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Origami

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What is Origami?

Origami, although an ancient discovery, is perhaps a foreign concept to many
individuals today. Unless a person is caught up in the art world or has an
interest in crafting, they may have never heard of origami. What is origami? It
is, put simply, folding paper. This idea began hundreds of years ago however,
the exact origin is unknown. It is still unknown whether it began in China or
Japan. It is a known fact that the Japanese have developed advanced forms of
artistic origami. This idea was quick to catch on spreading into Spain, South
America, Germany and Britain. With time this creative activity also became
popular in the west. Although origami is an activity enjoyed by thousands of
people, it has a special place in the Japanese culture.

Learning how to fold paper is the basis of origami. There are very simple forms
of origami such as the paper airplane which requires basic folds and
instruction. Although the paper airplane is quite easy to make, for years it
has provided hours of entertainment for young children. For the millions of
individuals who have quickly made a paper airplane, perhaps they weren't aware
they were using the art of origami.

There are countless projects that can be done using the art of origami. For
people who are working with these techniques on a regular basis, the
possibilities for creations rely on their imagination and creativity. Although
the finished products are elaborate and obviously a challenge for the
inexperienced person, the art of origami often uses two basic folds -- the
origami bird base and the origami square base. Learning how to do this activity
will likely incorporate these two basic folds in most projects. As an individual
advances in the art of origami, these basic folds will frequently be required
for many projects.

Folding paper may sound boring to some people but for thousands in the world
the folding paper or the art of origami, has become quite significant. It may
sound juvenile to some but origami can be quite challenging which is what
interests many people. The art of origami uses mathematics which again can be
challenging for many people. A project starts out with just a square piece of
paper and can be transformed into countless beautiful compositions. For many
people origami is not simply a pastime. This activity requires skill and
knowledge and is often used in the business world. There are individuals who
get paid to create certain items using the art of origami. In different parts
of the world there are origami competitions where people showcase their work.

Origami is an interesting art. It's difficult to visualize this concept. You
really need to see pictures and diagrams to help you understand how this idea
is applied. There are many books published about origami. You might find some
in the local bookstore or at the library. Crafting magazines may also be a good
source for information on origami. One place you're sure to locate beneficial
material about this ancient activity is on the Internet. With access to a world
database, the Internet will certainly be able to help you locate all you need to
know about the art of folding paper -- origami.

Is Origami For You?

Origami is a fascinating activity which involves folding paper in specific
patterns and sequences to achieve a particular goal. However interesting it may
be for some people doesn't mean origami is for you. This activity requires the
individual to possess or work on certain skills. In order to take on any
origami project you must be patient. These projects take time and you need to
be focused and capable of concentrating. This step-by-step or sequencing
process needs to be followed to the letter. If you aren't someone who likes to
follow instructions, origami is definitely not for you.

How are you with problem solving? How about logical thinking? Both of these
skills are needed in order to make origami, especially advanced origami a
success. The individual needs to be able to look beyond the current step and
know what should come next. They need to be capable of forecasting the outcome
of each step of the origami process. If a mistake is made or a step is skipped,
it is quite helpful if the person can figure out where they went wrong. Again
patience is needed since an origami project or particular portions of the
project may need to be repeated several times.

Other advantages of origami have been seen in people with behavioral issues and
problems interacting with others. Do you fall into either of these categories or
do you know someone who does? If so origami may be able to help. Origami has
been shown to help people develop social skills by taking part in a group
project where they are compelled to help each other. Therapists have found that
origami is a great way to break the ice and build bridges. Origami can make a
person stop and think instead of making rash decisions.

Are you are person who likes to set goals? Are you someone who needs something
to work towards? Origami is a great activity for goal setting. Looking at a
picture of the intended outcome provides the individual with a motive to
complete a project. With each fold they are closer to their goal. Once the
object is finished and the goal is reached, they experience a sense of
achievement. Goal setting is great to teach children as well. Achieving a goal
helps them to feel empowered and equipped for the next new challenge.

Is origami for you? Only you can answer that question. It is certainly worth
trying. You may like it or you may hate it. However if you'd like to learn more
about origami before attempting your first project, why not log onto the
Internet and take a look at just what you are signing up for. There are
hundreds of origami-related websites. Some of these sites are created by people
who use origami as a hobby. Other sites are created by serious origamists,
people who are considered to be origami artists. Browsing the information and
pictures provided on these websites may help you make a decision as to whether
or not origami is right for you.

Uses for Origami

Origami can be used to make more than just a child's toy. Although normally
made out of origami paper you can also use cloth, newspaper, tin foil, gift
wrapping paper, old calendar sheets or magazine pages.

Plate Decorations: Perk up any meal with quick plate decorations. Cranes,
boats, a bird, a house or a flower made from napkins (cloth or paper), paper
towels or any other festive paper you have handy. Fold a large cloth napkin
into a bread basket to keep your rolls warm through your meal. Patterned
napkins or paper towels make attractive shirt or bow tie plate decorations. If
you have some cloth napkins with an oriental print you can make mini kimonos to
grace the plates. Small paper dragons, pigs, rabbits and tigers become chop
stick (or knife) rests, or attach them to your place cards for a decorative
touch that your guests can take with them.

Picnics: A large plastic cloth can be folded into a picnic basket then unfolded
and used as a tablecloth or picnic blanket when you are ready to dine. A few
pages from a magazine and some tin foil will make disposable cups and bowls;
add a wastebasket made from some sheets of newspaper and you have much less to
clean up and little to carry home.

Parties: Foil bowls, food trays, party coasters, party plates and candy dishes,
can all be made from colorful papers, foils, gift wraps and will brighten up any
party. Using paper lace doilies you can make small candy dishes or party favor
wraps for each of your guests. Children love the brightly colored plates and
coasters and they make clean up a breeze.

Table Decorations: Liven up any get together or holiday with table decorations
like parasols (larger ones made from doilies, smaller ones made from paper) and
coasters made from bright floral designed paper. These light airy touches will
make your table a conversation piece.

Just for Fun: Give the kids something to kick start their imaginations. Grab
some newspaper and fold up a few paper hats and airplanes for them to play
with. It's also a pretty safe bet that some of the adults will join them so
better make a couple extra!

Gifts: Colorful paper frames, bandanas or handkerchiefs folded into flowers or
birds, lace envelopes to hold your personal note, delicate lace birds to hold
your valentine, cranes (a symbol of luck) as a mobile or garland like string,
book covers, book marks and dozens of other unusual gifts that you can be sure
they won't get two of!

You can recycle newspaper into containers to hold everything from some snacks
to munch on, to hobby items, to small game and puzzle pieces in your child's
room. You can also recycle paper into a vase or a disposable dust pan. Using a
heavy weight gift wrapping you can make your own boxes that will not only fit
your gift but eliminates the need to wrap a box.

