all about my origami
I've been an origamist since I was 6 years old: that's most of my life!
I vividly recall my brother's babysitter teaching me how to make a paper frog. She also taught me how to tear a square from an A4 sheet of paper. No matter how many times I tried, I left an ugly gaping hole in the "square". I hated cutting with scissors too, so I instead adapted my own (slightly elongated) version of the frog made from an A4 piece of paper. I instantly fell in love with the beauty and mechanism of it all.
An army of hopping snowballs later, I perfected my frog and demanded for more. She taught me a boat next. Then a fortune teller. A few types of paper boxes followed. Yes - I'll admit - I also made a crane. My teacher kept pulling new tricks out of her sleeve like magic until one day...she ran out.
"No more!?" I remember saying.
That was when my sister suggested looking up tutorials on YouTube. Surely, there must be some kind soul out there supplying instruction videos for the world to enjoy. Of course, she was right!
The first YouTube tutorial I ever watched was Sara Adams' (from happyfolding.com) and I basically lapped up all her videos! The explanations were clear and I loved the editing. Then, I proceeded onto many other channels and conquered the world of YouTube origami, one video at a time.
I learned to read diagrams, which unsurprisingly came quite naturally, having seen so much already. I begged for a new origami book every birthday, Christmas and Chinese New year. It became an addiction that just couldn't be stopped!
my origami now
My passion for origami has probably been the one thing which I have managed to sustain throughout the last decade. It reminds me so much of childhood, yet at the same time, also feels so new to me. There's still a lot of mathematics behind each fold and a rich history for me to explore.
As of now, I'm to proud to say that I have managed to successfully fold all models that I've always wanted to fold, like the Ancient Dragon and the Violinist. I'm constantly on the hunt for more complex models to challenge myself with. I would love to fold the Ryujin one day but it's currently too time-consuming to squeeze into my tightly packed daily routine.
My favorite kinds of models, however, are definitely tessellations. My love for them could go on forever (yes pun intended!) Recently, I've started designing some of my own tessellations. It's truly exhilarating when you can design something that elegantly collapses and just fits.
Talking about favorites, my favorite book I have owned thus far is probably Works of Satoshi Kamiya. His models are so iconic, and the diagrams clear (even to a non-Japanese reader). I am also a fan of the Tanteidan magazines, especially the crease patterns.
I use double tissue paper for most of my complex folds. I literally glue two 50x50 cm sheets against my window with Elmer's glue and peel it off the next day. My mom is not very supportive of this part of my hobby. I've tried fancy paper a couple of times, but they only last a week after returning from Japan.
Though I am busy, I aim to make one model a week. There is just an endless sea of beautiful, unique origami models out there, so I think I'll be doing this all the way through college. It's always the best part of my week!
my future plans
I genuinely believe origami is the future, and that my little childhood hobby has more to offer the world than its aesthetics. Because of this, I am now bringing the principles of origami to the real world by developing a fully collapsible water bottle which borrows the clever, satisfying collapsing technique from the origami Spring into Action. You can follow me as I document this project here.
I see so much potential in the way that tessellations are collapsed and flattened and the way that modular origami models are assembled from small units; I'm super excited to bring such elegance into the real world, starting now!