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For other uses of Origami, see Origami (disambiguation).
[image] Origami cranes
Origami ( 折 り 紙 ?, from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper"; kami changes to gami due to rendaku) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside Japan in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of material into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami. The number of basic origami folds is small, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. The best known origami model is probably the Japanese paper crane. In general, these designs begin with a square sheet of paper whose sides may be different colors or prints. Traditional Japanese origami, which has been practiced since the Edo era (1603–1867), has often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes cutting the paper or using nonsquare shapes to start with. The principles of origami are also being used in stents, packaging and other engineering structures. History [ image ] Swan by Akira Yoshizawa, the father of modern origami techniques.
Japanese school children dedicate their contribution of Thousand origami cranes at the Sadako Sasaki memorial in Hiroshima. There is much speculation about the origin of Origami. While Japan seems to have had the most extensive tradition, there is evidence of an independent tradition of paperfolding in China, as well as in Germany, Italy and Spain among other places. However because of the problems associated with preserving origami, there is very little direct evidence of its age or origins,
the earliest unambiguous reference to a paper model is in a short poem by Ihara Saikaku in 1680 which describes paper butterflies in a dream. and his work inspired a renaissance of the art form. hats or boats rather than animals or flowers.  Origami butterflies were used during the celebration of Shinto weddings to represent the bride and groom. These include simple diagrams of basic folds like valley and mountain folds. In the early 1900s. and sinks. During the 1980s a number of folders started systematically studying the mathematical properties of folded forms. Kosho Uchiyama. It is not known when this practice started. There are also standard named bases which are used in a wide variety of models.aside from references in published material. but it seems to have become popular during the Sung Dynasty (905– 1125 CE). In Japan. which continued well into the 1990s. reverse folds. and others began creating and recording original origami works. The paper folding has typically been of objects like dishes. There is also evidence of a cut and folded paper box from 1440. Samurai warriors would exchange gifts adorned with noshi. Origami paper . In China. It is probable paperfolding in the west originated with the Moors much earlier. a sort of good luck token made of folded strips of paper. most often representations of gold nuggets (yuanbao). for instance the bird base is an intermediate stage in the construction of the flapping bird. Akira Yoshizawa in particular was responsible for a number of innovations. such as wet-folding and the Yoshizawa-Randlett diagramming system. which led to a steady increase in the complexity of origami models. enough that the reference in this poem would be recognized. The earliest evidence of paperfolding in Europe is a picture of a small paper boat in Tractatus de sphaera mundi from 1490. Akira Yoshizawa. traditional funerals include burning folded paper. Techniques and materials Techniques Many origami books begin with a description of basic origami techniques which are used to construct the models. after which some designers started returning to simpler forms. squash folds. so paperfolding had already become a significant aspect of Japanese ceremony by the Heian period (794–1185) of Japanese history. pleats. it is not known if it was independently discovered or knowledge of origami came along the silk route.
Tools It is common to fold using a flat surface but some folders like doing it in the . A second piece of tissue can be glued onto the reverse side to produce a tissue/foil/tissue sandwich. Foil-backed paper is available commercially. 25 lb) or more can be wet-folded. however. Also. is sold in prepackaged squares of various sizes ranging from 2. which becomes rigid and sturdy when it is dry. or the paper mulberry but also can be made using bamboo. hanji. but not tissue foil.[ image ] crane and papers of the same size used to fold it Almost any laminar material can be used for folding. Artisan papers such as unryu.5 cm to 25 cm or more. Both types of foil materials are suitable for complex models. Origami paper weighs slightly less than copy paper. gampi. kozo. and wheat. and abaca have long fibres and are often extremely strong. lokta. the only requirement is that it should hold a crease. and is used in many traditional arts. they are often backcoated or resized with methylcellulose or wheat paste before folding. It is commonly colored on one side and white on the other. Washi is generally tougher than ordinary paper made from wood pulp. the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia papyrifera). Paper money from various countries is also popular to create origami with. This technique allows for a more rounded sculpting of the model. Origami paper. which is made by gluing a thin piece of tissue paper to kitchen aluminium foil. As these papers are floppy to start with. saa. often referred to as "kami" (Japanese for paper). Heavier weight papers of (19–24&nb 100 g/m2 (approx. dual coloured and patterned versions exist and can be used effectively for colorchanged models. Foil-backed paper. such as the crane and waterbomb. allowing for thin. this is known variously as Dollar Origami. Normal copy paper with weights of 70–90 g/m2 can be used for simple folds. Washi is commonly made using fibres from the bark of the gampi tree. it must be handmade. Washi ( 和 紙 ?) is the traditional origami paper used in Japan. and Money Origami. making it suitable for a wider range of models. narrowed limbs as in the case of insect models. Related to this is tissue foil. Orikane. these papers are extremely thin and compressible. is a sheet of thin foil glued to a sheet of thin paper. rice. just as its name implies. hemp.
