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ORIVERSITY: LECTURES 04

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Paper and Origami


In Ancient China, about 2000 years ago, paper was invented. This event had a huge impact on the world generally. Paper is a unique material having the ability “to be folded”: the paper sheet will remember all creases that were made with it. So the opportunity for giving birth of the art of paper folding appeared long ago.

More than 1000 years ago in Japan the secret of paper manufacturing became known. The ancient technology of paper manufacturing is kept in Japan till these days. There is a whole range of exclusive Japanese paper, for example, paper called "washi”, which is very strong and can maintain a huge set of creases.

Presently, there are different kinds of special paper for origami having various coloring and textures. Paper comes in two-colors and one-color, in various weights and sizes.

Traditionally in origami, it is accepted to fold a model from a square sheet of paper. However many origami-artists use also diversified shapes of paper (rectangle, triangle, polygon and even circle) for their origami-projects. In the "Paper Preparation" subsection of the Learning Center, you can get to know how to make a square from a rectangular sheet of paper.

For most of the models, it's very good to use regular copy paper, colored on both sides, which is strong, keeps its form well and doesn't lose its color on a crease and rather inexpensive. A model folded from this paper is very accurate and looks beautiful. Almost the all models submitted in Oriland are folded from such paper. Usually we use copy paper, the European 'A4' format (21x29.7cm) or the "Letter" format (8.5x11 inches) in size, in a wide color palette. From our experience, the 80 g/sq.m (approximately 22-24 pd) weight of paper is optimum for most origami models.

Some models are good from two-color paper, because the second side of the paper has its own role in the total model design.

For making origami models you can use the regular origami paper as well as copy paper, posters, wallpapers or other types of paper. A choice of paper depends on the specific model. The colors and paper texture are also very important for the whole model.

Katrin and Yuri Shumakov


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