Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Origami International Day!

I didn't know there was an International Day of Origami. It was born as an iniciative of the north american group Origami USA, altogether with the British Origami Society. In Japan there is already a conmemmorative day, November 11th, the day when the traditional paper crane became an official symbol of peace. It was thought then to use it, but Alas! in english-speaker societies that date is War Veteran's Day (Origami doesn't lack of irony, I guess).

It was chosen then October 24th, birth date of Lillian Oppenheimer (1898-1992), founder in 1958 of the first Origami group in America: FOCA ("Friends of Origami Center of America", which was going to become Origami USA), besides her, the group included also Isao Honda from Japan and Robert Harpin from England; she was later founder member of the British Origamy Society in 1967.

In South America the oldest references we found them in Dr. Vicente Solorzano Sagredo (founder of the Argentinean Origami Museum in 1954, closed on 1961), Ligia Montoya and Adolfo Cerceda (Argentina).

Due to her enthusiasm and vitality promoting this art, Lillian Oppenheimer is considered the tru "mother" of western origami. However to me this date still doesn't look too wide world consent taking in consideration Eastern Europe, Africa or Central and South America. It is reasonable for me to take November 11th (with the bow of the Veterans), since it is also a date related to peace and Art, to the bottom line, is an act of communication and understanding between people.

The propposal then is to celebrate from Oct 24th to Nov 11th the International Days of Origami. So, joining it I thought to tape and share a new set of videos, to fold the beautifull horse from japanese Noboru Mijayima, its diagram is available on his website. I hope you enjoy folding it :D

I send a massive hug to all origamists in the world and specially to the brave ones who try it for the first time!


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Valparaiso 2009 World Peace Cry

A year passed. An intense year. Suddenly is August, and our Annual Convention has become into a reality in the beautiful and historic port of Valparaiso. Tomorrow begins a new party with friends, a great exhibition, workshops, laughs and challenges. And it begins in the best way, with a calling for peace and the end of wars in the world.

In August 6 we remember the falling of the first atomic bomb used in war in Hiroshima on 1945, killing 120 thousand people and contaminating by radiation more than 300 thousand more... On this date all around the globe, people meets to hang simbolically paper cranes to demand their authorities the end of wars and World Peace, as the way for the future of mankind, following the example of an 11 years old girl called Sadako Sasaki, who wanted to fold 1000 cranes of paper to ask for the victims of the war and saddly died without achieving it, due to the radiation on 1955.

This Thursday we will hang thousands of cranes on an act inscribed on the World March for Peace and No Violence action. The act will be at 12:00 hrs on the square of the British Arc on Brasil Avenue, Valparaíso-Chile. If you want to join it and fold your crane, here I left the instructions, it's very simple and beautiful and we hope each one of them is a step for a the only future possible.

Here is also a map to reach the act

Friday, May 08, 2009

Between the Folds of Life

Last week we had an unexpected and motivating encounter. Passing by Chile was a member of the Spanish Origami Association, Olga de Pedro, a fantastic, enthusiastic and funny person. she sent us a last-minute mail and some of us that could get off job went to met her at her Hotel the last day she was on Santiago. In her and her husband's eyes and talk you could see they were coming from an astonishing travel, through the glaciers and ices of the Aysen region, the Patagonian steppes of the end's world and the singular deserts of Atacama. And we seat to talk about origami... sharing experiences, introduce ourselves, tell her about our group, the activities we have done, possible travels and realities.

Sudden we were, as Olga said, putting faces to the names, to what is written on forums or web sites; I felt stronger than ever, the need of an Spanish-talking magazine, that circulates and be read in Spain and America, to have a closer community, to see us and recognize the friends in news from Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Zaragoza, Burgos or Madrid. Also last week we had on Origami Chile's anniversary a video conference with friends in Colombia and it was exciting, was like to seat all of us in the same living room and be part of the same meeting, as one big group of friends...

Travels and visits are essentials but, between them, to fill the emptiness of missing the friends, to know what are they doing, what are they folding , what new models have they created, it is necessary to have a publication, where to announce of conventions and projects, where to propone theory and introduce the new young talents. Internet is a good platform, but nothing compares to a magazine, made of paper, to carry it on the bag, to read it with love and to pass the pages, releasing the secrets of every new turn of them.

The idea we have discussed it many times, important creators has showed us their enthusiasm of participate on it. That were what I was thinking drinking my beer, when I founded a little piece of paper hidden on the pages f the book that Olga was carrying, I took it instinctively and I began to fold.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pasquale D'Auria Swan

World is a complex place, so complex that it gives its space to simplicity. In the course of a life it gives us thousands of simple but powerful moments: a laugh, a smart answer, the instantaneous pleasure of a music that makes everything fits its place on sense and purpose. I dare to think, at least for myself, that in them lies much more happiness than in the elaborated plans we make for living. Among the numerous free figures that can be found on the internet, most are simple and their diagrams rarely goes over the 30-40 steps, and therefore they are a fascinating source to find these amazing models full of beauty, aesthetic sense and elegance. Some months ago I showed one of these figures, the squirrel from american Perry Bailey, and now I do the same with this incredible swan, which diagram can be found on the Spanish Origami Association website.

One of its best characteristics is its three dimensional volume, something that is never considered when evaluating origami but that for me is a vital consideration since we live in a world beyond photography or diagram. Models that look ok only from certain angles, or that have ugly multilayered sides. This Swan, in the other hand, apart from the empty shell that lies below it, shows a perfect and gorgeous swan about to flight. The author is the italian Pasquale D’Auria and it also challenges us to fold its curved surfaces and elegance. It has became one of my favorites and I invite you all, fiercely, to fold it, to love it, and to give it as a miracle.