I practice and teach origami. Why?
- Origami is precise, geometric, rational and ordered. The angles tell you where to go. Only rarely do you make a “RAT” fold, “right about there,” where you estimate where to fold.
- All you need is paper.
- Folding paper is quiet and meditative.
- Paper is inexpensive and beautiful.
- The colors and textures of the papers are beautiful.
- Quilters have closets of fabrics stored up, origami paper hoards take up less space J
- It is amazing to take virtually a 2-dimensionsal flat paper and turn it into something very three-dimensional- a bird, bowl, boat or sphere.
- When you start with a fresh, perfect square of paper, you start with only two choices- fold it in half side-to-side (forming a rectangle) or point-to-point (forming a triangle.) Yet infinite variety results from these.
- Similarly, there are bases in origami- the first few folds from which many forms can be made. The bird base, fish base, frog base, windmill base, waterbomb base… From the Kabuto base, for one example, you can make a samurai helmet, a fish, a cicada, and more.
- You can learn and share origami without language. You could attend an origami conference in another country and have a great time!
- As an origami teacher, I try to depend less on speaking and more on showing. (Notice how this relates to writing- show–not-tell?!)
- As an origami teacher, I am teaching my students to rely less on language and to make careful observations (does yours look like the model?) and to trust their judgment (no, here is my mistake.) This is hard for them, which tells me they need it.
- And as an origami teacher, when I do speak, I try to use language precisely. There is direct feedback to accurate use of language- my students know what to do next or they don’t.
- As with any great, open-ended endeavor, origami can be a young child’s play and an adult’s fine art. It melds math, science and art. People of any age can “get it.” Often the young are prodigies because their minds love that kind of thinking and they take off.
- Origami is temporary and it is playful. I tend to focus on permanence and seriousness. So perhaps this endeavor helps my spirit find balance.