The Japanese word “Origami” itself is a compound of two smaller Japanese words: “ori”, meaning to fold, and “kami”, meaning paper.
A Brief History of Origami
Remember how we all learned to create planes and boats out of paper as kids? That’s basic origami for you.
There are plenty of unique art forms associated with paper, but origami is one that goes way back to ancient times and is still mostly appreciated.
Origami is a Japanese term that loosely translates to ‘paper folding’. It is an art that has more to do with folding the paper to create items rather than drawing on it. Artists these days keep coming up with stunning masterpieces created out of folded paper. Not to mention, these pieces are well appreciated and sold around the world.
There are many contemporary artists such as Robert Lang, Eric Joisel, and Kade Chan who have revived the art by mixing it with pop culture and fantasy genre.
I was amazed by Artist work and they stories and would like to share with you a small excerpt about the artists before we continue with Brief History of Origami.
Robert J. Lang is an American physicist who is also one of the foremost origami artists and theorists in the world. He is known for his complex and elegant designs, most notably of insects and animals. He has studied the mathematics of origami and used computers to study the theories behind origami. He has made great advances in making real-world applications of origami to engineering problems.
Robert J. Lang work and book examples
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Eric began drawing and sculpting when he was seventeen years-old. He started creating origami in 1983 and four years later, had his first exhibit in the Espace Japon Paris. Eric became a professional origami artist in 1992.
Eric Joisel – Folded Paper Masterpieces
Watch Jamie’s Kelley video “Masterpiece of paperfolding about origami artist Eric Joisel “
Chan Pak Hei, Kade also known as Kade Chan, professional origami artist who specializes in designing origami monster characters, he is also an industrial & product designer, graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University – School of Design.
Some of Kade Chan work you may enjoy sourced from Hong Kong Origami Studio
The Origins of Origami
With the rise in interest and popularity of origami, it would be nice to take a look into how the craft started, how it became an art form, and how it involved over the years. So, let’s start the journey.
Papermaking was invented in China, and it didn’t take long for the craft to reach Japan. While we know Japanese were the ones to start origami, no one really knows when exactly that happened. The very first documented instruction book, however, is ‘Senbazuru Orikata’, which dates back to 1797. Literally meaning ‘Thousand crane folding’, the book is all about creating a crane shape out of folding paper. Historians strongly believe that the craft existed long before the document but instructions were passed on verbally rather than documented.
Origami Around the World
There is no doubt that origami soon reached the land where paper was actually invented. Chinese started creating their own origami patterns. Meanwhile, Arabs took the art to Spain, where they used the technique not just for art but also for creating geometrical patterns for better understanding of mathematics concepts.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that origami started to get mass popularity in the global arena. In 1977, ‘Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes’, a story book by an American author Eleanor Coerr, played a vital role in making the art known across the globe. A story about a girl named Sadako living in the post WWII Hiroshima, the book made origami cranes an internationally recognized symbol of peace.
During the same time, Akira Yoshizawa, a man considered the grandmaster of origami, captured the world’s attention with his artistic origami structures based on many new techniques he invented such as wet-folding. This is where origami took off as a proper art form and craft across the world.
Modern Origami Craft
Availability of better paper and basic instructions from pioneering masters easily has made origami a craft not so difficult to learn. There are a number of origami artists from different countries including US and UK, and they are all contributing to the genre through new techniques and methods. They are creating unbelievably mesmerizing creations that are highly appreciated by art lovers and buyers. Crafters have learned to combine origami with other forms of crafts such as ceramics to create items such as lamps and decorative pieces.
You too can go beyond paper planes and cranes and earn a good amount of money by selling your origami items. There are hardly any tools involved, and you can use any kind of paper including old magazine pages to get started. All you do need is a good of set of instructions in the form of books and tutorials by professionals.
How many things can you make by folding paper? Have you ever created something new using the folding techniques? I would love to hear about it. Do share in the comment section or contact us.