I am sure that origami is something everyone is familiar with, and even if you don't think that you are an origamist (yes, that's the word for it) at some point in your life you've probably folded a paper plane or a piece of paper so it can fit into an envelope. My interest with origami has taken me from a career as an IT consultant to dabbling in the arts and now exploring art as a therapy for mental health and well-being, but today I want to tell you a little bit more about what is it that I do as a hobby.
If you read my introduceyourself post, this is the picture that you will see:
In fact it is a similar picture to my profile image, and the banner for my profile image is a cropped picture of this:
Which is basically the picture of a water droplet next to an origami crane sitting on top of a rose petal. You will notice that the origami crane has the same colour and texture as the rose petal, because it is made from the same rose that I pressed and turned into the 'paper' that I used to make the origami model.
Most people like to ask me why I make miniature origami cranes. It seems like they are more fascinated by their size rather than the material which it is made from. In case you are wondering how small I make them, here's another picture:
There are of course many people who can make miniature cranes about this size, and if that's all I managed to do then this wouldn't be a very different story. But just to explain the power of being able to do something simple and do it well, I can tell you that you get to make miniature origami crane by starting from a bigger piece of paper and work your way down to smaller sizes (there's no secret or tricks to this at all - although sometimes I wish there was).
Lots of people have commented on the fact that I should make the cranes bigger or use some other materials, but for some reason the idea of using flower petals just seemed right to me. After all, what can be more beautiful and natural compared to the resources that nature provides!
There is also value in the impermanence of this material, that is has a transient nature (the flower petal loses its colour and structural integrity, albeit rather slowly if you keep it out of direct light and away from moisture). I didn't know this but impermanence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impermanence) is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. I always thought of myself as more of a Taoist though :p
I have never thought to make a living from this hobby of mine, but I have used the insights gained from teaching myself how to do this to explore the potential of using origami as a form of art therapy, to teach people how to improve their mental fitness and well-being. I have considered partnering with other artists that are interested and have explored the therapeutic benefits of art to create resources for people looking for alternative forms of mindfulness exercises or activities.
And if you know someone who also shares this same hobby as me, I'd love to get some tips and advice on how to improve my techniques and what you do to preserve them for longer.
Thank you for reading :)