From ceramics to swords, calligraphy to kimono, Japan is famous around the world for perfectly executed crafts. But whilst most remain the discipline of master craftsmen working with years of careful training, there are some which can be mastered more quickly – at home, using easy-to-source tools and materials.
Whilst time spent at home becomes the new-normal, look to Japan’s mindful crafts for a peaceful way to while away the extra hours.
Practiced for over 400 years, origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. Without the use of scissors or glue, origami transforms a simple square of paper into endless varieties of intricate paper sculptures. But where to start if you’d like to master the art yourself?
Using a number of basic folds it’s possible to quickly create a vast array of surprisingly complex designs. The best way to begin is by practicing the basic folds and bases, which can be done using any paper found at home, though it helps if it isn’t too heavy. A number of online guides, such as the Beginner’s Guide from Origami.me will take you through the foundations, before getting you started with origami’s most recognisable design – the traditional paper crane.
If you’re then ready to take your next steps towards becoming a master folder, it’s worth picking up an easy-to-follow book, as well as some traditional washi origami paper. Whilst there are a plethora of books to choose from, we recommend Everyone Can Learn Origami by Peter Saydak as well as Origami.me’s well-stocked bookstore for next-level designs. For paper, The Japanese Shop has a good supply of traditional patterns, or if it’s contemporary designs you’re after, both Color Tree and the Origami Shop have all the paper you’ll need.