Benefits of Origami

Origami began in China and Japan hundreds of years ago. It is an activity that
has proven to be quite useful in various situations. Origami is an activity
that costs very little but offers individuals a number of benefits. Here is a
concept that requires creativity and imagination. Folding paper may not seem
educational but in reality origami has been proven to improve reading and
writing skills. It's also an activity that works on processing skills. In order
to complete an origami project, an individual must first of all read and
understand the instructions. They are then required to process the information
they've gathered from the written material before beginning the folding steps.
Once the project begins there is a need for logical reasoning as the person
thinks about each fold and the following steps. Origami requires concentration
and teaches people about sequencing.

Sequencing is part of the mathematical side of origami. This activity is used
to work on individual's mathematical skills. Through the various origami
designs and patterns, people are able to work with geometry and also learn
about problem solving. In origami individuals work with measurements, fractions
and symmetry. These are great concepts to practice, particularly in the
classroom. For this reason origami is often used by teachers to demonstrate
various mathematical concepts.

There are numerous benefits of origami. Another great asset of taking part in
this activity is the development of fine motor skills. Many people use origami
to help them get both hands working well together. Some individuals, especially
those who suffer from disabling conditions have problems with their motor
skills. Origami is a great way to improve these skills that are necessary for
daily living.

The art of origami has been shown to help children and adults alike with
essential issues such as self-confidence and social skills. Being able to
complete an elaborate origami project allows the individual to feel proud and
to experience the feeling of success. Realizing they were capable of finishing
an origami composition, based on a set of written instructions is a huge
accomplishment for some people. This procedure may be responsible for
encouraging individuals to break out of their shell and become involved in
group activities.

A good memory is needed for origami. Being demanded to recall specific
sequences will help a person develop their ability to memorize details. Not
only is their memory an important aspect of origami but it's also essential for
the individual to be attentive. In order to complete the perfect project a
person must pay attention to what they are doing. Paying attention and
concentrating demands patience. Origami is not an activity for the impatient
individual. To achieve the intended result several attempts may need to be
made. Without patience the repetitive steps and continuous attempts may become
too much to handle.

Origami may be an inexpensive hobby or teaching tool but it does require
certain qualities in a person. As a teaching tool it can be used to work on
these qualities. As a hobby origami can be used to challenge the individual and
help them develop other skills.

Who Might Enjoy Origami?

There are thousands of people who are interested in crafts. There are thousands
of crafts and crafting ideas worldwide. One craft, often referred to as an art
is origami. This concept was discovered or invented hundreds of years ago in
China and Japan. Although it's unknown exactly where origami was first used,
this activity was and continues to be an important part of the Japanese
culture. An activity that involves folding a piece of paper has been for
generations used both as a pastime and as a challenge. There are very basic
forms of origami and there are very complicated forms of origami. This activity
involves mathematics and creativity.

Who might enjoy origami? The answer to that question is simple -- anyone.
People of all ages for many years have been doing origami projects. One of the
basic forms of this activity is the paper airplane. Thousands of people have
made paper airplanes not knowing they were doing an origami project. In order
to make a perfect paper airplane, it is essential to use exact folds in the
paper. This is what the art of origami is about, making precise folds to create
a specific object.

In the early days when origami was initially discovered, it was used in Germany
by kindergarten students. It also became quite popular in England where children
used it as a hobby. Origami, even for young children is exciting and since it
requires mathematics and much concentration, it can also be very educational.
Because the end result is an object of some sort, it's also exciting for
children because they are anticipating the outcome. Origami takes time which
makes this activity a great pass-time for children. It keeps their minds and
hands occupied.

Origami can be very basic such as the simple folds required for a paper
airplane. However this activity, when used as an art can become very complex.
As people are become interested in origami, they begin to look for more
challenging projects, those that demand plenty of thought, creativity and
imagination. Using mathematics this activity requires the individual to think
logically as well.

Over the years origami has been taken to a whole new level. People are using
this concept to create sculptural art. Individuals who are using this idea as a
form of art are creating their own designs. Many of these origami compositions
are displayed in art galleries. There's enough interest in this activity that
there are origami competitions held. Individuals who are really skilled and
serious about origami work quite hard to design and create complex objects to
be showcased and judged at competitions.

Anyone could enjoy origami if they were interested. It is definitely an
activity that requires interest. The folding process demands careful attention
and without it the intended result would likely not be achieved. Many people
are fascinated with paper folding, from the very young to the very old. This
ancient hobby has transformed into an art that is given plenty of recognition.
If origami sounds like an activity you might be interested in, why not browse
some of the many Internet sites providing details and instructions.

What Can You Make Using Origami?

What you can make using origami depends totally on the level of skill and
knowledge you have about the activity. Origami involves folding a piece of
paper which may seem relatively easy but in actual fact it can become quite
complicated and complex. Not everyone is prepared for the challenges associated
with advanced origami projects. However if the interest is there, an individual
can learn how to do advanced origami. Many people are so fascinated with the
idea that they design their own origami compositions. This would definitely
require knowledge regarding mathematics, as well as creativity and vision.

The very first origami project a person might do, without even knowing it is
making a paper airplane. In order to make a perfect paper airplane there needs
to be precise folds and creases made. The plane needs to be symmetrical which
requires the folds and creases to be identical on both sides of the paper
airplane. This would likely be considered basic origami. Other objects that can
be made with basic origami include a simple box, an envelope and a square
picture frame. These projects can be made with one sheet of paper using a
limited number of folds.

As people develop their origami skills they begin to look for more challenging
objects to try. These objects may include more than one piece of paper and may
require more time and concentration. However using instructions and diagrams
there are many objects a person can make including objects such as a
six-pointed star, a flower, animals and many others. The more practice a person
gets doing origami projects, reading diagrams and understanding instructions,
the better equipped they are to take on more advanced origami projects.

When individuals become really involved in the art of origami they attempt
tougher projects that require several sections. Skilled origamists will take on
projects such as elaborate ships, buildings, people and objects involving
concentration and logical thinking. When people reach this level in origami,
often they begin to design their own compositions. Individuals in this category
might be considered origami artists and have their work entered in competitions
and showcased at art shows and in art galleries. It is amazing at just what can
be created with origami.

Learning the art of origami should certainly begin with basic projects. Reading
books for origami beginners can be a great help. If hoping to read origami
diagrams, there are symbols to learn. If living in an area where origami
classes are taught it might help to sign up. The Internet is a great resource
for origami information from the very basic to the advanced. Many serious
origamists have their own websites showcasing their work and sharing essential
tips and advice about the art of origami. There are websites that have free
origami instructions that can be downloaded and printed for the individual's
use. The more a person searches the Internet for information about origami, the
more they'll learn just how much there is to learn about this fascinating
activity.

Who Uses Origami in Society Today?

The art of origami dates back to the 1600's. First practiced by the Chinese and
Japanese, the art of paper folding was and continues to be popular in many
cultures. When it was originally started, origami instructions were passed on
verbally. Over the years the details and steps required for origami projects
have been written down and/or relayed through diagrams. Folding paper may not
seem to be very challenging but as the projects advance, origami can in fact be
quire complicated and complex.

Who uses origami in society today? No doubt there are many people who still do
origami simply as a pass-time or hobby. For children and adults alike this
activity can provide hours of enjoyment. Origami is great on rainy days and
snow days. Once starting a project, it's difficult to stop until the desired
result is achieved. It may take several attempts but eventually the results
will be top-notch.

