Thursday, July 28, 2011


Not to be confused with origami.  Origami means folding paper in Japanese.  Orizomegami means folding and dyeing paper. It is a paper dyeing method that is used to create patterns on liquid absorbent paper.  This art form is relatively inexpensive and also easy to learn and to achieve beautiful result.  The finished product can be used as gift wrap, book cover, collage material, or anything else imaginable.

Recently, I went to teach an orizomegami workshop for teens at a library just outside of Portland.  They experimented with different folding patterns, papers and colors.  Of course, it came out different every time, like an kaleidoscope.  The moment of unfolding paper to see the result is an exciting, kind of like opening a present!

After papers were dried, we made greeting cards out of the dyed papers.  Here is a card that one of the teens created for her mom's birthday.  She said the dyed paper (coffee filter) is an umbrella.  It really does look like an Asian umbrella!  Beautiful!

I've made greeting cards with orizomegami before, but I had never thought of using the round ones like this.  I got so inspired that I made a greeting card using a dyed coffee filter as a sunburst, with a gold origami crane flying into the sun.  I should've had the photo of it, but I just realized that I already sold it at my camp auction.  I gotta have to make another one to post it here...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My recent favorite item: LED Book Light

I do origami anywhere in my house, and anywhere I go to.  At a restaurant, in an airplane, on a picnic table at a park, etc.  As long as I have a solid surface to fold on and good lighting besides paper, I can do it anywhere.  And that's the beauty of this form of art.  "A solid surface" is relatively easy to get; all you need is a table, a lap table, a clipboard, or even just a book to fold on.  But good lighting is not always easy to come by, and it is a must since I want to have those very precise folds, every time.  Besides, my eye sight is terrible in dark.  

So I recently bought a little book light.  It is called MiniFlex LED Book Light by Mighty Bright.  I bought it for about 10 bucks at Fred Meyer but it's available at Amazon, etc. too.  It clips on to a book or it can stand by itself.  It has a flexible neck.  It's so compact you can take it anywhere.  I brought it to a plane recently, and it worked better than that light on the ceiling of the plane.  I plan to bring it to camping trips this summer too.  I think it will come in handy at anywhere I travel to.  I highly recommend this product to anyone!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Origami House Gallery in Tokyo and Nippon Origami Museum at Narita Airport

While in Japan, I visited two origami exhibits that were both amazing.  One was Origami House Gallery, operated by one of my favorite origami artists, Makoto Yamaguchi.  In the glass showcases, I saw a lot of pieces by Satoshi Kamiya and Eric Joisel, both of whom were featured in Between the Folds documentary.  They create the most complex and realistic origami models that I have ever seen.  I didn't take any photos there because they don't allow it, but you can see some of the artworks in their website here.  There, I also found out about Japan Origami Academic Society and became a member.

The other origami exhibit that I visited was Nippon Origami Museum at Narita Airport.  I have been there when I traveled through Narita last time, but I'm glad to visit there again and to snap some photos.  I snapped these photos so quickly before I boarded the plane that I forgot to include most of the artists exhibiting work.  I am terribly sorry.

There were just too many art pieces to share in this blog but the photos above are of some of my favorites.  Compared to the artworks that I saw at Origami House, these are closer to my style so I can relate more.

Next time when I visit back home in Japan, I would love to visit Nippon Origami Museum in Ishikawa-ken.  I've been wanting to go there for quite some time now, but I just didn't have time to make it this time.  It's supposed to be the biggest origami museum in the world!