Thursday, 23 August 2007

First Foldings

I first encountered Origami in my early teens, when I found, in the local library, a copy of Samuel Randlett's "The Art Of Origami". I was pretty impatient (and therefore clumsy) back then, at the start of the 70s, and I had to cut my own squares from scrap paper, but I was fascinated by the assorted bases and the boundless variety of shapes that sprang forth from them. Or as far as my cack-handed fumblings could approximate, anyway.

Like most teenage enthusiasms, the Origami fad waned, and I forgot all about it. Until recently, when I found myself idly flexing a square of paper from the telephone message block. I googled "Randlett", and there was the book. I tried "Origami", and discovered the British Origami Society, and a page where the American Origami fans had voted on their favourite Origami books. Selecting a few of those tagged as suitable for beginners, I ordered a few from Amazon, along with a pack of Origami paper.

As soon as I opened the parcel, the fascination came flooding back. More patient this time, the results were even more satisfying, and using proper Origami "Kami" paper gave them a smarter appearance, too. So I worked my way steadily through Montroll's "Easy Origami" and Sakata's "Origami", which helped me develop some basic familiarity and start to improve my dexterity.

At this point, I decided to join the British Origami Society, and availed myself of their mail order supplies service. Armed with several packs of square paper, I embarked on the next book, a bit more challenging: Kasahara's "Origami Made Easy". This contains some interesting models, some of which I botched badly, and some of which came out, well, not too badly. I've learned that insect legs are one of my major betes noir; the combination of very acute angles and trying to reverse-fold spindly legs which are many paper-layers thick, manages to make me feel like I've ten thumbs, none of which work very well! Neatness and accuracy are clearly something I must continue to work on. Meanwhile, here are a few of my efforts so far from Kasahara's book.

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