Origami has grown in popularity as a teaching tool. Educators and teachers are
using origami in the classroom. This activity has proven to be effective in
teaching children to be patient and attentive. Both of these skills are
necessary in a group as well as in every day living. Origami also teaches
children about problems solving and other aspects of mathematics that are
relative to life. It also encourages children to set goals and work toward
achieving them.

Psychologists and physicians use origami as a therapeutic tool. It has proven
to be successful in the treatment of mental health patients. It helps the
patients to become more relaxed in their environment and with their doctor.
Besides filling many lonely hours in the hospital, origami teaches patients to
get along with and help one another. The art of paper folding can actually
bring people out of their shell and encourage them to participate in
conversation and group activities.

Parents use origami at home to help their children develop different skills.
This activity can help children develop their reading and writing skills. For
young children it can help them learn how to use both hands together. Origami
teaches concentration, patience and problem solving, all imperative to the
growth and development of children. Besides the educational and behavioral
advantages of origami, parents can use this activity to occupy a child who's
bored or lonely. It's an inexpensive activity that a parent and child or
children can do together. This means time spent together and an opportunity to
build a good parent/child relationship.

When people first began practicing the art of origami, they probably had no
idea of the amazing benefits this activity would produce. Likely initially used
as a decoration or simply a way to kill a few hours, origami has been
transformed into an activity that has many magnificent uses. There are books
written about the art of origami and its benefits for various situations. The
Internet has loads of information about the origami. If you'd like to learn
more about this great activity, log onto the worldwide web and start learning.

What Skills are Required for Origami?

Origami is an art or craft that involves folding paper. For people who aren't
familiar with this activity, this may seem juvenile and easy. There are origami
projects that are simple such as making a paper airplane. There are also very
complex origami projects which require many pieces of paper to be folded. Now
it's starting to sound more challenging. Origami can be quite challenging and
it's definitely not an activity that every individual will enjoy or even
attempt.

Learning how to do origami can be as simple as following a set of instructions.
There are many books printed about this activity with step-by-step instructions
for completing specific projects such as a crane or a bird. As long as the
instructions are followed precisely the project should be a success. To insure
an origami composition turns out right, no step can be left out. It's a series
of folding steps that produce the suggested result.

There are plenty of people who are fascinated with the art of origami. In some
cultures, particularly Japan, the art of origami is very significant. Young
children learn origami and whether done simply as a pass-time or as a career,
there are many people who do these activities on a daily basis. Simple origami
doesn't require a whole lot of skill. As long as the person is able to read and
follow basic instructions they have the skills required for origami. However,
there are individuals who create origami designs for businesses and other
commercial reasons these people are generally very creative and artistic.
Patience is essential for the art of origami. Working out the intricate
patterns in different projects can be quite tedious. Not just anyone will have
the patience to continuously fold a piece of paper attempting to create a
particular object. For people who design origami projects, the mathematics of
it all can be very frustrating and again would definitely require a patient
individual.

What skills are required for origami? The only physical skill required for
origami is the ability to fold paper. Most everybody is able to carry out this
activity. However there is certainly a requirement for imagination, creativity,
mathematical knowledge and patience. The challenging aspects of origami require
much thought and logic. Actually folding paper is not difficult but depending
on the level of origami, completing an entire project can be tough.

Origami is an activity that can be learned if the individual is interested.
There are books printed with details and instructions for hundreds of origami
projects. These projects range from very basic to complex. Learning the art of
origami can definitely result in hours of fun and enjoyment. It's a great way
to pass away a few hours and create something beautiful at the same time. If
wanting to learn about origami you can likely find books or magazines at a
bookstore of craft store. The Internet is also a great resource when searching
for information on origami. There are plenty of sites that provide beneficial
material on the art of origami.

What Materials are Needed for Origami?

Origami is an activity requiring just one physical material -- paper. With just
one piece of paper an individual can create numerous beautiful and complex
compositions. They type of paper used for origami would depend on the project.
For simple projects such as a paper airplane or a crane, normal copy paper
(19-24lbs) is sufficient. For people who are learning this art, using normal
copy paper would likely be a smart idea since it would be less-expensive than
buying fancy origami paper.

For many projects, heavy paper (approx. 25lbs) is required for origami art. Not
only is this activity done with dry paper but often individuals make wet folds
which does, require a heavy paper. Wet folding in origami is a technique used
when the creator is attempting a rounded piece or work. The wet paper allows
for sculpting. When the object dries, it is sturdy.

There are special papers made for origami. This paper is often called kami,
which is the Japanese word for paper. Kami can be bought in various sizes from
2.5cm to 35cm and more. These square pieces of origami paper generally are
prepackaged. Origami paper usually weighs less than copy paper allowing it to
be used for all sorts of projects. This special paper can be bought in many
different colors, usually with one side white and the other colored. Origami
paper can also be bought with both sides colored (usually two different colors)
and with designs and patterns on it.

Complex projects frequently used different types of foil paper in origami. One
type, usually sold commercially is foil-back paper. This particular paper is
very strong and provides an excellent working base for complex origami. There
are also tissue foils that can be used for origami. Tissue foils are usually
glued to both sides of a piece of aluminum foil to make a piece of origami
paper.

There are stronger types of origami paper on the market. The Japanese use a
paper called Washi which is made from various wood fibers and is stronger than
paper made from wood pulp. Since origami is popular in Japan, a paper such of
this would certainly be beneficial. There are other special papers which are
made to be durable but flexible for thin, narrow pieces in projects.

Since paper is the only material needed for origami, it is essential to have
the right type for the intended composition. Because origami is time consuming
and often includes tiny objects, it's important to have paper that can
withstand the process. Having the perfect paper for origami is the same as
having the perfect canvass for a painting. Without it, the individual cannot be
certain of success.

Who ever knew that folding paper could be so complicated? For those interested
in origami, it isn't complicated but challenging. If setting out to create
something, the perfect paper is necessary. Where would you find origami paper?
Sometimes craft stores have origami kits for beginners which would include
paper and instructions. Depending on the store, they may also carry a selection
of origami paper. Perhaps the best place to find information about and to buy
origami paper is on the Internet. A simple search with a search engine will
quickly link you to an origami paper source.

Basic Origami Folds Terms & Techniques

As with any other craft origami has its own terms and techniques. Here are some
basic horizontal and vertical folds. It is very important to keep all your folds
crisp and clean.

The Book -- fold a piece of paper (rectangular or square) down the middle
vertically making certain the opposite edges line up one on top of the other.
For many origami figures you will need to add another book figure -- open the
paper and make another fold across the middle horizontally again, making sure
the edges lie one on top of the other. If you don't open the book before making
the second fold you end up with the handkerchief fold which gives you a small
square with four layers of paper one on top of the other.

The Cupboard -- using a square piece of paper make the book fold then open the
paper and take each outside edge and fold it to the center line. By bringing
each edge over to the next line you will end up making even more equal vertical
strips.

