I did not take kindly to Origami at first. My brother (the same brother who mastered the paint by numbers set while I was busy flinging the paint on the canvas) got an Origami set one Christmas. It had lovely paper squares and a little book with picture after picture of the glorious things you could make with the paper: tiny trees, little boxes and hats, miniature animals. The book had directions for making each and every one of them and all you had to do was fold the paper until the tiny creation manifested itself. Like magic.
We sat down at the kitchen table and got to work studying the instructions and folding. And turning. And folding. And creasing. And folding some more. At the end of the studying and creasing and folding, my brother showed me the perfect crane he’d made. I looked down at my creases and folds and scowled. I had made a perfect likeness of a kleenex that someone had used to blow his nose. My brother tried to make me feel better by showing me how his crane flapped its wings when he pulled its tail, but I only felt worse. I vowed never to try Origami again.
I have broken many promises that I made to myself when I was younger and life seemed simpler. I will not go into all of them now, except to tell you that a few months ago, I went through a spell of Origami mania, watching YouTube videos round the clock, trolling used bookstores for Origami books and starting to collect exotic paper. I even pulled out the paper I bought years ago in Japan, only because it was pretty mind you and never intending to defile it with a wayward crease.
For the next few months I folded and folded and folded and filled the living room with little boxes, ornaments, a folded pig for Beading Yoda who collects pigs, geometric shapes, graduating to Origami dodecahedrons and pyramids. And then I started making Origami earrings that I sold for awhile. And then I folded, never once having even tried to make a crane.
So when my friend Jeanne, who is the managing librarian at the Santore Library asked me to help her teach a summertime craft class in Origami, I gulped, said yes and brushed up on my mountain and valley folds.
Here are some pictures from the class.