A Fresh View on the Art of Origami

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When it comes to arts and crafts of the world, Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding is quite popular. Traditional Japanese Origami is said to have been practiced since the 1600s. However, the art of paper folding is not restricted only to Japan. In fact, paper folding traditions have prevailed and have been documented in several other regions across China and Europe since early on. The aim of the craft is simple; use a square sheet of paper, and fold it with various techniques to create a complete sculpture. Sounds easy right? But it rarely is, because Origami is a technical craft that has different difficulty levels.

Image Source - http://origamimaniacs.blogspot.in/2012/09/origami-letters-m-by-joe-nakashima.html
Image Source – http://bit.ly/2kGLTmr

Levels of Origami Techniques
Simple models are considered low difficulty and usually include basic folds like mountain and valley folds, squash folds, reverse folds and pleats. The intermediate stage of Origami construction requires slightly more advanced techniques for creating more complex structures, while a high skill level is the most complex and can take years to master.

Image source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origami
Image source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origami

Paper Used for Origami
Just like there are different levels of difficulty in Origami, there are also different kinds of paper used for the craft. Origami paper usually weighs less than regular paper, which makes it easier to fold. In the general sense, any square paper that does not have creases or folds in it is suitable for Origami. Traditional Japanese paper used for Origami is called Washi which is tougher than regular paper. It is also used for various other traditional crafts. A type of Origami paper, called ‘Kami’ (translates to paper in Japanese), is perhaps a more popular choice for this craft. These are available in pre-packaged squares, and are often white on one side and coloured on the other. Another type is foiled-back paper; a thin foil glued to a thin sheet of paper, it’s available commercially. Foil-backed paper is ideal for more complex models of Origami.

Image Source - https://ohmyomiyage.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/japanese-washi-paper/ and https://in.pinterest.com/pin/149041068894489532/
Image Source – http://bit.ly/2lB5Zh8, http://bit.ly/2kTACuj

Changing Face of Origami
Over the years, Origami has evolved into something more than just an art form. From a novel idea of creating basic structures by folding paper, Origami has become a complex craft that is now a passion for many. Its evolution has led to the creation of intricate and highly skilful constructions. It no longer covers stationary life, but can also include moving objects. Today, there are different types of Origami – action, modular, wet-folding etc. that are used for creating unique structures. Origami is also being used in mathematical and practical applications.

Image Source - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTrTUjwG6r4
Image Source – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTrTUjwG6r4

The growing popularity of this art has led many people to try their hand at it. There are now Origami books and even tutorials available for everyone, adults or kids, interested in the art. While initial designs are quick and easy to learn, mastering the skill may certainly take a while. However, as it is an extremely fulfilling hobby, more people are turning to it today.

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