The Fan -- with either a square or rectangular piece of paper fold a Cupboard.
Open the Cupboard; three valley folds (downward angles) divide the Cupboard
into four equal sized strips. Turn the figure over; fold the edges onto the
outer lines making two mountain folds. Turn the figure over and refold the
Cupboard. Turn the Cupboard over once again and fold the edges into the middle
line resulting in two mountain folds (upward angles). Fold up the figure and
you have made an eight fold fan with alternating mountain and valley folds,
also called an accordion fold.

The Lattice -- make a Cupboard from a square piece of paper. Open the Cupboard
and repeat the procedure folding in a horizontal direction. Open the paper and
you have the Lattice. It is 16 equal sized squares used to make boxes, houses
and simple animal bodies.

The Shawl -- Make a diagonal fold down the middle of a square piece of paper
making sure your edges and corners lay on top of each other. If you need a
second diagonal fold open the sheet of paper completely before starting the
second fold to get a more exact line.

The Envelope -- using a square piece of paper make diagonal folds down the
center in both directions. Open the paper and bring each corner up to the
middle.

The Picture Frame -- First make the Envelope. Open the envelope; turn each
corner up to the outer diagonal line. Now fold the four corners inward and you
have a picture frame.

Heaven and Hell -- Fold an Envelope. Turn the Envelope over and fold each
corner up into the center again. Turn the figure over and you will see pockets
on the other side. Open these pockets. This figure was dubbed Heaven and Hell
because it was usually made on red and blue paper. This particular fold can be
used for making simple hand puppets and animal heads

Origami as a Hobby

Are you looking for a new and interesting hobby? Have you tried crafts such as
knitting, cross-stitching, building model cars or paint-by-number? Are you
finding your current hobby isn't challenging you or perhaps it's too expensive
to continue? There are many reasons people decide to choose a new hobby. One
enjoyable and inexpensive hobby to consider is origami. Origami is an ancient
idea that began in the early 1600's. This activity began in either China or
Japan. The exact location is still unknown. However Japan is recognized for its
highly developed origami art. What originally began as a pastime has been
transformed into a form of art that is admired by many.

Origami involves making a given number of folds and creases in a single piece
of paper. This can be achieved in basic origami projects such as a paper
airplane or demonstrated in complex origami projects such as spaceships. How
deeply involved in origami as a hobby an individual would like to become
depends totally on their interest. Origami as a hobby can be time-consuming if
a person gets into the advanced forms of the art.

Origami can begin as a hobby but turn into an obsession. Some people get so
involved in their projects and developing their origami skills. Once they begin
to design their own origami compositions, people find themselves entering
contests and competitions to showcase their work. Going beyond the point of
using origami as a hobby can put a person in the category of a serious origami
artist. This is great if that is what the individual wants and enjoys.

When a person chooses origami as a hobby, they are choosing an activity with
plenty of hidden benefits. Unknown to them perhaps, they are choosing to
develop skills in awareness, concentration, patience and creativity. This is a
great hobby for children to be involved it. It helps them develop reading and
writing skills, teaches them about sequencing, as well as teaching them to
concentrate, be patient, be attentive and use their imagination. Because
children tend to change their minds quite often, choosing origami as a hobby is
a smart choice since it is relatively inexpensive. If the child tries it for
awhile and decides they don't like it, there is no big concern about the
initial investment for materials. To get a child started with origami, using
plain computer paper would be a good idea. Until you are certain it is
something they'd like to continue, perhaps you should stick with using
inexpensive paper.

If you think you'd like to try origami as a hobby, the Internet is a great
source of information regarding this activity. There are hundreds of sites
filled with valuable tips and advice about choosing and completing origami
projects. There are sites which provide free origami diagrams and instructions
for you to download and print. There are sites where you can buy origami
materials and order books written by serious origamists. Using search engines
such as Google and Yahoo can quickly link you to a world of beneficial
information about the art of origami.

Therapy Using Origami

Origami has proven to be a beneficial therapy tool for both physical and mental
or emotional patients. Origami has been used as a bridging therapy, an
icebreaker and as a relaxation technique before other therapy sessions. The
folding process provides a great work out for exercising the hands and fingers
and the mind.

Origami is definitely convenient, it can be practiced anywhere anytime, indoors
or out, without the need for a lot of specialized equipment. The only
requirement is that you have paper of any sort, origami paper, plain paper,
newspaper, gift-wrapping paper; even sheets from an old calendar will work. It
has also proven to be a wonderful form of non-verbal communication. You don't
need specialized skills.

Origami works wonders with patients who have emotional and mental problems,
with its eye-catching colors, shapes and
papers. It's not the kind of activity that is restrictive or threatening. This
can be really important if you are dealing with patients with emotional and
mental problems. It's easy to learn and safe. There are no scissors or other
cutting tools necessary, a good thing if you are working with people who are
unpredictable or aggressive or who have shown to have self-harming tendencies.
It's also very affordable and a good way to recycle paper.

Origami give patients a number of choices including color, pattern and the
ability to design an great number of different figures ranging from the very
simple to the extremely complex. It gives the patients the option to act as
observer or participant, to practice alone or in a group. Origami provides much
needed psychological support; the participant gets a feeling of acceptance
because the instructor can take the time to demonstrate each move and he feels
connected when he realizes that he is part of a group. He also sees that the
origami staff is very approachable and he can ask that they stop and provide
some personal assistance at any time.

One of the more positive aspects of origami is the number of desirable
behaviors it promotes. Positive social interaction, verbal and non-verbal
communication, problem solving ability, goal setting, patience, creativity,
interest and involvement in a hobby, while t the same time providing fun and
relaxation. The positive reinforcement and feedback develop the ability and
desire in the patients to share their feelings as well as knowledge.

Therapists will find when they observe groups doing origami that the patients
are opening up more, asking questions, providing comments of his own,
requesting a chance to make other figures, really participating. The length of
time the patient stays involved in the activity and the amount of prompting he
requires will give the therapist an idea of the extent of his ability to
concentrate. The therapist can also look for improvements in hand-eye
coordination, communication skills, cooperation with others, willingness to
teach others, reaction to difficult projects, ability to complete tasks, taking
an interest in socializing and an increase in the ability to focus. They will
also find the patients calmer and more relaxed.




Therapeutic Advantages of Origami

Origami has been proven to possess therapeutic advantages. The activity is been
used to help individuals with psychological aspects such as feelings of
acceptance. People who are having emotional and mental problems sense a feeling
of acceptance while being taught the art of origami. Realizing someone is
willing to take the time to teach and show them how to do this activity
promotes positive emotions. When origami is demonstrated in a group setting, it
helps the troubled individual experience a sense of belonging. It enables them
to interact with others and connect with people who they can relate to. It's
also a bonus when origami is being taught by a psychologist because any time a
person feels the need to share their feelings, there's a professional there to
intervene.

The art of origami is effective in promoting positive behavior. In a group
setting it helps an individual learn how to act appropriately in a social
environment. This would be good for children who are having trouble
communicating or getting along with other children. This activity requires
patience and so it teaches people how to be patient. Again this would be
beneficial for children. Origami involves problem solving and this is a skill
that is needed daily by individuals of all ages. Getting people interested in
activities such as origami encourages people to develop a hobby where they can
be creative and be involved in a group activity.