first appearing with the traditional Japanese flapping bird. Action origami includes origami that flies. there are also moving objects. Action origami. resembling the playing of music. This style originated from some Chinese refugees while they were detained in America and is also called Golden Venture folding from the ship they came on. and tweezers can be used to make small folds. For instance a bone folder allows sharp creases to be made in the paper easily. Sometimes paper money is used for the modules. Many folders believe no tool should be used when folding. when complete. and of course a spray is needed when wet folding.air with no tools especially when displaying the folding. paper clips can act as extra pairs of fingers. to move another flap or limb. their hands will move. is quite common. the technique differs though in that kusudama allows the pieces to be put together using thread or glue. However a couple of tools can help especially with the more complex models. Wet-folding Wet-folding is an origami technique for producing models with gentle curves . uses the kinetic energy of a person's hands. or. applied at a certain region on the model. Many of the modular origami models are decorative balls like kusudama. Normally the individual pieces are simple but the final assembly may be tricky. When making complex models from origami crease patterns. when the figures' heads are pulled away from their bodies. Types of origami Action origami Origami not only covers still-life. requires inflation to complete. Completed models can be sprayed so they keep their shape better. Origami can move in clever ways. Modular origami [ image ] A stellated icosahedron made from custom papers Modular origami consists of putting a number of identical pieces together to form a complete model. strictly speaking. Chinese paper folding includes a style called 3D origami where large numbers of pieces are put together to make elaborate models. only the latter is really "recognized" as action origami. it can help to use a ruler and ballpoint embosser to score the creases. One example is Robert Lang's instrumentalists. Some argue that.
Size. Eric Gjerde (U. Robert Lang and Alex Bateman are two designers who use computer programs to create origami tessellations. pleats are used to connect molecules such as twist folds together in a repeating fashion.and Christiane Bettens (Switzerland) that are showing works that are both geometric and representational. Origami Tessellations This branch of origami is one that has grown in popularity recently.S. Joel Cooper (U. Christine Edison (U. It can be used.). although his work was not known by the origami community until the 1980s. but dissolves in water when wet and becoming soft and flexible. to produce very natural looking animal models. or various plant starches.S. Roberto Gretter (Italy).). Ray Schamp (U. During the 1960s. The latter method is called external sizing and most commonly uses Methylcellulose. or MC. the final model keeps its shape when it dries. In origami tessellations. The first American book on origami tessellations was just published by Eric Gjerde and the field has been expanding rapidly. is often applied to the paper either at the pulp stage while the paper is being formed. Goran Konjevod (U. paste.S. Cutting was often used in . more complex folds like reverse folds are not allowed. There are numerous origami tessellation artists including Chris Palmer (U. and all folds have straightforward locations.).). It was developed by John Smith in the 1970s to help inexperienced folders or those with limited motor skills.S. an adhesive that is crisp and hard when dry. or on the surface of a ready sheet of paper. coming up with dozens of patterns and establishing the genre in the origami mainstream. Polly Verity (Scotland). The paper is dampened so it can be moulded easily. Chris Palmer is an artist who has extensively explored tessellations after seeing the Zilij patterns in the Alhambra.).S. for instance. Some designers also like the challenge of creating good models within the very strict constraints. and has found ways to create detailed origami tessellations out of silk. Pureland origami Pureland origami is origami with the restriction that only one fold may be done at a time. Kirigami Kirigami is a Japanese term for paper cutting. Ron Resch patented some tessellation patterns as part of his explorations into kinetic sculpture and developable surfaces. Tessellation refers to a collection of figures fill a plane with no gaps or overlaps.S.rather than geometric straight folds and flat surfaces. Shuzo Fujimoto was the first to explore twist fold tessellations in any systematic way. Around the same time period.).
