BRIEF HISTORY AND ART OF FLOWERS
An integral part not only of Japanese culture but of all Eastern culture, origami is an art that allows one to obtain three-dimensional objects using two-dimensional structures, easily available. The intrinsic fascination in this technique draws strength from the qualities of manual ability, creativity and aesthetic sense necessary, but above all from the evident contrast between the complexity of the creations that can be made and the simplicity of the starting material.
Since origami is frequently used in Shinto as a symbolic ritual and votive offering to the gods, the basic principles that regulate it undoubtedly have their roots in the religious conception of the life cycle and the acceptance of death: the complexity and fragility of the paper is in fact it is a symbol of the mortality of the temple, which is traditionally reconstructed always every twenty years. The human transience and the perishability of the various supports are not considered a negative value: indeed, the intrinsic message in this philosophy of life is that beauty and forms can be recreated and reborn in a continuous cycle.
The period of affirmation of the art of origami can be traced back to the 8th century AD, to the so-called Heian period, during which the Japanese imperial court reached the peak of its splendor and refinement. Since then, various paper creatures, with different shapes, functions and meanings, have been used and are still being reproduced on the occasion of religious festivities, civil celebrations, family events and events.
In particular, inherent in Japanese culture there is a profound respect for nature, which translates into admiration and veneration for all the arts linked to the use of flowers or that point to the reproduction of natural elements. Not surprisingly, the creation of paper flowers is one of the most widespread origami techniques, both to embellish the home, shops and streets that are offered as gifts to friends, lovers and family. For example, the folded paper in the shape of a lotus flower conveys a message of innocence, in the shape of a rose is a declaration of love.
In modern times the principles of origami have been applied in various fields, such as in architecture, and the technique is frequently used in rehabilitation exercises for the elderly and the disabled or in children's entertainment.
TECHNIQUE AND MATERIALS
The traditional technique of origami was not very rigid and made frequent use of cuts, as well as starting from bases not necessarily square; the models diffused nowadays are instead much more schematic and the starting shape almost always has four regular sides. You can rejoice in the creation of paper objects and flowers in any situation, wherever you are: starting from the unavoidable presence of a sheet of paper, you can make use of any material (simple paper or newspaper, gift, plasticized ) and the size and color can be chosen in proportion to the object to be obtained. Although Japanese art is inspired by geometrical and mathematical principles and knowledge, there is no need for training details, but a certain amount of precision and attention is sufficient to follow the rules step by step. When folding the paper, keep the corners still, make sure that the edges match perfectly and that the folds are well marked.
The procedure for most of the paper figures can be divided into simpler steps consisting of a succession of very precise folds, each of which has its own typical denomination (among the most widely used, it can include the downward fold, the fold upstream, the accordion fold, the book fold). Most of the figures originate from a basic shape (kite base, fish base, triangular base, square base, flower base, crane base) to which a series of variations are applied up to the realization of the complete figure. Furthermore, the worldwide spread of the art of paper has ensured that the primary models were enriched in more intricate forms; sometimes the paper must be curled, folded, rolled or moistened.
Origami paper flowers: PAPER FLOWERS
To make a lotus flower, one must provide a square-based sheet, preferably white with fuchsia stripes. Start by bending the four corners towards the center, then the figure is reversed by repeating the same operation. At this point, it is necessary to gently extract the tips one at a time, shaping them in the shape of a cup or petal and keeping the central area firmly in place.
To make a water lily, you must start with a large square base sheet, which must be folded on both diagonals and on the middle lines. Proceed by bending towards the center the four lateral corners, until forming a smaller square, which must be folded properly like the previous one, to obtain a third square of even smaller dimensions. At this point, the sheet must be turned and the operation repeated for the fourth (and last) time. We then move on to bend each point towards the center, remaining distant, however: keeping the tip just bent with the thumb, we must take the bottom flap with the other hand and turn it forward. This procedure must be performed four times, for all the tips: then take the second order of petals and reverse them one at a time, starting with the third order. Finally, you need to reopen the flower and shape the figure a bit until you get the characteristic shape of a water lily.