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The Origami Revolution

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by Damsel Martin (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer, blogger and animal wrangler living in Brisbane's western suburbs. Many of my stories offer great giveaways to readers - subscribe to hear about them first.
Published September 23rd 2013
You gotta know when to fold 'em
Origami artists turn over a new sheaf

Plane by plane and crane by crane, there is a silent paper revolution unfolding across Brisbane.
origami birds paper folding
Your creativity will take flight once you learn to fold. Istock image.

The delicate and exacting art of origami (derived from the Japanese words 'ori' for folding and 'kami' for paper) is moving into the mainstream, as more and more people discover the simple pleasure and satisfaction associated with transforming flat sheets of paper into three-dimensional sculptures.

Classes in Brisbane, many of them hosted by acknowledged masters, are freely available for those who wish to try their hand at this ancient art form.

Many specialist art, craft and stationery supply stores, including Eckersley's and Monograms Fine Papers, are also helping to fuel today's popular fascination with washi, unryu, lokta and other forms of artisan paper.

Origami Dojo

Graceville's Origami Dojo describes itself as "a meeting place for people from around the world who have a shared interest in the most modern of ancient art forms".

Offering tips, news, classes and galleries full of inspiration, Origami Dojo is hosting school holiday workshops in which "master folder" Jonathan Baxter will teach how to conjure animals from sheets of paper.

Aimed at students eight years and older, the program caters for all skills levels. Family discounts are available and, better still, parents and carers can attend the session for free.

Baxter says classes are small - no more than ten students with a range of skills from beginner to experienced. "Because of this cross-section of abilities it is not uncommon to teach more advanced models to a select few once the session is underway, to ensure that all attendees find the class challenges their abilities."

When: October 1, 2, 3, two sessions daily starting at 9.30am and 1.30pm.
Where: Graceville Presbyterian Church Hall, 12 Banks Road, Graceville
Cost: $35 per child with all materials supplied.
Contact: 07 3172 7291

origami books classes paper folding
Books on origami are useful but they can only take you so far. To really master this techniques, it's worth taking one-on-one classes. Author image.


Mabina Alaka

Ever wondered whether origami could have practical applications?
origami jewellery mabina alaka class
Paper jewellery that's anything but disposable. Image from Mabina Alaka.

Paper artist and jewellery designer Mabina Alaka makes earrings, brooches, bead rings, hair ornaments and other hand-made Japanese-themed accessories, all of which represent a refreshing departure from traditional origami themes.

And now she's sharing some of her secrets at an upcoming workshop at the State Library of Queensland.

Of Japanese heritage, Alaka now works from her studio in Brisbane, using only the finest materials - exquisite yuzen papers, antique kimono fabrics, and beads - to create her collections.

All participants will receive a pack of origami paper to spark their inspiration and get them started, as well as the opportunity to purchase some of Alaka's pieces.

When: October 31, 6pm to 8pm
Where: The Library Shop, Level 1, State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Bank, South Brisbane
Cost: $30
Contact: 07 3840 7768

The Craft Nest

craft nest paper folding origami weaving
Weaving using old newspaper and other recycled papers creates strikingly attractive objects. Image from The Craft Nest

Classes in recycled paper weaving and paper origami will be held these September school holidays at The Craft Nest's Fallon Cottage as part of Brisbane City Council's popular Chill Out program.

Participants in the paper weaving workshop will learn how to recycle newspapers into baskets and other useful forms, while budding paper origami artists will turn paper into bags and pouches and delicate mobiles and jewellery

This little cottage industry offers a range of other classes too - glass jar painting, kaftan making, knitting, sculpting and painting.

When: Paper weaving (26 September, 2-4pm), Paper origami (3 October, 2-4pm)
Where: 30 Fallon Cottage, Fallon Street, Everton Park, 4053
Cost: $5
Contact: thecraftnest.net

Tricia Smout

origami boxes tricia smout brisbane paper
These gorgeous origami boxes are easier to make than they look. Image from Tricia Smout website.

I learned how to make the coolest origami boxes years ago, when Tricia Smout was running a handful of workshops at Eckersley's.

Artist-in-residence at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens last year, Smout has an approachable, hands-on, step-by-step way of imparting information.

She still teaches adults' and childrens' classes in skills such as artist book making (a particular passion of hers), calligraphy and lettering, paper marbling and paper making.

See her website for details.
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Your Comment
You can get big packs of origami paper cheap at Daiso in the Myer Centre - $2.80 for 100 sheets I think.
by chocj (score: 1|17) 1575 days ago
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