted by steve at 4:47 am