The therapeutic advantages of origami are amazing. To be able to take a simple
concept such as paper folding and watch it make a difference in people's lives
is awesome. Origami is a learning experience that incorporates communication
skills and problem solving skills. It's also a great activity to promote goal
setting. Finishing an origami project takes time but the results are beautiful
and fulfilling. Seeing the outcome of the project in a picture and working
toward it provides an individual with a goal. It's important to have goals in
life and it's great that an activity such as origami can help a person learn
about it. Origami provides an opportunity to relax and have fun. The enjoyment
that goes along with this activity is definitely good therapy.

Not everyone is quick to open up and share their feelings with another
individual, even a psychologist or other medical professional. It's essential
that the person administering help and advice present a non-threatening image.
Origami can be used as a means of breaking the ice, a warming up technique. It
can help the patient and psychologist find mutual ground. Origami can be used
to bridge the gap between patient and doctor. This will certainly make it
easier for the patient to be comfortable and more inclined to share their
feelings and work on their problems. It is imperative that a doctor and patient
develop a good relationship. Not everyone is willing to discuss emotional issues
and/or psychological problems. If origami helps to build a bridge that leads to
healing, it can definitely be considered a therapeutic advantage.

Educational Benefits of Origami

No doubt it's difficult for a teacher to continuously make a subject, such as
math interesting for their students. Many students, especially younger children
find mathematics boring. One great way to spice up a math class is to introduce
the art of origami. This activity will ensure the students have fun while
learning many beneficial and educational things. First of all origami can be
used as a history lesson and a look into other cultures such as the Japanese
culture. This activity is very prominent in Japan and students can learn how
this activity is used and why it is important there.

Educational benefits of origami include learning how to listen and be
attentive. In order to ensure success in an origami project, the student must
listen carefully to instructions and pay very close attention to their actions.
Origami requires precision and neatness which will demand the student to be
focused. These learning tools will teach a student to have pride in their work
which will in turn promote self-esteem.

The art of origami has the potential to teach children cooperative learning.
This too is an important lesson in the classroom as well as in life. Learning
how to communicate and interact with others is essential. Origami is an
activity that encourages students to help others. Some children will catch on
to origami faster than others. Helping other students can promote feelings of
pride and self-esteem. Of course the positive interaction is quite beneficial.

The mathematics of origami is significant. Using this activity is definitely an
educational benefit in the area of math. Using just a single, flat piece of
paper, the students will create objects that are three dimensional. This will
require the students to use logical reasoning and explore mathematical aspects
such as symmetry, algebra and geometry. The students, while doing origami will
be learning these concepts perhaps without even realizing it. The art of paper
folding involves the use of these three mathematical concepts which when
practiced are educational benefits.

Origami encourages cognitive development. Practicing the art of origami
requires students to use their motor skills. Using both hands; working
together, the student must learn how to manipulate the paper to achieve their
goal. The student must repeatedly carry out certain steps in order reach the
suggested result. These actions require memory and motor skills, both necessary
for the project and in every day life.

The educational benefits of origami are great. This activity when used in the
classroom or in a school teaches students how to behave and get along in a
group setting. It's also a terrific project to work on as a group activity and
goal. It's imperative to teach students to maintain a healthy relationship with
other students. It's essential to teach a group of students how to use their
individual skills to achieve one goal.

To learn more about the educational benefits of origami, you can find plenty of
valuable information on the Internet. Because this activity is being recognized
for its many advantages, there is plenty of written material available both
printed and on the Internet. Using one of the Internet's search engines, you
can quickly be linked to a world of origami details.

The Origins of Origami

It is very difficult to try to determine the history of origami since not even
the experts can agree on what or where it was. While most people think of
Origami as being a strictly Japanese art form, many say it actually has it's
roots in China going all the way back to the first or second century. Back in
those early days paper was so rare and expensive that origami was a pastime
reserved for the wealthy. Certain set shapes were fashioned from folded paper
for special occasions like weddings, while serrated strips of white paper were
used to adorn sacred objects in the shrines, a practice that continues to this
day. There wasn't a lot of origami just as an art form at that time.

In Japan from the early 1600's through the late 1800's, several forms of
entertainment were developed for the common people; origami, now as an art form
was one of those entertainments. The popularity of origami was due in part to
its simplicity and the fact that there was no need for special tools. The
popularity of origami continued to grow through about the middle of the 19th
century then, except for ceremonial usage it's popularity started to decline
during the modernization of Japan.

It has been argued by some people that since paper was invented in China
in105AD that logically paper folding must have followed shortly after. On the
other hand, since there are no known records of Chinese paper folding and the
oldest Japanese records only go back to the 18th century some still believe
that the invention must have
been Japanese.

Buddhist monks brought paper with them to Japan in the late 6th century along
with the art of paper folding. Although paper was very expensive it was still
used quite extensively in Japan especially in its architecture with paper
screens, doors etc. The Shinto religion incorporated the use of origami in its
ceremonies and these shapes have remained unchanged for centuries.

Although the experts can't agree on where origami originated, most of them
agree that the Japanese are the ones who developed the traditional art form.
This art form was passed down from generation to generation with nothing in
writing. Due to all information being passed on orally, only the simplest
designs were passed on. Around the year1797 the first written instructions
appeared. The publication they were in was called the Senbazuru Orikata
(Thousand Crane Folding). It was followed nearly 50 years later with an
encyclopedia that contained a full collection of these figures.

Modern origami has progressed to what it is today in great part due to a man
named Yoshizawa Akira who in the early 1950's published books containing all
new figures. In collaboration with San Randlett, an American, he developed the
diagram symbols that are still used today. Today Yoshizawa is remembered as the
grandmaster of origami and there are thousands of origami lovers worldwide.
Thanks to the development of the diagram symbols it has been easier to record
the instructions for the new shapes as they come along ensuring future
generations of the information.

The Mathematics of Origami

If you have ever held a piece of origami in your hand you have in all
probability been at least tempted to open it just to see how the folding was
done. The geometry involved in the piece is something you could easily see in
the creases displayed on the opened paper.

Scientists and artists have studied these geometric aspects as well as
origamists and mathematicians. Mathematicians throughout time have developed
ways to use geometry to define origami; they have designed highly sophisticated
models using fundamental theorems. They have studied and found amazing
similarities between tessellations and origami (tessellations is the name for a
figure comprised of a shape that is repeated over and over again with no gaps or
overlap when fitted to a flat surface). Teachers around the world have used
origami to teach different concepts in chemistry, physics and architecture as
well as math.

Origami construction is defined as the folding of paper using the raw edges,
points of the paper and any creases or points subsequently created by those
folds. The folded paper is seen as both an art piece and a geometric form. The
folds produce varying sizes of triangles, rectangles and other shapes. A single
fold can bisect and angle twice or as in the case of a reverse fold, make 4
triangles at once.

