Folded letters spelling Origami

Why origami expressions?

There are three meanings for ‘Origami Expressions’ on this site:

  • The first is the series of symbols, diagrams and annotations used to describe how to fold an origami model.  These were developed and popularised by Akira Yoshizawa and have become the de facto ‘language’ of origami.  These are the expressions used to diagram the sequence of steps required to fold a particular model.
  • The second is that no two origami models will ever be exactly the same.  Even if the steps are folded carefully and every fold made with precision, there will still be subtle differences in each model – even with the most simple traditional designs.  Maybe the shape of the head will be different this time, or the angle of a wing.  Maybe the paper wasn’t quite square when you started. Or there are subtle variations in the colour of the paper you used. This means that every model folded from the same instructions will express those instructions in a slightly different way.
  • The third is the importance of shaping the final model. This is in many ways even more important than accurately following the steps needed to complete the ‘finished’ model. Even traditional origami models benefit from some shaping.  Try to soften the edges and form attractive curves that help the model feel more ‘alive’ – either stylistically or to make it more realistic. There are no hard and fast rules here.  There’s nothing to say how much or how little shaping is required – only your own judgement. In that sense, each model is an expression of the person that folded it.

Go ahead: express yourself!

R.

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