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One of my favorite pastimes is making origami. Origami is the art of paper-folding. It is believed to have originated in Japan, but I have seen references that indicate it may come from other locations such as China, Tibet, and Korea. When I was very young, some family friends gave me a package of gorgeous origami paper. I was fascinated with the many colors, but I didn't have a clue what to do with it, and once I tried I became very frustrated. The hardest thing about doing origami is to be able to look at directions that are drawn on a flat sheet of paper (2-D) and tranfer this to the actual 3-D piece of paper. It is very hard to do this. The easiest way to learn it is in person with a teacher who can demonstrate step-by-step. A video is also a good way to pick it up. If you are going to try to learn from books, look very hard for a book that shows photographs of each step.
When I was in high school I was fortunate to be accepted to St. Paul's Advanced Studies Program in Concord, NH. My major in this program was Japanese, partly because I still wanted to learn origami and also wanted to learn to decipher the cryptographic language of Japanese kanji. At St. Paul's I had a MOST wonderful Japanese teacher we called Hatogen Sensei (Mr. Hurtgen). I LOVED this class and a year late began teaching Japanese for Saturday school and a special summer program for the gifted. This was part of the strange course of events that got me into teaching gifted programs. The part I think I enjoyed the most about this class was learning Origami. It was magical! I quickly became adept at making origami cranes and many other basic shapes.
Several years later and more skilled I began learning unit origami and more complex forms. Nevertheless, I still love the cranes! When I fold cranes or anything else that I know by heart, I go into a meditative state of mind and exist just in the moment. Origami cranes represent wishes of peace and healing for the one we have in mind when we fold or the one we gift them to. Many thousands (or millions) decorate the Hiroshima and Nagasaki War Monuments in honor of the many who died from radiation poisoning. When my Aunt died from cancer (also following many months of radiation and chemotherapy), I folded a white crane from white glitter tissue paper and placed it in her coffin. I also remember folding cranes from my college graduation program during the lengthy commencement speech!
I have compiled a page that shows the metamorphosis of a piece of paper into a crane. If you follow it step by step you may be able to make one yourself!
Go to Crane Metamorphosis now if you would like to try it.
I sell the gorgeous Crane Chains as pictured at the top of the page and on the home page on custom order request for $60.00 each and the Octahedron Crane Mobiles pictured above for $30- each. For the crane chains you can have a rainbow pattern or a random distribution of colors or all gold or all silver. Crane chains are 25-30 cranes long and are about 27" long and about 6" diameter. It takes about a week to create one. Each one looks beautiful hanging in the corners of rooms. Individual cranes are $2.50 each and make great Christmas ornaments! The Boston Museum of Fine Arts used to sell the same things for $10- apiece! Contact me to request purchase of a Crane Chain, Octahedron Crane Mobile or individual crane ornaments.
See more about my origami creations for purchase at the Origami For Sale page