Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Found in translation

I fold paper. I love to fold paper and when I choose the paper I like to do so as if I’m choosing fabric for a favourite dress. To continue this analogy, origami pieces in their purest form are a collection of pockets and I try not to ever buy a dress without pockets. My default stance is to incline, hands in pockets quite often re-finding a piece of origami I’d forgotten about in the said pocket. The firm texture of the origami piece is as reassuring as neatly folded washing piled in our tiny airing cupboard. Tight, bound, and re-strained.
I like to fold a collection of modular pieces of origami to interconnect into a larger piece often looking like a mathematical model. This makes me happy. I struggled with Maths as a child, I’d much rather cup my arm around my head and write a story. Mathematics didn’t make sense until I had a lovely teacher in Prep school. He was so quiet and measured that there was a process to what he taught and for once it made sense. Whenever I click the final segment into the end unit I think, yes this is my offering to the Maths teacher who eased the knot in my stomach regarding algebra.
This is where I get my love of solving puzzles. Although frustrating, I enjoy trying to crack a hard origami piece and this is often more taxing when the instructions are only in photographs.  I sometimes search for pieces on Japanese websites and although the instructions are a mystery to me, there is a delicious enigma to be found in the images.
To crack this and insert the final piece in the model is exquisite. I’ve always liked the idea of sourcing scrap paper to build a model and recycle the waste paper that ends up on my desk. It feels permissible to fold occasionally at my desk. Unlike many hobbies it’s unobtrusive and I consider it a healthy ‘smoking’ allowance time.  Five minutes here and there…..

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