Origami is the Japanese art of paper-folding. Although now, in modern usage, the word “origami” is also used to describe non-traditional paper-folding. My story with origami started when I was a kid and my grand-aunt — who teaches origami professionally — taught me how to make my first origami fish. It was fun to make this and soon, every time she’d visit, she’d take out the origami paper from her bag and teach my sister and me origami. It was challenging at first because I was only just learning how to keep my folds precise and my pressure on the paper even so I wouldn’t crumple it. But over time, I came to not just be good at it but also enjoy the process a lot.
When I had learned the basic folds, I started watching multiple YouTube videos and learning how to make things I wanted like flowers, cranes and even books. I started making multiple objects and soon realised that it was a great party trick to be able to make an origami paper balloon — that you inflate and deflate — out of a random square piece of paper. A big milestone for me in my journey with origami was when I was able to make a mini origami book (I’m not sure how true to traditional origami this really is because it uses some glue, but oh well). This was something I had really wanted to make and when I finally was able to it made me very happy.
However, after a while, my workload increased and the time which I would’ve spent making origami was spent doing homework instead. I also was experiencing a burnout and didn’t have that excitement that I initially had when I would make origami. So I took a break from it. Recently, at the beginning of the pandemic, while in quarantine, I rediscovered my love for origami and now spend some of my time in quarantine making fun origami objects like spinning tops and transforming ninja stars (out of paper, of course!).
A lot of my appreciation and love for origami is rooted in my childhood memories. I enjoy seeing the way the paper transforms and the versatility of a simple piece of paper. I find it calming and therapeutic to spend some time just folding and making origami because I focus only on the fold and the paper in front of me. While a lot of this article is about my journey with origami, I have added links to videos which have helped me and I hope they help you too if you’re interested in origami. Since it’s the holiday season, maybe you want to give a friend or family member a handmade gift. Check out some of these videos if you want to make an origami christmas tree, an origami reindeer or an origami modular braided wreath.
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