When the first steps to making a figure are applied to other figures, resulting
in a number of figures having common shapes, the common shapes are called bases.
There are several established bases such as the bird, the kite, the windmill and
the water-bomb to name a few. Modern origami relies heavily on these existing
bases alone and in combination when designing new figures. As an example the
kite base is used to make quite a few of the different zoo animals. Studying
the creases of existing models has led to the creation of many new models.
These creases show definite patterns of triangles, rectangles and other shapes.
The geometric study of the crease lines over the last twenty-five years has
paved the way for the discovery of new bases. Not all designs are combinations
or parts of other bases; some like the box pleat are completely original.

Some origamists saw the base as a set of areas each independent of the other
differing only in their length and arrangement. With this in mind they went on
to develop computer programs that are capable of doing all the math necessary
to generate crease patterns for any base from a given length and area
arrangement. With the aid of computer programs using intricate mathematical
theorems origami has become as much a puzzle as a piece of art. Mathematical
origamists are now designing more and more complex, realistic models still
sticking to the simple rule of one sheet of paper with no cuts. These programs
are also used to solve problems involving getting large pieces of paper folded
to fit a specific sized flat surface.

Origami in Spain

The Spanish philosopher Miguel Unamuno wrote an essay on origami from a
philosophical point of view. Miguel discovered the bird base and then
discovered the sideways turn which enabled him to produce a string of birds and
animals. His figures were quite angular and without the graceful forms of the
later origamists. Fortunately for Miguel the ban on representational origami
that had been in effect had expired or he would not have been allowed to design
these birds and animals. Miguel went on to create original models including
vultures and gorillas. Paper folding was virtually unheard of outside of Spain
and Argentina at this point in time but by the 1030's Miguel's followers had
helped to spread his art to the people of South America. Origami in Germany

The German founder of the Kindergarten Movement, Friedrich Froebel brought
paper folding into the kindergarten classroom primarily as an entertainment for
the children. The children were taught three types of paper folding. The first
was mathematical origami. The second, was the traditional origami and the
third, was primarily decorative origami. The word origami was never used at
this time; the activity was referred to as Papierfalten (paper folding). It
wasn't until after his death that his followers spread the art of origami
throughout Germany.

Origami in the East

There is still debate as to whether paper folding had spread from Japan to
China or from China to Japan. Those who feel it was originated in China believe
that the Chinese had been practicing the craft as far back as the second century
and it didn't reach Japan until around the 6th century. Regardless of whether
origami originated in China or Japan the one thing that is agreed upon is that
it was initially a pastime reserved for the wealthy. Because paper was so
expensive it wasn't something that was within the reach of the middle and lower
classes. As the Chinese trade expanded and paper became more affordable the
craft became something to be enjoyed by people of all classes. Origami in the
West

The art of Paper folding was brought to Spain by the Moors and Muslims of North
Africa, however, because their religion did not allow the making of any
representative figures, the Spanish were instructed on more of the geometric
and ceremonial aspects of the craft. There was a good deal of ceremonial
origami but the artistic aspects of the craft stayed undeveloped until the ban
was eventually lifted.

In the early years in the western nations origami was looked at as a child's
pastime and even the books that dealt with the subject were aimed at
youngsters. In Victorian England children loved origami. They practiced origami
in the classrooms and there were even children's stories like Lewis Carroll's
Through the Looking Glass that contained drawings of origami hats (a pillbox
and a three cornered hat). Again as time went on the art spread to adults who
became fascinated either by its artistic or its mathematical features.

Origami Expresses Individuality

Origami, considered the Japanese art of paper folding has long been and
continues to be a fun and educational activity. There are different levels of
origami from very basic to extremely complex. Little did you know that when you
were making a paper airplane as a child, you were doing an origami project. This
is an example of basic origami. Many people's interest in folding paper stops at
the paper airplane. However for many other people, origami is quite fascinating.
These people take their interest to more advanced origami projects.

Origami falls in the category or art. Of course it's common knowledge
that art is a way for a person to express themselves. Through art
projects such as origami, a person's individuality is revealed. This can be
accomplished by using the origami skills you have and designing your very own
composition. For the many people who work tirelessly on their compositions, the
end result certainly brings a sense of accomplishment.

Designing origami requires vision. An individual must be capable of visualizing
what the outcome ought to look like before making a single fold. It is then up
to the artist to figure out what steps or folds needs to be made in order to
accomplish their goal. This definitely requires plenty of thought,
concentration and problem solving. It allows the individual to devise their own
plan and create a plan of their own to achieve the final outcome.

Origami expresses individuality when an artist chooses to use different papers
and colors. Although a project might be similar in style to another, it can be
made unique by using alternate techniques for example, by using wet folds
instead of dry folds. Wet folding permits the artist to sculpt the origami
project to satisfy their personal objectives. To make a composition more
interesting an artist might choose patterned paper or foil-backed paper. There
are many things an artist can do to express their individuality.

Serious origami artists often compete in competitions. Here is a place, a
competition, where people showcase origami that expresses individuality. This
is an opportunity to compare their work with other artists. It's also a great
place to get new ideas that can later be used to create individual pieces. Art
galleries frequently display origami work. Again, this is another good source
for new ideas and techniques.

The Internet has many sites related to the art of origami. Many serious artists
have websites of their own where they showcase their creations. These sites will
certainly have vivid photos of origami that expresses individuality. You may be
surprised at the objects that can actually be made using origami. You'll be
amazed as you browse the various origami-related sites. If you are interested
in learning how to do this activity or if you are looking for new ideas, it
would be worthwhile to log on to the Internet and begin searching. With
websites created by people worldwide, you'll be tapping into the best in the
art of origami.

Notable Origamists

Yoshizawa, a Japanese artist helped revive the art of origami when he developed
a process of dampening the paper so he could mold sculptural forms. He called
the process "wet folding". With his geometric skills, great imagination and
precision he created magnificent dragons, elephants and birds using a single
sheet of paper. His directions for folding have been cited in a great number of
origami primers. Yoshizawa received world recognition in the 1950's and later
was the cultural ambassador for Japan.

Issey Miyake is a fashion designer who's unique style merged eastern fashion
with western by incorporating the concepts of origami into his creations. In
1993 he designed two clothing lines, one called "Pleats Please" and the other
"A POC" (A Piece of Cloth). Pleats Please was a clothing style that allowed for
unrestricted movement without the fabric losing its shape. A POC was a piece of
cloth that was woven from a single thread. This was accomplished by a weaving
machine that was programmed by a computer. The A POC wasn't released
commercially until 1999. In 2006, the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Literature for
lifetime achievement was awarded to Miyake for his designs, this being the
first time the award was ever given to a fashion designer.

While he was still in kindergarten Hojo Takashi was introduced to origami for
the first time. Later when he was in junior high he read the book Viva Origami
that showed him the vast possibilities of the art of origami and increased his
dedication to the art. Throughout his lifetime he has used the wet folding
techniques invented by Yoshizawa and created unique figures with soft curves
that have had a great emotional impact of the people who see them.

Unusual Uses for Origami

Furniture: Dakota Jackson designed a chair for the Lane Company, called the
Coda, that was made from folded paper. Recently a chair, whose base is actually
the packaging it is shipped in was developed using principles of origami. This
was done in an effort to cut down on the amount of packing material that had to
be disposed of. Just unfold the packaging to form the base of the chair, add the
cushions and covers that are packed inside and your chair is ready for use with
nothing that has to be thrown out or recycled.

