Origami Creativity

Cuckoo ClockCuckoo clock (modified)   In my website, I have included links to several management guru sites and my favourite origami website.  I have also included several of my origami book collections and some of my folds done through guidance from these books.  Whenever I did an interesting model, I will feature it in my Facebook and on this site too.  It is my hope that you will see Origami beyond the art of folding a piece of paper, but to enjoy the essence of creativity and to learn about improving oneself by finding value in it.

Origami was originally Japanese but had transcended across many other cultures.  It ranged from simple two-dimensional to sculptured three-dimensional artwork.  Thanks to the various origami artists who were creative to think out of the box.  However, the only rule that these artists has restricted themselves is to only fold from one sheet of paper without cutting or pasting.

It is a real wonder how these artists are able to come up with their design methods.  In recent years, there are even mathematical and geometric techniques to help one develop the origami design structures.  Till now, I can only modify from other people’s model, such as from a rat model into a beaver model.  Over the years, I had learned about why some folds were such and why it was better to follow a sequence versus another, etc.  Sometimes I could not follow the instructions from the book and had to figure out my own steps to reach the desired stage of the fold.  I ‘designed’ my folding steps as a result of my experience to reach the desired outcome.  Most origami designers would similarly design their models out of their folding experiences.  They learned and unlearned their steps with an end in mind, and along the way, create new models close to what they desired.  Few, however, were able to design their models through systematic and structured approaches.  These days, there are even computer designs to help the artist create more elaborate models.

The basic origami folds are about mountain or valley folds, unfolding and refolding.  A sequence of folds can form the base such as the kite base, fish base, bird base, frog base, cupboard base, windmill base, waterbomb base and a preliminary fold (a precursor to the bird and frog bases).  Variations and combination of these bases result in permutations of models beyond imagination.  Although most of us started our origami with a square paper, there are interesting models that started out with rectangular and triangular shaped paper.  An important aspect about creativity is to think beyond the norm and extend the boundaries of earlier thought processes.  My recent models have been with pleat folding techniques (e.g. the cuckoo clock which I deviated a little from that of Robert Lang’s design).  This technique not only creates ‘scales’ to your paper but also makes it possible to create three-dimensional figures.  This article is brief and cannot be exhaustive but you can read (and see) more from the books I had referenced in my website.

I hope I have been able to share how exciting this art can be, that origami is not just a paper crane but that it can be so lifelike and beyond the unthinkable.  It may have some simple engineering design (as in paper planes), but is foremost an art and will depend on how one sees the model.  Working on it positively can help build patience, develop persistence and attention to details.  It is not a stale art although it has an ancient history.  My hope is to influence you to stretch your thinking processes to reach where you want to be, and to aspire you to believe that you can always do better than where you are today!

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