Origami come from the root ori, meaning folding and kami, meaning paper. It is a 1700 Japanese folk art of folding a traditional square piece of origami paper into an intricate sculpture. The most popular and well-known form is the crane. Customarily the paper cannot be cut or glued for it to be considered true origami.
There is not much evidence to trace origami back to early China, Germany or Spain because paper decomposes quickly but it is speculated that origami may have begun as early in those countries as it did in Japan. There is evidence that origami may have started in Europe as early as 1440 with small pieces here and there. By the 1600’s origami was being used in Shinto weddings and as a gift exchange between Samurai warriors. Origami has become a more widely spread and popular form of art now and has gained popularity in the recent 1900’s.
There are many different types of origami practices now. Action, Modular, Wet-folding, Pureland and Origami Tessellations. Action origami is origami that moves when it is completed. This is allowed to be the result of inflation, kinetic energy, or perhaps a limp that moves when another part is pressed upon. Modular is a result of putting many identical pieces together to create an ending shape of some sort. Wet-folding is used when making curves rather than sharp folds and angles. Pureland has restrictions such as only one fold at a time and no complex folds are allowed. This helps with inexperienced folders. Last is Origami Tessellations. Tessellations can be made from anything that holds a crease including fabric such as silk.
Meditation is a vital part of many cultures now and origami has made it’s way into the meditative practices. It’s common-knowledge that effective meditation is good for blood pressure, longevity and depression. It can restore energy and ability to cope with everyday difficulties and stresses. Self-awareness can help a person become more at peace as well as offering an escape to the stresses of life. Origami is a way to express yourself in becoming one with the hills and valleys that are created when making folds. It takes focus on the folds rather than on outside stress. It is a very methodical art and requires great precision as fold after fold is made to become something else. Practice will allow your muscles to move without conscious thought as the quiet and the peace seep in. The end product is a beautiful sculpted masterpiece that may very well symbolize yourself when completed.
Origami Bonsai, is a book created by the Origami artist, Benjamin John Coleman. It is a selection of projects to enable people with the skills to create little wonders of art.