Origami History

The Origami Beginning

Origami is the art of paper folding. It is a great way to spend time creating beautiful things and a great hobby to enjoy.

So where does origami come from? Where did it get its start?

Origami History

Ori in Japanese means paper and gami in Japanese means folding. So Origami means to fold paper.

Before origami could be developed it had to be invented. The person who did that was a Chinese man named Cai Lun who lived under the Han Dynasty in the second century around 105 AD. He came up with a way to make paper.

At first paper was difficult to make and very expensive. But it was fabricated and used in monasteries to record all sorts of information.

It is Monks who brought paper from China to Japan. And it is in Japan where someone got the bright idea to start folding it.

Paper folding was done for ceremonial things like weddings and grand occasions. The “noshi” or folded paper was given as a gift and was even thought to bring good luck among samurai warriors.

Butterfly origami, for example, were traditional wedding gifts.

As the technique of making paper migrated along the Silk road west, paper found it s way into Europe through Spain. Spain at the time, was occupied by the Moors who brought their creativity to paper folding.

Though paper and paper folding took hold in Europe, it is cloth folding, like folding napkins, that was popular in the elite class.

While Europe was exposed to paper folding, it was really the Japanese who made origami the phenomenon and popular art form it has become today.

Contemporary Origami History

In contemporary times, it is a Japanese artist by the name of Akira Yoshizawa, a world master with over 50000 creative designs, who established origami as the artistic movement it is today.

He met a rich benefactor in New York, Lillian Oppenheimer who founded the Origami center in New York in 1958. From there folding groups appeared all over the world.

Some of the notable groups today include Origami USA, the British Origami Society, Nippon Origami Association, Japanese Origami Art Society, and the Israeli Origami Center.

There are master origami folders through out the world and origami is not only an art form but it is also a business.

Origami masters have worked to design heart stents for medicine and worked on all sorts of industrial design ideas.

Origami is a great hobby, and if you get good enough, can be a great way to make a living.

The Fine Art of Giving Tips

A Time of Giving

As the holidays approach, it is time to reflect on the fine art of giving. Can there possibly be a better way to express your gratitude and love? I think not.

Handmade Gifts

With handmade gifts and all things origami, each pair of earrings and other imaginative creations made from decorative paper, express one’s own individuality and attempt to touch the hearts of others. The act of creating something of beauty with one’s hands provides the ultimate sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Origami Earrings

When designing a pair of earrings, there is much thought given to the color and quality of the origami paper, how the beads or crystals will enhance the final assembly, in what order or pattern they will be strung, and whether they will be highlighted in gold or silver. Crystals and beads have been attributed with certain spiritual properties such as healing, promoting good health, harmony, mental clarity, accepting love and having a positive outlook on life. These are some of the elements imbued in handmade origami jewelry and gifts.

The Art of Origami

According to Nick Robinson’s, “Art, Origami & Education,” We need to recognize and study with the great masters who are at one with the paper, the folds and the final result. In such masters’ hands the paper almost folds itself in an aesthetic dance of the hands to achieve a result of beauty…” The reverence for paper would show in feeling and listening to it. The ballet of movements would express the unity of the folder, the paper, and the form. The resulting model would show in all of its folds the mastery and humility of everything that went before.” It is truly an art form.

Origami Gift

By giving the gift of origami art, you are disseminating a small fraction of these affirmative traits found in the crystals, beads and paper, to the recipient like pixie dust. They are meaningful and thoughtful. They cannot be found at the local mall or department store. When you have given your handmade gift, you should feel you have given something original and valuable, like an heirloom. It is one of a kind. These handmade gifts are not thrown together in a haphazard way. There has been deliberate thought and planning that has gone into each creation. The ultimate goal is whether another person can see the purpose of your design and intent and appreciate the artistry of your creation. It is a gift worth giving.

How to Learn the Origami Art Tips

Do you want to learn one of the oldest and most exciting crafts? The origami art comes from China or Japan many centuries ago and still is very popular among children and adults. What makes it so great? Maybe the simplicity of the shapes, the elegance and the beauty of the created crafts. Maybe the fact that it’s the most affordable and unpretentious craft for you or your kids.

If you want to learn how to make origami yourself, there are just few steps you need to take. The best way to start is buy buying a practical origami book containing cut out sheets for folding. Such books provide you with an easy way to start, because the dashed lines and arrows make it perfectly clear what to do on each step.

