Contributor: Jackie Han
(note: all of the origami models in this blog are created by Jackie Han)
Did you know that there is a fabulous world within just one square sheet of paper?
Origami is a traditional form of art that originated in Ancient China and continued to prosper in Japan. It involves folding one sheet of paper into any model, without the use of scissors. Origami, surprisingly, has many real-world applications – in fact, NASA recently used origami space engineering, as the concept could allow engineers to compress materials and pack them in the smallest of volumes.
Since I was six, I have been passionate about the ancient art of making vivid and complex models out of one piece of uncut paper. For 12 years, I’ve gone through countless trials and failures; failed models of insects, characters, and dinosaurs scattered around my room. Because no one around me knew much about origami, I was a "self-taught" all throughout this process. Through sustained efforts however, I’m now able to create some of the most complex origami models in the world.
You would think that origami is just about following a series of instructions and completing a model. While models can indeed be used to fold sometimes, complex origami involves a high amount of engineering, mathematics, and planning. In these models, we develop what is called a crease pattern, and have all the creases planned on the square sheet, which provides unique details on the specific model of interest.
The white dragon shown below is the most complex model in the world, and to this day, there are still a limited number of origami artists in the world that are able to complete this model. The model required a 2-meter-by-2-meter square sheet and took more than 3 weeks to complete.
I feel the need to stress that no one should be let down by my description of the complexity of certain models. There are very plenty of extremely adorable and easy models that everyone could try and enjoy as well! Don’t forget I started off with the easiest models too! The important step here is to get started with anything.
In my interactions with origami enthusiasts around the world, I realized that origami has no borders, ethnicity, genders, or age limits! I realized that I should share my origami experience/skills with others: it was a new lifestyle and challenge! This idea sparked my journey of turning my skills and passion into a motivation to serve the community. Indeed, I also wanted to let people know that there’s a wonderful world of paper beyond the game and electronic screen. So, in 2018 I founded Origami Canada (https://www.origamicanada.org), an innovative non-profit professional organization that is a Free Mobile Origami Teaching station dedicated to promoting the art of origami to children, parents, and seniors at various community events. It is absolutely rewarding to share my passion for origami with residents through my live outreaches, inspiring the natural curiosity of children and exercising the fingers and brains of seniors.
Over the years, Origami Canada has been extensively involved in and has organized about 70-80 various events/workshops/outreach activities that have become familiar to the community. We've taught origami to over 15000 people in libraries, nursing homes, and festivals. Our Origami station has become a lovely sight to behold in communities!
I certainly encourage the readers to try out origami, any simple model could spark unlimited ideas and interest! If you are interested in seeing more complex models and designs, make sure to visit my website at www.origamicanada.org