Hello, fellow art lovers! Miss Julie here, and I have a new art challenge for you for August…origami. If you have never tried this ancient form of paper folding before, do not give up before you have begun. Read on for my tips to make your art awesome!
If you are unfamiliar with the art of origami, let me begin by giving you some stunning examples:
Of course, origami that is as complex as what is pictured above takes practice, but every artist must learn the basics before attempting to create a masterpiece. To that end, let me introduce you to this website, which will show you how to do all of the folds necessary for most projects.
At the bottom of the page, it suggests doing an origami crane as your first project. I would actually caution against that because cranes require some advanced folds, so if this is your first time doing origami check out this site to choose your first project. This is the site that I used to teach my kids and myself how to fold origami. The projects in the kid’s section are perfect for people just starting out in the artform.
Now, on to the question of what type of paper should be used. Craft stores and online shops do sell special paper for folding origami. This paper is thin and creases easily and sharply, making it good for creating nice, straight edges. However, don’t worry if you don’t have access to special paper. A sheet of regular printer paper (new or used) cut to 6″x6″ will work just fine, as will newspaper, wrapping paper, or even napkins. The size is what is most important, so just measure carefully and use a ruler when you are cutting paper to size. However, except for the simplest of projects, I would not recommend using construction paper or card stock. Those might work well for making boxes, but not for delicate things like frogs or flowers.
So where did origami originate? Historians are not sure. Some say that it was likely a Chinese invention, since a Chinese court official, Cai Lun, was the first to introduce the concept of sheets of paper in the year 105 A.D. However, the first recorded mention of origami was from a Japanese poem written by Ihara Saikaku in 1680 A.D. This poem translates to, “The butterflies in Rosei’s dream would be origami”, thus suggesting that the art was already firmly established in Japan at that time. Regardless of who folded the first piece of paper into a recognizable object, it is a wonderful hobby to learn.
As always, when you finish a project, please take a picture and send it to Miss Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to see your work! If you do any other awesome work of any kind, send that in, too! I love to see the creativity of the kids in our community.
If you would prefer to learn your craft from a book instead of a website, take a look at the offerings at the DeKalb Public Library. Just click on any of the selected book covers below to put a hold on the book, or look at our entire listing here.