 The problem of rigid origami ("if we replaced the paper with sheet metal and had hinges in place of the crease lines. The practice and study of origami encapsulates several subjects of mathematical interest.traditional Japanese origami. Technical origami. For example. Most origami designers no longer consider models with cuts to be origami. Mathematics and technical origami Mathematics and practical applications [ image ] Spring Into Action. but for the most part they have disappeared from the modern origami repertoire. For example. designed by Jeff Beynon. the Miura map fold is a rigid fold that has been used to deploy large solar panel arrays for space satellites. There may soon be an origami airplane launched from space. so early origami books often use cuts. instead using the term Kirigami to describe them. For instance. A prototype passed a durability test in a wind tunnel on March 2008. is a field of origami that has developed almost hand-in-hand with the field of . and Japan's space agency adopted it for feasibility studies. could we still fold the model?") has great practical importance. Technical origami [ image ] Hercules Beetle by Robert Lang. made from a single rectangular piece of paper. This change in attitude occurred during the 1960s and 70s. techniques have been developed for the deployment of car airbags and stent implants from a folded position. also known as origami sekkei ( 折 り 紙 設 計 ?). the problem of flat-foldability (whether a crease pattern can be folded into a 2-dimensional model) has been a topic of considerable mathematical study. most modern books don't even mention cutting. A number of technological advances have come from insights obtained through paper folding. but modern innovations in technique have made the use of cuts unnecessary.
However. a circlepacking figure can be computed for any uniaxial base of arbitrary complexity. Still. and also partly because the crease pattern is often the only resource available to fold a given model. the creases which are then used to obtain the base structure can be added. What is more important is the allocation of regions of the paper and how these are mapped to the structure of the object being designed. human figures with a full complement of fingers and toes. Once this figure is computed.mathematical origami. development of new designs was largely a mix of trial-and-error. This method of origami design was developed by Robert Lang. Paradoxically enough. The SCP eliminates the need for diagramming programs or artistic ability while maintaining the step-by-step process for other folders to see. should the designer choose not to produce diagrams. The main starting point for such technical designs is the crease pattern (often abbreviated as CP). the pattern of allocations is referred to as the 'circle-packing'. As a circle encloses the minimum amount of area for a given perimeter. Although not intended as a substitute for diagrams. The use of polygonal shapes other than circles is often motivated by the desire to find easily locatable creases (such as multiples of 22. folding from crease patterns is starting to gain in popularity. partly because of the challenge of being able to 'crack' the pattern. Using optimization algorithms. hence it is possible for two designs to have the same circle-packing. and the like. circle packing allows for maximum efficiency in terms of paper usage. As a result. This is not a unique mathematical process. luck and serendipity. there are many cases in which designers wish to sequence the steps of their models but lack the means to design clear diagrams. and allows for the creation of extremely complex multi-limbed models such as many-legged centipedes. One popular offshoot of the circle packing method is box-pleating. and yet different crease pattern structures. the crease pattern that arises from this method contains only 45 and . the basic structure of a new origami model can be theoretically plotted out on paper before any actual folding even occurs. other polygonal shapes can be used to solve the packing problem as well. where squares are used instead of circles.5 degrees) and hence an easier folding sequence as well. when origami designers come up with a crease pattern for a new design. which is essentially the layout of the creases required to form the final model. Such origamists occasionally resort to the Sequenced Crease Pattern (abbreviated as SCP) which is a set of crease patterns showing the creases up to each respective fold. For a specific class of origami bases known as 'uniaxial bases'. In the early days of origami. With advances in origami mathematics however. the majority of the smaller creases are relatively unimportant and added only towards the completion of the crease pattern. Another name for the Sequenced Crease Pattern is the Progressive Crease Pattern (PCP). Meguro Toshiyuki and others.
90 degree angles. which makes for easier folding. .
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