These books are most appropriate for beginners. Once been there, you can start with something more complex. Buy a book containing models and instructions but without pages with real size folds and dashed lines. Generally these books will be cheaper and will contain more complex models. You will need the experience you gained with the beginner books, because some folds can’t be explained well on paper no matter how hard the book authors try. Knowing the basics however you should be able to read and understand even the not so clear parts of the instructions.

The only way to really learn origami is by practicing. Don’t just read and look, but actually build the shapes that you see. For most of them all it takes is just a sheet of paper so you are not investing much. Just like when reading the books, start practicing with the simple models. If needed, learn the basic folds before doing any complete figure – knowing the folds will help you even for the most complex origami in the future.

One great way to learn building more complex origami is to watch live or video demonstration. Fortunately as the web grows, there are many videos appearing and showing how to make origami crafts. Of course, having a live person show you how to do the things is even better, because you can ask questions – that’s why joining an origami club is always a good idea! On the other hand watching videos online is free and doesn’t take much time, so it still may be the option you will prefer.

The frequent subjects of origami are birds, flowers, animals, airplanes, cars and houses. There is no special preference what subject to start with, as long as you enjoy it and feel interested in it.

Origami Art tips


There are a lot of unique and interesting crafts and art forms for people to do and enjoy. One that I find truly amazing is origami. Imagine starting with a flat sheet of paper and with a few folds and sculpting, end up with a crane, star, bull or hundreds of other incredible creations. It’s amazing! There seems to be a question as to where this art form first originated because paper decomposes so rapidly that it’s hard to prove the exact origin. The name is Japanese tho, Ori meaning to fold and gami meaning paper.

Japan seems to have an extensive history of this art with even a poem on record from 1680 that describes paper butterflies in a dream, but there is also evidence of Spain, Germany, China and other areas having a long history of this art form as well. I’m not sure why, but my vote goes to Japan, mainly I guess because of the name, but China is also in the running seeing how they supposedly were the first to invent paper. In the early years of paper, it was expensive, so this form of art wasn’t really a hobby, but done more for formal functions. Today some artists will cast their creation in bronze for a permanent sculptural rendition of their artwork.

You can use almost any paper, especially when you are first starting. Regular copy paper for some of the easier items, a heavier weight paper that is used when wet folding is involved, foil backed paper for some of the more involved designs or special origami paper that comes in various sizes and beautiful colors. Even tho you can use almost any type of paper, origami paper is usually the best because it is thinner than most paper but strong, and holds a crease very well.

This is also one of the few crafts or art forms that you really can do without any tools, although paper clips and tweezers can be useful at times and help act as another pair of fingers. I can remember when my mother would do a very rough form of origami with her handkerchief, by folding it to make it look like a hammock with two babies swinging in it during Church to keep me quiet. Mom always liked to tell me how it was easier to do 3 loads of wash (before our modern washing machines were invented) and hang them out on a line to dry than it was keep me quiet during Church for one hour.

If you would like to find an inexpensive craft that you could do with your young children, try origami. All you have to do is search on the internet for origami for Kids and you will be able to find a lot of simple designs that you can do together for very little cost, in fact free if you use some used paper you have around the house. What a sense of accomplishment your children will have when they see what they are able to make with a plain piece of paper or have them color one side before they get started to make it even more personal and special to them.

Once you have spent some time with the kids, challenge yourself and try a more complicated design. Again, all you have to do is a little research on the internet for some free patterns and watch some how to videos to get yourself started. Spend some time looking at some of the amazing creations that true artist have done using paper to get inspired and then just start folding.

Beauty Of Origami Swan

Now when it comes to making different birds out of origami it seems that most people seem to think of the traditional cranes. Now these cranes are very beautiful but what has been more impressive to me has been the origami-swan. It is still very impressive to me how creative people can be with a simple piece of paper. I was in Japan a few years ago and when I got off of the plane I was very hungry so my friends and I decided to go and get something to eat. As we went to look at all of the different restaurants I noticed that there was a museum in the airport.

After my friends and I finished eating I suggested that we go and check out the museum, now my friends did not want to go but ended up going with me, the museum was dedicated to the art of origami and it was so beautiful that I fell in love with origami at that very moment. I walked around the museum for hours, I walked around for so long that all of my friends left me to go and check the hotel out. I simply could not believe how beautiful the museum was, there were hundreds of different pieces of the origami art. There were gardens all made out of paper, there were statues and little cities with people and fireworks, and it was beautiful! There was even little statues made to represent figures of the past, it was all so much for me to take in. I love this museum so much that I went back three more times before we left Japan.

