Express Your Creativity Through Origami!
Gift-giving season is just around the corner. Have you ever wanted to give a present or create wrapping that is hand-made and unique? My teacher for the day, Ms. Sumako Umezawa, taught me the basics of how to create original origami at Taro’s Origami Studio in Brooklyn.
My origami folding experience began by choosing several different sheets of square paper. Some origami paper was monochrome and others had patterns on them. I did not know at the time how the paper was going to be used, but I enjoyed picking out different colors and patterns.
Next, Sumako-sensei asked me to pick out some origami creations that I would like to try on my own. Surprisingly, some of the simpler-looking pieces involved high-level skills, while others were not as complicated. I asked to start out with something very basic: a box. Sumako-sensei taught me the names of the different folds and emphasized that the order of the folds is very important. She also mentioned that some folds were actually just to make creases in just the right parts of the paper, so making the more difficult folds later would be easier for me. We started out with diagonal folds, book folds, cabinet folds, double boat base, etc. Eventually, my box started to take shape. I repeated the same steps with a slightly larger piece of paper in a different pattern, and before I knew it, I had completed a bottom and a lid for my box! In order to make the box more decorative, Sumako-sensei encouraged me to try folding a paper crane. This involved more difficult folds, but I was able to complete the crane, glue it on top of the lid, and it was finished. All of these steps may sound complicated, but it was much easier to do in person!
Taro’s Origami Studio is one-of-a-kind in the world. Drop-in corners and classes are offered using tablets. Rather than looking at a two-dimensional book and trying to decipher the instructions, children and adults of all levels can watch step-by-step video clips and learn at their own pace.
Through origami lessons, it is not only the art of paper folding that is taught. Manners, Japanese culture, and respect for all people and things are also part of the lesson. At the end of the lesson, Sumako-sensei reminded me that, unlike a store-bought present or regular gift wrappings, “when you give another person a hand-made origami gift, you can see the pleasure on the other person’s face.”
—– Reported by Kia Samaniego
Sumako-sensei showed me many kinds of origami that were shaped like boxes, flowers, animals, etc. Then she had me choose which ones I wanted to make. Sometimes the simplest-looking pieces were actually very complicated!
Each fold has a specific name, such as cabinet fold, book fold, squash fold, petal fold, kite fold, etc. The folds must be very sharp and precise.
In less than one hour, I was able to create two decorative boxes and a crane ornament! My three-dimensional origami creations can be used as decorations or given as gifts.
A decorative box with an easy-to-use pull tab and a surprise jumping frog hidden inside.
With a few extra folds, beautiful decorations can be made to enhance any simple box.
Taro’s Origami Studio
95 Seventh Avenue 2nd Fl., (Park Slope, corner of Union & President Sts.), Brooklyn, NY 11215
www.tarosorigami.com / TEL: 718-360-5435