Buildings: Fumihiko Maki designed the Kirishima International Concert Hall.
This hall was built using the architect's trademark brushed silver surfaces and
was located on a secluded mountain site. In a style that resembled an origami
figure the building had "folded" stainless steel planes that peaked into one of
his "cloud" roofs. Yokohama International Port Terminal which was designed by
Foreign Office Architects is another building that had a steel plate ceiling
that resembled folded origami paper.

Therapy: Origami has been used in both physical and mental therapy sessions. It
has been found to be flexible and convenient, readily accepted, simple, safe and
helpful for evaluating things like concentration levels, degrees of cooperation
and ability to solve problems. It is also useful as a relaxation tool.

Modern Origami

Traditional origami has always been shrouded in secrecy, with instruction being
given orally and passed down from generation to generation. Modern origamists
regard their models as designs that deserve recognition, meant to be seen and
appreciated.

Uchiyama Koko, one of the early modern origamists went so far as to patent his
models. Many modern origamists believe that the folding sequences should be
viewed as intellectual property. Modern origami holds the creativity of the
designers in high regard and has a great appreciation for the folders. One of
the most important aspects of modern origami is that the models can be easily
reproduced. The diagrams of the folding sequence correspond to the models
themselves and having the complete sequence in the exact order is vital to the
folder who needs to recreate the model the way it was meant to be. What
diagrams there were in the traditional origami did not always show the complete
sequences.

Modern origamists prefer to use the pure single sheet origami. Using only
Origami paper, no glue, and no scissors. Using more than one sheet of paper is
acceptable only if all the sheets of paper were the same size and no glue was
used in the process.

In the 50's and 60's a group comprised of creators and folders established and
international origami group to promote the popularity of origami. This group
went on to form local as well as national organizations and also published the
models of American, Japanese and European designers. Artistic Origami

To the mathematicians and modern origamists origami is a puzzle. They see
squares, triangles and rectangles that they can manipulate geometrically. They
see competition as to who can develop the most intricate design. On the other
hand the artistic origamists are more concerned with the figure's
expressiveness and creativity. They are concerned only with the beauty of the
model and don't intend their pieces to be done over and over again by others.
The artistic origamist's concern is bringing out the expression of the paper.
The paper itself is extremely important to their work. They employ methods like
wet folding, cutting edges or making their own paper. Unlike the mathematician
or even the modern origamist they are not concerned with sequences or the
ability to reproduce any model. They feel it is their design and their
expression and it is meant to be seen and appreciated not mass produced. Also
since every folder has a slightly different touch and technique an artistic
origamist's piece would be almost impossible to duplicate.

Many of the Origami models back in the Edo era were made possible only due to
the use of Washi. Washi is a very strong Japanese paper, which unlike the
western papers didn't tear easily when being folded. Without the Washi paper
the folders would have been unable to do models such as The Catfish or the
Water Lily. Besides the creativity and the expressiveness the folder's
sincerity was an important factor when it came to ceremonial origami.

What is Money Origami?

What is money origami? Money origami involves the art of folding paper money.
This may not sound too difficult. After all how much could a person actually
make with a tiny dollar bill? Well over the years many people have taken on the
challenge of money origami projects. Using the same principles that apply to
paper origami, individuals have learned how to make clever and unique objects
using money origami.

Some of the objects that have been successful created using money origami are a
spider, a butterfly, a shirt, a sailboat, a ring, a serpent, a valentine, just
to name a few. What would cause a person to begin money origami? It could be a
number of things. Perhaps while sitting in a restaurant waiting on the waiter
the customer pulls out a paper bill and begins playing around with it. Students
who are bored in the classroom look for things to occupy their minds and time.
Why not make something out of their lunch money? Why this idea was started
we're not sure but money origami can certainly pass time.

What type of bill can be used in money origami? The answer is to this question
is simple -- any currency is suitable for money origami. So it doesn't matter
which airport or restaurant you are waiting in, you can always pull out a paper
bill and attempt money origami. Instead of visiting the gift shops and spending
money, you can sit back, play with your money and save in the process.

Money origami may not sound very interesting to some people but to others it is
quite fascinating and a reason to continue looking for new objects to make with
their money. For people who are familiar with the art of origami, money origami
is not a new concept. However for those who know little about origami, they may
be astounded to see what can actually be made from a single dollar bill. It's
amazing what a dollar bill can get you by simply making a few simple folds.

There is plenty of available material about origami including books and
publications about money origami. If you are interested in learning about the
art of origami or are intrigued by money origami, there is plenty of written
material circulating. If you visit the local library or bookstore and are
unsuccessful in finding reading material about money origami or origami in
general, you might want to continue your search on the Internet. Because the
Internet provides worldwide access to data, you may be able to learn about
origami from some of the greatest origami artists. You could also access
information regarding the history of origami and its cultural values in various
parts of the world including Japan and China. It's always exciting to learn new
ideas. Once a person becomes interested in an activity such as money origami
they generally want to learn all there is to know about it. The Internet is
definitely your greatest database regarding money origami.

Origami is Good for You

Origami, the art of paper folding has proven to be so much more than just a
beautiful craft idea. Origami is good for you. This realization has been taken
to the classroom and used by many teachers to broaden the student's way of
thinking. Origami compels the student to develop skills in an interesting way.
This activity teaches skills that are necessary and beneficial in every day
living.

Patience is something that we all need to learn. Each and every day, whether at
school, at work, at home or at the grocery store, people need to practice
patience. This is difficult for some individuals, especially for the child who
is waiting their turn for the swing for example. Origami can be used to instill
this importance of patience in both children and adults alike. Because this
activity requires careful attention and precise folds, it cannot be rushed if
hoping to achieve the intended result. One must be very patient when attempting
an origami project.

Attentiveness or awareness is also essential in our daily existence. Whatever
environment we find ourselves in it is important to be aware of the situation
and activity around you. The art of origami teaches people to be aware and to
pay attention. This is imperative in order to complete an origami project
accurately. In a group setting the instructions are normally relayed by one
person for example a teacher or instructor. To know which folds to make, the
student or individual needs to listen attentively. This is a good practice for
anyone.

Origami is great for fine tuning motor skills. This activity requires an
individual to use their hands, both hands to fold the paper in order to achieve
their goal. Our hands are needed to do just about everything. Origami would be
beneficial for people who are experiencing difficulties with their hands,
especially where fine motor skills are required.

Sequencing is important to learn. No matter what activity a person sets out to
do there are steps to be taken. If the third step is taken before the first,
it's unlikely the outcome will be favorable. Let's use baking a cake for
example. First of all the ingredients need to go in the bowl, then they need to
be mixed adequately and then put in a pan to bake. If the ingredients were all
thrown into the baking pan without first of all being mixed, the result would
be a mess not a cake. The same idea works with origami. If steps are skipped
the results would be less than expected.

