Origin And Overview
Origami is the art of transforming a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture. It is said to have originated from Japan. Regardless of its origin, it is a process of creating a two or three-dimensional figure using a set of folding and sculpting techniques. While traditional origami is a bit less strict about rules on usage of non-square paper and paper cutting. Its modern counterpart is not so lenient about the same. A handful of simple and basic folds can be employed to create varied detailed designs. It is for everyone, from kids to adults and, from beginners to experts. It could be more than a fun activity or hobby for kids, as it acts as a great tool in teaching them math skills.
Common Origami Folds and Bases
Any given model in origami is made up of folds and bases. The number of folds and bases are very limited that one gets to see them being repeated in many models. The nine types of folds include mountain or valley, pleats, inside and outside reverse, rabbit ear, petal, swivel, sink, and squash. Many a time one can observe that as a time- saving mechanism, origami instructions would call to start with a particular base. Some of the more prevalently seen bases are the square or preliminary, water bomb, kite, bird, fish, and frog.
Types of Origami
The types of origami are inclusive of but not limited to the following,
Traditional: Modules are constructed by folding a flat square piece of paper. Usage of cutting or adhesives is discouraged. The type was developed for beginners and for those who have limited motor skills.
Modular: Modular origami is one of the types of multi-piece origami. In this, a very large and complex structure can be built by repeating multiple identical units. Kusudama and Senbazuru are known to be precursors to this type of origami.
Wet-Folding: This is a slightly advanced type that requires the use of an adhesive allowing the user to preserve a curved shape more easily. Masks and figurines of animals and people can be produced using this type of origami.
Fabric: Involves folding a fabric like a washcloth or bath-towel into beautiful shapes. Towel animals seen in cruise-lines or hotel suits are a classic example of fabric origami.
Animation: Used to build action toys or models. They are built to perform an action. For instance, the paper fortune teller. The person operating the model moves it based on the choice made by the audience and reveals a message or the next steps in the game.
All you really need is a flat piece of paper that can hold the creases well. To begin with, a square sheet of any color, print or pattern could be used. Other adornments, embellishments etc could be used at later stages based on the individual’s imagination and dexterity.
Folding your first model
The origami boat is a good place to start with. Pick up folding instructions and materials required to create this model, and start folding away. The next best model to try would be the crane or the Tzuru.
Per popular belief, fold and string together a thousand of these cranes, and be blessed with eternal good luck.