Origami has always been a part of my background. My mother had the
opportunity to travel to Japan when I was a young child to learn papermaking
and she was profoundly inspired by the experience. She began incorporating the
Japanese art of paper folding into her artwork and created an artistic voice
that remains uniquely hers. Thus, our house was always full of artistic
curiosity—cut up grocery bags and scrap papers. Mom was in to recycling and
repurposing way before it was cool.
Fast forward several decades and I am sitting on the subway looking to pass the time. I was in the process of quitting smoking and missed having something to do with my hands. Almost instinctively, I tore up a subway map and started folding cranes. And then I folded more cranes…and some more cranes. Soon, I had reached 1000 cranes. Then, like a vice, I started buying paper the way I bought packs of cigarettes.
A year into my new habit, I was in Japan teaching bread making for ten days and I brought back some really amazing paper. At that point Erin, my girlfriend, designated a large shelf for all my new supplies in a halfhearted attempt to contain the menagerie of paper animals invading our cozy Manhattan apartment. A hobby that began with cranes had moved on to butterflies…and pigeons….and bunnies…and pigs…and turtles…and penguins…and a host of other paper friends. My mother's work with recycled materials has also inspired me. When I find an interesting aluminum can or paper packaging, I will cut and fold a few amigos for the permanent collection.
This year, it’s been all about the cows. Big cows, little cows, micro mini cows; finding cow print Japanese paper marked the downfall of my free time.
Erin and I have made a short video demonstrating how to fold an origami cow or ‘origamoo’. We hope you enjoy it, and if you try your hand at an ‘origamoo’, tell us about your experience below!
Click here for downloadable instructions!
Origami is a great practice that can be solitary, focused and meditative; or it can be quite social. It’s a great way to connect with our youngest friends and Katchkie Farm visitors. And, as it turns out, lots of folks have favorite animals or random collections, which is definitely true for the offices here at GP. Don’t be surprised if you find a matching folded paper friend in the various collections during your next visit here.