The first time that I was there, I noticed that there was a section where you can make your own origami creation, now I knew that I was not going to be able to make anything to match what was made and on display in the museum but I still wanted to give it a try and I really wanted to be able to start making creations at home. The first piece that I made was an origami-heart. Now this was simple but I was very proud of myself. However, I saw a person making an origami-swan and I was very impressed, it was so pretty and only slightly more complex than the heart that I had made.

When I left Japan and returned home I decided to look in to making the origami-swan, I have now mastered it and along with the fish that I make, I get the most compliments on the swan. When it comes to origami, it is an art that is delicate, beautiful, and invokes the mind to think of gardens and pleasant things, the origami-swan plays right in to this and I think that this is why the swan creates such a beautiful feeling for everyone, it is fairly simple to make and it is very popular, a lot of people really like them. The beauty of origami swan will always be cherished.

Enjoy the Beautiful Hobby of Origami Tips

The practice of origami, or paper folding, has long been one of the most popular of hobbies, and origami is certainly one of the oldest of all crafts.

The exact origins of the art of origami are still shrouded in mystery. It is known, however, that paper was first developed in China during the first century A.D. By the sixth century A.D., Buddhist monks had brought this new invention to Japan. It is unclear, however, whether the art of folding paper we known today as origami originated in the Japanese or Chinese culture. It is widely recognized, however, that it was the Japanese who raised origami to a high art form. The very word origami is a Japanese word. The term oru translates to “to fold”, while the term kami translates to “paper”.

Many schoolchildren use the art of origami to make gifts for family members and friends, and origami is one of the simplest, and least expensive, crafts for teachers to do with their students. In addition to those ever present paper airplanes (often made without the teacher’s approval), origami is often used in school to create elaborate birds, animals, boats and toys.

Birds are a frequent subject of origami art, no doubt due to the special place birds hold in Oriental culture. In addition, there are a host of origami animals that can be created, and virtually any object can be created using the origami skills crafters have learned.

As with any type of activity, the art of origami has its own unique language. As one becomes familiar with the art of origami, one will also learn such terms as “mountain fold”, “valley fold”, “square base” and “bird base. The various bases and folds used in origami can be combined to make a wide variety of different objects using a limited number of basic techniques. This makes origami one of the most versatile of all craft forms.

Origami is one of the least expensive of all crafts to pursue. After all, the only thing needed for origami is paper and some skill and imagination. For those in search of a more elaborate origami experience, craft stores, both on the internet and in the brick and mortar world, sell wonderful origami kits that contain everything needed to create some truly unique and wonderful origami creations. From special paper to full patterns and instructions, these origami kits are a great way for any new origami enthusiast to get off to a great start.

Art Gallery Show Etiquette

Do you remember long ago when you had to stand up in grade school in front of strangers and perform? Or better yet, still in school and throwing a party? Yep that is similar to what an art opening is like. The nervousness and anticipation. The gallery owner asks him/herself questions like: Will anybody come? If they do come will they buy anything? Did I advertise enough? Did I forget someone?

The artist(s) asks all those questions plus: Did I take to long talking to that person? Am I missing an opportunity by not talking to that person? Who is that person? Have I already talked to them? Am I sounding like a recording of myself – just push the “play” button and the elevator pitch comes out? Why did I not just become an office worker with a steady income, lots of free time, company benefits, paid vacation, and always an abundance of work to do – like my parents encouraged me to?

Now both the gallery owner and the artist(s) have all that in common, in addition they have to smile and act like it does not matter. Think of the Dial commercial – “Never let them see you sweat” is very appropriate. What a recipe for being or having some kind of psychological “ism” wrong with you.

What to do?

As an appreciative and supportive person of the artist (presumably you would not be there if you were not), be nice and gracious to the artist and the gallery owner. Even if you know the artist, come up and introduce yourself casually along with your date. Believe me the artist will be somewhat relieved. You have just taken off some of the pressure of a social encounter.

Talk with the artist for a minute or two or maybe a little longer if you have a question. Then mingle with the crowd. There are probably a lot of other people that want to talk to the artist that evening, but are too bashful to cut in. This is a selling event for the artist and gallery owner. Their job is to get people interested in buying art tonight and in the days ahead. Not just talk politics.

