Look twice at these insects. They look real, but they aren’t. They are paper. Folded paper to be exact. Paper folded from one sheet of paper if you want all the facts. No cuts. None. Robert J. Lang is one of the foremost origami artists in the world with a portfolio that boasts much more than insects. It will amaze and delight you. More Lang right here.
Can’t get enough? Everything in this Mitsubishi commercial is paper except the car. Lang folded the dragon and had help with the rest of the origami set that included hundreds of folded trees. Must have been a folding frenzy. A team of modelers animated the figures, bringing his dragon to life. Wonderful stuff.
I’ve been folding paper since I was 9 years old. Miss Heimer, my fourth grade teacher, taught us how to fold a cup. I was hooked. My early fascination with Origami has fueled my appreciation of the paper arts for decades and Paul Jackson is a perennial favorite.
Jackson is one of the premier origami artists in the world today. Equally drawn to the way that he hand colors each sheet of paper and to the pleated folds that become organic abstract sculptures, in 2006 I wrote about one of his vessels on The Empty Vessel (plicated).
One sheet of paper, hand colored, folded
Inspiration for the pieces comes from organic forms such as bacteria, seed heads and shells. Controversially for many origami purists, the paper is coloured with charcoal or dry pastel and sealed to create a surface with a matt lustre. I do this because the simple truth is that for me, untreated paper doesn’t have the ‘presence’ of paper customised with pastel. This customisation of the surface somehow changes a model or a craft object into an art object.
Origami is also responsible for the beginnings of my art-research-mania. As a teenager, before the internet, before online videos, before there were organized groups, I started to gather what eventually became a collection of more than fifty books on the subject as I searched for instructions and information about this ancient art.
Thank you, Miss Heimer.
Did you have a teacher that unknowingly set you on a creative path? Would you like to thank them? Do it right here. In the comments section.