Origami is good for kids and their self-esteem. Kids are easily intimidated by
other kids. Being able to complete an origami project can be gratifying for
children. Realizing they independently created a work of art can make them
proud. Not only will they feel proud but they may feel equipped to take on
projects that otherwise may have been avoided. There'll definitely come a day
when everyone will be demanded to work independently. Origami projects are good
for you.

Origami for Children

As far back as the mid 1800's it was discovered that origami was a delightful
project for young children. Besides teaching eye hand coordination and
developing concentration the child had a toy they had made themselves when they
were finished.

With practice a child of any age can even create a number of the more advanced
figures.

For young children there is often the satisfaction of being able to fold a
piece of paper into a figure that they aren't yet capable of drawing. Origami
teaches children much more than just how to make cute toys. They learn
dexterity, they learn to listen and follow directions. They learn creativity
and perception and surprisingly they learn to relax. In a world
where so much is rushed, sitting quietly and folding paper figures can bring a
sense of balance and peace
to even young children.

When doing origami with young children it is important to remember certain
things:

 1. Practice folding the figures you plan to teach them yourself so you can pick
    out the steps that may cause them problems.

 2. Some figures may need to be slightly simplified for younger children. Maybe
    just leaving out the final finishing steps will help.

 3. Have a light friendly workplace for the children and plenty of materials

 4. Be sure to explain each fold in simple words, showing them (possibly on a
    large piece of paper) what they need to do each step of the way.

 5. You want to be sure the children understand what they need to do and make
    sure you give them enough time to work it out themselves -- don't jump in 
    too quickly to help them.

 6. Let them try to fix their own mistakes without too much assistance. Let them
    know they can "try again" as many times as they need.

 7. Children enjoy the repetition and they need time and repetition to work
    things out.

 8. Praise, praise and more praise -- if the figure is somewhat crooked or a
    little wrinkled, so what?

 9. Let the child express what he thinks of his piece. Everyone has different
    taste and opinions as to what is nice.

10. Children and abstract forms don't always mix well. If it helps to let them
    color or paint faces on their animals -- let them!

Some tips for beginners -- pick a well lighted relaxing area to work in, start
with simple figures and work your way up (some figures will have both simple
and advanced instructions for the same animal). Don't use really good paper to
start with and for true beginners one of the best pieces of advice is to start
with a larger piece of paper than what is called for. Make your folds as sharp
and precise as possible, press down on the center of the fold with one finger
then run a finger from your other hand across the fold in both directions. You
can give your piece a somewhat different look or create an entirely different
piece just by making a fold in a slightly different place.

Computational Origami

Origami is art. It is birds and animals and flowers. It is decoration for your
dinner table or a basket to carry your picnic. It's a paper hat
or boat to bring a smile to a small child. It's a container for storing your
odds and ends. It's a clever presentation for a gift. Origami is mathematics.
It is a puzzle, a challenge and an aid to teaching. Origami is therapy, its
relaxation; it increases dexterity and develops patience. Origami is a lot of
things. Now there is Computational Origami, an inspiration and a problem solver
for commercial and industrial products.

Robert Lang is a physicist and origamist in California. He understood that some
engineering problems resulted from the need to fold a large piece of material,
without cutting it, and make it fit a flat surface, which is what origami is
all about. One day Lang was approached by a German engineering company that had
a problem and was hoping he had a solution. They had a very large airbag that
needed to be fit into a small compartment in the steering wheel. Lang already
had procedures designed for a computer to follow to flatten a set of polygons.
He then applied those procedures to a three dimensional simulation of a large
airbag resulting in a way to fold the airbag so that it would fit into the
space allotted.

A professor of electrical engineering and computer science, Erik Demaine, is
hoping that using computational origami to examine the way proteins fold will
lead to a method of designing custom proteins that will fight diseases like
Cystic Fibrosis. Although computational origami could be an effective tool in
finding the how's and why's of proteins structures and their sequences,
unfortunately, the computers available at this time don't have the speed and
capacity that will be required to compare and map all the possibilities.

Cell phones keep getting smaller. More and more options are being added to cell
phones. The cell phone is no longer just an instrument used to call for a tow
truck. You can still make phone calls but you can also text message, take still
photos, take video photos, listen to your favorite music or watch your favorite
movie. One of the problems the manufacturer faced was that the consumer liked
the small size of the phones but didn't want to have to watch a movie on a
two-inch screen. Enter computational origami and the development of a small
cell phone, which has a screen that unfolds when the phone is opened and folds
back up when the case is closed. The same technology is being applied to a
portable DVD player.

Another product that uses the origami basics is a small portable unit about the
size of a camcorder that can be folded and pivoted in different ways to perform
eight electronic functions including digital camera, PDA or a videoconference
terminal.

All kinds of containers and shipping boxes are cut from a single piece of
cardboard, shipped flat and folded into shape when needed. One company even
makes chairs that are self-contained. The packaging is part of the chair. When
it arrives, you unfold the packaging, which forms the frame of the chair,
remove the cushions and covers that were packed inside and you have a chair
with no extra packing that has to be disposed of.

Finding More Information about Origami

Origami, initially used as a hobby or pastime has various uses in today's
society. This art form is still enjoyed by many as a hobby however it has found
a place in other different areas. Because it includes mathematics, origami is
used in schools to teach children. Using origami as a teaching tool helps to
make learning math more enjoyable. This activity is also used by medical
professionals for various types of therapy including therapies for mental
health patients. Origami is also used in the technical world as well.

Where would people find information about origami? Since origami is primarily
considered art or crafting, a good place to look for details might be in an
arts and crafts store. A store such as this usually sells a selection of any
and all crafting activities. A store such as this will likely sell origami
materials and instruction booklets. If visiting an arts and crafts store and
learning they do not carry origami supplies, it's likely a salesperson can
point the individual in the right direction.

Information about origami can probably be obtained from a library. Since this
activity is used by many people in society, the library will certainly carry
some literature about it. Many articles that are written about origami have
references provided that will lead to even more details about the activity.

Magazines are a great source or information about origami. There are many craft
magazine publications, some printed on a weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
basis. Browsing these various magazines a person will likely find beneficial
origami details. Other magazines that might have information about origami are
mathematical and technical publications. Because this concept is used in many
modern day situations, occasionally these magazines may print related articles.

If looking for information about origami, a person's best bet is to search the
web. The Internet provides a worldwide database for just about any subject
imaginable. One great of advantage of searching the Internet is the search
engine. There are different search engines provided on the Internet such as
Google and Yahoo. Using either of these search engines a person could quickly
find information about origami. Searching the relevant websites would educate
people regarding the usefulness of the art of origami. They would learn that
this popular activity is not just a form of art but a form of therapy,
rehabilitation and education as well. When connected to an origami-related
website there will likely be links provided to similar sites. If really
interested in learning about this activity, an individual has ample opportunity
if using the Internet. This resource can also put people in touch with origami
information in the community.

There are many towns and cities that host regular origami events which include
competitions. Art shows are also great places to look for details and examples
of origami compositions. People who design origami compositions and create
unique objects will frequently display them at art galleries and art shows. To
learn what is possible in the world of origami, an art gallery would definitely
be a great place to visit.






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