As early as the second century, people in China were busy beginning an art form that is consistently gaining in popularity all over the world. Most of us think of origami as strictly part of the Japanese culture. However, the art of “folding paper” also dates back to Germany, Spain and especially China. Today, though it is definitely the Japanese icon that has developed into the modern art form we know and love.
Even Orville and Wilbur Wright could have been involved in the childhood tradition of making paper airplanes! This would be a form of origami at it’s simplest. The evolvement of this cultural icon is phenomenal to say the least. The Japanese crane or “tsuru” has become the symbol for peace in many countries.
Mental images come to life with a simple or complicated folding process. Many state that true origami uses no cuts or glue. It is not the few simple folds used but the creativity that makes the object come to life. There are just a few basic folds that most all practicers of the origami art use. Use of the valley and mountain folds, pleats, reverse folds, squash folds or sinks lends itself to become part of an intricately detailed and designed masterpiece.
Rectangular or other paper shapes can be used but the most common is a square sheet. It can be solid colored or a print or a combination. Most importantly, this material must have the ability to be folded and hold a crease. Tweezers, paper clips, rulers or possibly a pen embosser can be used to help keep the material creased.
Origami, although centuries old, can still enthrall with it’s decorative and intrinsic nature. From elaborate wedding designs to simple paper airplanes, origami appeals to all ages.