The Wonderful World of Origami
Interview Report by Ebony Watkins
Yuri and Katrin Shumakov invented Oriland. Oriland is a beautiful place all made out of paper, and the method is origami! Oriland’s website page is www.oriland.com. There, it has places where you can learn to make beautiful origami. It also has a game that allows you to create your own origami scene. You can also listen to the song that they have composed called ‘Merry Origami.’ Oriland is a great place, and can be enjoyed by all.
Q. How long have you been doing origami?
A. Yuri: It seems, all our life. But to be precise, it's seventeen years.
Q. What made you want to do it and how did you start?
A. Yuri: At the end of the eighties, we were worked in the theater and were on tour at Europe. There, in Lyon, France, during the theatrical festival, we have met one Japanese man, who was a director of a Japanese theater. That time, we were quite interested in the Eastern culture and were glad to make acquaintance with this man. So, he presented us a paper crane. This was our start.
Katrin: Then, after a while, we met a book called 'Origami for the Connoisseur' and written by Kunihiko Kasahara and Toshie Takahama, Japanese origami authors. This book heightened our interest to origami, giving us an intellectual challenge. Soon after that, we had begun creating our own origami designs.
Q. Is doing and inventing origami a career for you, or is it just a hobby that you like doing?
Katrin: Origami is our life; we are professional origami artists and also like to do all that connects with origami, including web-design and programming. By education, we are psychologists, and in our Ph.D. scientific work, we showed how origami helps the development of children. Recently, we wrote our first song about origami, we called it 'Merry Origami'.
Q. When did you invent Oriland?
A. Yuri: It was about ten years ago. That time, it had only one kingdom with a castle and a small area around. Now Oriland consists of eight kingdoms and it grows all the time. We already are working on a new castle and have ideas
of new kingdoms.
Q. What is/are your favorite origami creations and why?
A. Yuri: We'd say that we love all our creations. But, with no doubt, architecture, beings and flora are standing out. Working on castles and other buildings gives a real challenge to resolve a set task.
Katrin: Creating different beings is fun, it allows to devise various characters. Also it a special pleasure to depict flowers in paper.
Q. Have you invented new bases while creating Oriland, or have you just stuck with the traditional bases to create it?
Yuri: Creating Oriland is involving different types of bases. For example, for buildings mostly it needs to create new bases and folds patterns.
A. Katrin: While for creating flowers or other symmetrical objects, we are using traditional bases also.
Q. How many people does it take to create a really spectacular Oriland masterpiece?
A. Yuri: Just two of us.
Q. Do you have any advice to any beginners who would like to do origami?
Katrin: Begin with simple models. Be neat and patient and you will be rewarded with beautifully made origami.
Q. How many creations do you know how to do by memory?
Yuri: We remember the folding process of most of our models, but we always have a free space in our minds to create new designs.
Q. Do any of the modular origami figures in Oriland require tape, glue, etc.?
A. Yuri: We develop paper locks to connect elements of modular origami to each other. So Oriland models do not need in tape, glue, etc.
A. Katrin: A small exception can be in rare cases with some flowers, for instance, when leaves should be attached to a flat stalk, we can use a bit of glue.
Q. Is there an exhibit that allows you to see Oriland live and in person?
A. Katrin: We have not a permanent place for the Oriland exhibit yet, but we are exhibiting Oriland on different origami events, when it's possible. For instance, Oriland was displayed on such prestigious international origami events as the OrigamiUSA Convention in New York and South- East Origami Festival in Charlotte, NC.
A.Yuri: Generally speaking our exhibition requires a rather big space: each kingdom, for example, needs about 14 x 14 feet. In the future, we are planning to find a permanent place for the Oriland exhibition in Toronto.
I think that origami is very peaceful and relaxing. Most relatives of mine are very fascinated by origami, but don’t know how to do it. In my mind I think that Oriland is a magical place where nothing goes wrong, and everybody gets along happily.
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School Report by Ebony Watkins
Moore Magnet Elementary School
Winston-Salem, North Carolina