If you are interested in getting a custom artwork from the artist – make an appointment to see them a day or two after the show. An appointment after the show is a kindness. Just write your name and phone on a business card and possible times that would work for you. It allows time for the client (you) and the artist to discuss custom work in a less pressurized environment. Better art results from this.

If another question occurs to you that you would like to ask the artist – go ahead. That is what they are there for. Just remember that the artist may have forgotten that he(she) talked to you. You are not forgettable at all. Just reintroduce yourself and ask your question. Opening receptions are hard work for artists. A lot of them do not get out much – their solitary work environment gets in the way. For a lot of artists it is rather like a reception line that you shake hands at. The politician shakes your hand and moves you to the next person. You are important; there are just a lot of important people to see. Politicians also have an advantage – they have a political minder who reminds them of all the people’s names wanting to shake hands. Most artists do not have that advantage.

Enjoy the opening reception. Have some wine. Talk to the artist and also the gallery owner. The gallery owner does get lonely. Ask questions. If possible – buy some art. Have the artist personalize the art for you with an inscription. Above all have fun. It is a great night for a show and to meet people. You just might meet someone interesting or better yet find a ravishing piece of art that you just have to have now.

Posted in Art

Beautiful Older Women Galleries

Beautiful older women galleries
do I fit in?
I line my paintings in a hallway
see them there
does magic come their way?
Have I met the master of my own heart?

My gothic angel art
my whimsical angels of crystal
a pegasus I did ride here.
I see beginnings
the gate that leads me to survival
knowing my own being.
My lessons are in the doing.
Art is who I am.

I set out to meet the day
creativity reaches for me
rainbows or storm
I cannot tell as yet.
Fine art paintings
reproduction of my heart.
The sun is showing its head
I smile on past accomplishments.
Art is who I am.

It is a toss up
will my frailties trump me
will I bend
will I fly like a pegasus?
will I swim like a mermaid?
I lean toward opportunities
beautiful older women
and their galleries of age
timeless and ageless.
The Universe does smile on them
and hand them notes in the hallway.
I patiently wait for mine.
Art is who I am.

There is a darkness in me
late at night
I paint by candles
ablaze by my own passion.
Gothic angels
whimsical angels
and older woman
I guess I am all of them.
Art is who I am.

I can be anything
it is never too late!
Fine art
painting reproductions
not my aim
I search to find my inner being.
An artist’s brush full of paint
colors new and brilliant
I become everything new.
Art is who I am.

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen I paint and sculpt female fantasy art and map faery tale adventures. I dream of beautiful women on canvas and art of exotic women. I have illustrated for Hay House Inc.,”Women Who Do Too Much” CARDS taken from Anne Wilson Schaef’s book. I also illustrated for Neil Davidson, who was considered for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, and several other publications. My paintings are collected worldwide.

Buying Art Online

Buying art is not a new concept. A profitable market for these unique products has been evident throughout history. For over a decade, in addition to traditional art galleries, art has also been available from a variety of online galleries. According to IBISWorld, in 2011 there was a 288 million dollar revenue generated in online art sales in the US (IBISWorld, 2011).

Therefore, why are art fans still skeptical about buying artwork online? Is it the fear of purchasing an art piece and then being disappointed once it arrives to their home? Is it not having an art guru next to them guiding them throughout the process? No matter what the customer’s needs are, if a brick and mortar gallery can meet them, an online gallery will be able to do so as well.

Many customers feel that the main benefits of buying an art piece in a traditional gallery include the ability to see it in front of them and to have a gallery employee answer questions regarding the piece or the artist. Nowadays, most online art galleries have flexible return policies, which allow the customer to have artwork delivered to their chosen location and keep it for a stipulated timeframe. The customer can place the art piece in their desired area and determine how they feel about it. If the customer is not happy with their purchase, they can return the product. Additionally, if the customer has questions about a certain artist, they can research their data online as well. With today’s easy access to information, a customer can find objective answers to their questions instead of getting a sales pitch from a gallery employee who might be pushing sales by a specific artist.

