An Origami Artist




split show (2) split second
tusk probably see/saw/seen
build subject (3) attractive (2)
feature trunk (2) inspiration
line up essentially make/made/made
fold square (3) around (2)
add (2) complex start off with
publish hooked buy/bought/bought
step (3) available immediately
lone pretty (2) pretty much
design struggle meet/met/met
bit (3) advantage do/did/done
inspire enthusiast think/thought/thought (2)
sure intuition instruction
joy stuff (3) grizzly bear
initial type (2) position (2)
edge mean (3) convention
piece point (3) manipulate
peace get into tooth/teeth
stripe made of for instance
end up silhouette representation
involve diagram personality
style mammal expression
mimic based on personality
enjoy geometry distinguish
slight shoulder make/made/made
hump thing (3) therapeutic
hand square (3) in your hands (2)






If I for a split second show you a photo of an elephant, and I ask you “What did you see?”
You’ll probably say “Well… I saw an elephant”.
But then I’ll say “What feature of this elephant was most attractive to you? Was it the long trunk? The big tusks? The big ears? What was the first thing you saw?”

My inspiration comes from that. I would look at a subject and I would see one part of it. So the trunk would be the starting off point, and then I will build the rest of the design around that.

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The word origami is a Japanese word that’s made out of two words: Oru and Kami. Oru means “to fold” and Kami means “paper”. So essentially origami means “To Fold Paper”.

The type of origami that I practice is a complex type of origami. I always start off with one square piece of paper and only by folding it do I get to the final result.

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I got into origami when I was maybe seven years old. My Dad bought me a book about origami. I was hooked on that almost immediately.

This was way back in South Africa before the days of internet. You go to the library and there may be one, maybe two books available on origami.

In around 1995, we got internet at home. I saw on Amazon there was hundreds of books.

But it didn’t take long . . . I could pretty much fold most things on my first go without struggling. And that’s when I thought I think the next step is to start designing my own origami.

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A few years later when I was about 25 or 26, when I went to England, it was the first time that I actually ever met anybody else that had done origami. My whole life I was just a lone folder if you want to call it that.

I was a convention in England and I showed some of my designs to some people and they thought I had a bit of a talent. And that’s when I met some publishers and the idea of publishing a book on my designs because a reality.

But I’m sure that if you asked any origami enthusiast, they may know who I am.

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Most people that do origami they just get instructions and they fold. They get a lot of joy out of the activity of folding. Few people do design. And very few people do complex origami design.

People say to me “how do you design the stuff that you make?”.

The initial steps will all probably be based on geometry. But then at the end, they’ll be a lot of free folding involved where you’re not necessarily lining up edge A with edge B. You need to use intuition to get to the result you want to get to.

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Origami has evolved. Initially the piece of origami mainly conformed to the silhouette. Nowadays that is not enough. You want to do as much with that design as possible. Can you add facial features? Can you add teeth?

Can you use the color of the subject to your advantage? For instance, a panda bear will not be a panda bear if it’s not black and white. A tiger will not be a tiger, it could be a mountain lion, if it does not have the orange and black stripes. And the only way to do that is to start off with a paper that is one color on one side and a different color on the other side.

To use the panda as an example again, you will use a piece of paper that is black on one side, white on the other side, and then you have to manipulate this piece of paper so that the colors end up where they need to be. Because otherwise it would not be a true representation of a panda.

I think in any type of art, it’s important to try and create your own style. You don’t want to mimic something that somebody else is already doing.

I do not really fold from diagrams anymore, so the only influence in my origami is really myself. I mainly get inspired by nature. So I enjoy folding mainly animals.

Mainly mammals. The thing that I like about mammals is that they’ve got different facial expressions, they’ve got different personalities, body positions.

If you actually go and study your subject, you can learn slight little differences that you can apply into your design to distinguish one bear from another bear.

That’s what I tried to do with this grizzly bear. Focus on the massive head and the detail of the head. And the big lower jaw. And the shoulder hump, which is something that makes it a grizzly bear instead of just a bear.

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The thing about origami is like many things where you’re creating something, it’s kind of therapeutic almost. In the case of origami, you’re creating something almost out of nothing. Something as simple as a square piece of paper can become almost anything in your hands. It’s just something you do for yourself.

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Sketch, Draw. This video was a documentary about elephants and their habitats. True or false?

Paint. Does the word origami comes from Latin meaning “colored paper”?

Colored Pencil, Pastels. It normally takes several pieces of paper, scissors and glue to make origami figurines. Is this right or wrong?

Clay Figurines. Does the narrator comes from Amsterdam, in the Netherlands? Did he learn origami at school or a club?

Ceramics. Which country has more origami enthusiasts, the United Kingdom or South Africa? How do we know that?

Wood Carving. Has origami changed and evolved over the years? Are origami techniques based entirely on linear, geometric folding?

Metal Work. Does he paint his origami works?

Bronze Casting. His favorite subjects are insects, scorpions, crabs, dragons. Is this correct or incorrect?
Sculpture. I have seen origami figurines. Yes or no?

Rug, Carpet Weaving. Have you or your friends made origami figurines or objects?

Leather Work. Could origami be a business as objects and works for sal or classes for children and hobbyists?

Stone Carving. What might happen in the future?

Knitting, Crochet. Could origami be a hobby or pastime for children, senior citizens and adults? Could it be more than just a hobby, i.e. therapy, stress relief?

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