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About Origami

Origami is the art and craft of paper folding. The term "origami" comes from the combination of two Japanese words "ori" meaning paper and "kami" meaning to fold.

Here is the basic definition of Origami: You take a square sheet of paper and fold it into a three dimensional shape - usually some kind of recognizable form like an animal or flower. So, if you want to make origami all you need is a sheet of paper. Fold it into a shape and voila! you have made origami.


Lots of origami


Types of Origami

There are many types of origami and these types are categorized in different ways.

Origami Around the world and over the Centuries

Japanese Origami is probably the most famous and most refined of all the different styles. But many countries have their own version of paper folding including the United States with paper airplanes, hats, boats and fortune tellers. Germany and Spain also have their own history in paper folding. The art is believed to have begun in China which is the birthplace of paper but there is some evidence that it may have also been done in Ancient Egypt with papyrus.

There is some partial evidence of paper folding examples as early as the 12th centuries but these are not of actually paper folded items but of drawings related to other things such as sailing that have illustrations that look a lot like paper folded items such as sailboats.One of the difficulties in pinning down the early beginnings of origami is that it is done with paper! And that means the works don't last for centuries!

Up until about 1950 Paper folding remained primitive but this all changed with the work of a Japanese man called Akira Yoshizawa. He transformed the art of paper folding and ushered in the new era..

Traditional, non traditional and newer forms of Origami

Just like any other art or craft origami has changed over the centuries and if you want to stick to the purest form of it you it involves a bit of discipline. The most traditional rules say you have to use a square of paper. It can't be any shape other than a square. You cannot cut it and you can only do simple folds. This is the generally accepted pure form of origami although this is often debated. It does create some interesting restrictions and it does enforce discipline because you can still make amazing things and you can be proud of doing it with these rules imposed.

Origami Museums and Organizations

Paper consistencies, One side colored, foil,

Wetting the paper

Action Origami, Modular Origami, Dollar Origami

Famous Names in Origami

  • Akira Yoshizawa - Changes the Art and elevates it to new heights (japanese)
  • Friedrich Froebel - German 1782-1852
  • George Rhoades - American
  • Miguel Unamuno - Spanish




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