Art seems to be an intimidating and complicated concept to most people. I believe that traditional galleries are the biggest contributors to this matter. Their typical formal setting makes some people uncomfortable and by default scares them away. Online art galleries offer artwork for customers in a comfortable environment. This buying method offers customers the access to purchase their favorite art piece from the comfort of their home, workplace, coffee shop, etc. There is no pushy salesperson staring at the customer while they stare at art. Furthermore, customers can sport their choice of attire every time they visit any of the online galleries. They can even browse through multiple galleries simultaneously.

Another benefit online art galleries have is that every artist is a “local” artist. By this, I mean that a local artist in a traditional gallery can mainly expose his/her art to his/her local community, county, state and maybe even neighboring states. An artist who sells his/her work online becomes a “local” artist for billions of customers around the globe. A customer who cannot afford to visit a certain country to acquire artwork from their favorite artist can still have the option of purchasing the same artwork online and have it delivered safely to their doorstep. With online galleries, art fans are no longer limited to purchasing art from their local galleries or having to travel for hours or days to access their desired piece.

There are benefits to acquiring an art piece from a brick and mortar art gallery, but do they really outweigh the benefits of an online gallery? From accessing unique art at any time of the day to admiring your favorite piece from another continent, the benefits of an online gallery are just too many to ignore. Adapting to this method of acquiring artwork might be too radical for some customers; but just like they have adapted to buying other products through the Internet, they will also adapt to purchasing art online. Although change is not something most people are comfortable with, it is inevitable. So the next time someone asks about buying art online, ask them: why not?

Posted in Art

Tips to Grab Galleries With Your Artist

Serious about winning the attention of a good art gallery or dealer? If so, you need to understand the core common elements that successful art gallery directors and art sales people look for when they visit and review your artist website.

In our experience Galleries, Art Dealers, and Art Buyers have as many views of how work should be showcased online as there are stars in the sky. The wonderful thing is that these skills and preferences have been developed through the process of actually buying and selling art. Don’t ever under-estimate the experience and skill required to do this consistently – at Art Marketing Secrets we take our hats off to good art salespeople – and you can learn a lot from them.

In the last five years we’ve talked to a lot of galleries and dealers and we’ve found there are common elements which most agree on regarding what they like to see when they visit artist websites. Here is a snapshot for you to focus on:

    1. You might only have a few seconds to make an impression! Art dealers are business people who need to sell to survive and prosper. While they may love art, their primary focus is the business of art. If the first impression from your website doesn’t get their attention you’ve lost them.

    1. A simple, minimalist, and elegant style. Not busy!

    1. Complete focus on the art itself with neutral complimentary website background colors.

    1. Beautifully lit and photographed images. This is probably the single most important visual factor in an artist website. Where possible we recommend using a professional photographer experienced in shooting fine art.

    1. Don’t overpower the look of the art with a site that looks too busy

    1. No “Designer-ish” effects like flash movies. In the time it takes to play your exotic flash-based entry page, the gallery will have already moved on to look at the next artist website.

    1. Clear Navigation – Don’t let visitors get lost in your website because when they get lost they will LEAVE! Clear, consistent navigation on every page is vital.

    1. Include everything you would have in a hard-copy portfolio – bios, artist statements, resumes, etc.

    1. Consistency in style and quality is extremely important to art business people. There are two ways you can help this: (i) Only put your very best work on the artist website – you have to be 125% proud of it. (ii) Structure the gallery sections of your artist website into separate sub-gallery sections each of which should show consistency in style and theme. Think of how commercial galleries and museums use separate spaces to focus attention and realize that is what they want to see in your website.

    1. The about the artist section needs to be designed to engage and interest – too often it’s thrown in as an afterthought. This is very important because buyers and galleries are interested in (1) your art and (2) You the artist and (3) You the business person. Your “about” section is a subtle sales pitch so do it well and if you don’t like to write consider hiring a professional.

    1. It should be very easy to contact you. A very clearly-labeled contact page should include an email address or contact form AND a phone number. I am amazed at how many artist websites I visit that don’t list a phone number on the contact page. Big Mistake! In my experience, the most serious business people often prefer to call you – so don’t make it difficult for them. A studio address or PO box is also good to include because it gives a sense of physical reality to your business.

  1. Be aware of the potential positive or negative reaction you might experience from selling reproductions of your work online if your target sales channel strategy is galleries. Some galleries will be impressed that you are obviously business-savvy enough to be able to sell your work in this way. Others might consider it a threat to any potential sales relationship they might have with you. Just be aware of who you are dealing with and how they might see this