Posts Tagged ‘origami’

This year, much to the pride of Latin Americans, we had Román Díaz (Uruguay) as a special guest at the Origami USA convention in New York City. He is the first person ever from Latin America to be invited as a special guest to this origami event.

I have been following the progress of Román’s artistic origami work since the beginning of the decade, and it was a great pleasure to finally meet him in person and have the opportunity of folding paper at the same table! Here I show the flower that Román  taught to Fernando Villarruel and me.

Román is a prolific and self-taught  (in the full sense of the word) origami artist, who has created a large range of origami models to suit all tastes: from the simplest such as flowers and frogs to the most complex, such as bulls and unicorns. Here are some samples of the models he exhibited at the convention.

Román has created his own origami vocabulary, which makes his work unique and original. He published his first book, Origami for Interpreters, some years ago and has just published his second book, Origami Essence. Through these books, origami practitioners can go beyond being visual fans of Román’s wide range of work, and become participants of his ingenious and elegant folding processes.

Here I show photos taken at the Origami USA 2010 convention where I highlighted the presence of Román Díaz as well as other participants who came from Latin America, including Noelia Ávila (Argentina), Luz de Pessoa (Brazil) and Fernando Villarruel (Mexico).


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I’ve been playing not with origami paper but with origami words.

This cloud of origami words  was created in  WORDLE, the website of Jonathan Feinberg. I encourage you to create your own word cloud. And it doesn’t have to be a cloud of origami words. You can use love words, soccer world cup words, cooking words, gardening words, recycling words…  anything!


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simon andersen origami modelsA couple of days ago I received a box full of origami surprises created and folded  by Simon Andersen, a very prolific paper folder from Denmark.

I couldn’t wait to open it, and when I did… Wow!! I felt like a little child in Christmas. The only difference is that I took the models out slowly to savor every piece. I wanted to prolong my joy as much as possible.

The simplicity and beauty of his models go straight to my heart. Using the water-bomb base and a few folds, he has created these abstract and expressive origami models. Some of them are inflatable. I also loved Simon’s letter, written on the cardboard box, and his use of humble and unconventional papers… including sand paper!
His work is definitely an invitation to play, explore and learn. Little by little I will steal time from my work projects and reverse engineer every one of his pieces.

In his beautiful website, Hans Dybkjær (Denmark) has the following links to diagrams and photos of Simon Andersen’s origami work:

Thank you Hans for facilitating the connection between Simon and myself!

la caja de Simón

Here is a related post in this blog.

Photos © Leyla Torres. Origami models created and folded by Simon Andersen (Denmark).

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web-bermudaAn events company recently invited me to give an origami demonstration in Bermuda at a trade show. Traveling to this island for a purpose other than tourism meant that the company that invited me had to request a special work permit from the authorities in Bermuda. A few days before my trip I was told that everything regarding this temporary permit was in order.
When I landed at the Bermuda International Airport, the customs officer receiving me was appropriately stern and solemn, exuding all the authority expected of any immigration or customs official.

“Good afternoon. How long are you staying in Bermuda?” he asked in a burocratic tone.
“Two days” I replied.
“For business or pleasure?”
“For business.”
“What will you be doing?
“I will be giving an origami demonstration”
“Ori … what?”
“Origami: The art of folding paper.” I clarified for him.
“Who are you working for?”
“I will be working for the new events promotion company.”
“One moment please. I need to check the list.”

The customs official disappeared behind an office door. Forty-three seconds later he returned, with the same authoritative air of superiority, and no expression.

“I’m sorry,” he said “but origami is not allowed in Bermuda!”

The blood drained from my face, and I froze, stunned.
“Origami is not allowed in Bermuda…?” I repeated.

“That’s right, Origami is not allowed in Bermuda.” He confirmed.
I was silent, looking directly at his eyes.

“Ha! Got  you, didn’t  I?” said the man with a mischievous islander’s smile.

I breathed a sigh of relief, and smiled back at his devilish prank. He then stamped my passport with an officious thump, and pointed me to the exit.

“Welcome to Bermuda!” he said.

Illustracion © Leyla Torres

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origami primula

As a child, when I lived in the tropics, the idea of resurrection was to me a distant myth of languid crucifixes and dogmatic churches. In the tropics, I had no tangible reality with which to relate this myth.
In the thick green of tropical foliage, leaves and flowers are dying and regenerating constantly, without you ever noticing. In the vicinity of the Arctic Circle, here in Vermont where I live now, it is different.
On these days of April, after five months of total desolation and inexistent foliage, all of a sudden from the last snow on the ground, tiny flowers sprout. Buds appear on tree branches. Life emerges from dry trees.
The miracle of Spring happens under my own eyes. It is a visible re-emergence. It is a clear resurrection. Life returns to my soul too.

Photo © Leyla Torres. Origami Model: Primula –Mitsunobu Sonobe. Folded by Leyla Torres, using hand-painted onion skin paper.
Diagrams: Sarah Adams Happy Folding

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I Love Origami

origami paper

Yesterday I received by mail a very unexpected package whose contents, no doubt, make me very happy: origami paper, origami pins and a love note. It was sent by none other than Betsy, my dear doctor of women’s affairs.

How about this brooch! Fabulous, isn’t it?
I love Origami brooch

I love origami.
I love packages with great surprises inside.
I love people who send them!

Thank you Betsy!

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rana-Roman DiazIn recent days,  I have been folding repeatedly and with delightful satisfaction, this origami frog designed by Román Díaz.

Today, as I was folding this model, I remembered a day long ago when I was a mere six or seven years old,  wandering at break-time through the hallways of my elementary school.

Suddenly, two girls –older and intimidating at the advanced ages of perhaps eleven,  approached me. One of them stretched out her arm and removed something from the top of my head.  She carefully opened her hand, and there in her palm sat a tiny, wet, green, and very much alive, frog. “Look what you had on your head!” she said.

I stared in innocent amazement at this clandestine passenger, and could not imagine how, or where, or when,  she might have hopped  aboard.

The girls walked away with my frog, and looking after them I was sad that I couldn’t keep this new-found friend. But even so I never had a doubt, until just a few years ago, that on that day these self-appointed monitors of public order  had discovered a stowaway, traveling blissfully with me through the hallways of my elementary school.

origami frog by Roman DiazOrigami frog, created by Román Díaz

Diagrams: Origami Kit For Dummies by Nick Robinson

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