We are creative makers. The human brain leads the eyes that guide our hands to transform something common into something uncommon. Origami is a perfect metaphor. A single square, 1-dimensional piece of paper is folded into a 3-dimensional shape. Magic happens when we engage our mindful observation and hands-on technical skill in creative making, when we make an ordinary thing, extraordinary.
Origami combines two Japanese words that describe it, “ori” = folded and “kami” = paper. It is a form of sculpture created through an elegant series of folds – some simple, some complex – and a metamorphosis occurs. The technique is subtractive, folding and refolding the same square until the desired shape takes form. There is utility in each fold. As we watch an expert folder and learn to make the classic patterns, it is brilliant to see how an animated figure or decorative object evolves. The creative practice requires mindfulness and learning a series of folds to make a shape. It engages our brain-eye-hand functioning – a process that moves and enlivens our creative thinking, doing and being.
Creative thinking, doing, and being activates wellness; when we are present in the moment, engaged in art-making, the experience of creating, art-taking, experiencing what is created, and art-giving, sharing creative experience. Origami is a way to wellness because the medium involves art-making – seeing, learning, folding and transforming. It involves art-taking – watching the folding or looking at the folded creations. It involves art-giving – providing maker confidence, and often we enjoy making origami to give others. Community arts that offer hands-on opportunities to create origami are a unique experience that stimulates all these aspects of creative wellness.
With a single square paper, brightly colored or patterned, Art HOPE brings people together for art-making, art-taking and art-giving. Join us for Taking Flight, Making Origami at the York Public Library on Saturday, April 22nd, 10am to 1pm, and help us celebrate Earth Day. Learn to fold a classic crane at our annual community arts gathering for artists of all ages. The program highlights the therapeutic qualities and history of the medium. Origami mentors who know how to fold cranes are welcome to help instruct others at the open studio. Participants can volunteer to make origami for the Art HOPE 1000 Healing Cranes Project and patients at York Hospital Oncology Center. Make cranes, take cranes and give cranes. Let your creativity take flight!