Ginny and Natalie perfect the art of origami
Freshman Ginny still remembers her third grade art class. The class introduced her to origami, and she has been in love with the Japanese art of paper folding ever since.
Hockaday Lower School art teacher Dee Mayes introduced Ginny and her peers to origami after the class learned the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Written in 1977, American author Eleanor Coerr wrote this story based on a little girl living in Hiroshima during the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She was diagnosed with leukemia and spent her time in a hospital trying to achieve her goal of 1000 cranes. Once she dies, only finishing 644 cranes, her friends and family help her accomplish her goal and finish the 1000 cranes.
“I find that all my students are touched when they learn the story of the … 1000 cranes,” Mayes says. “It is also a lesson in geography, history, and getting along with one another that I find very compelling.”
Like the people in the story, Mayes’ classes set out each year to create 1000 paper cranes of their own.
Ginny is not the only student who has kept up this art. Fellow freshman Natalie also enjoys making origami.
“I like to create really interesting things out of ‘nothing’ and I find the challenges origami presents intriguing,” Natalie says.
Although the pieces do not always turn out the way they wanted, Ginny and Natalie agree that the end results of their origami are always promising
After her first origami piece, a crane, Ginny began to grow in this art and experiment with her skills. She finds most of her ideas for her pieces from books or from YouTube videos. Ginny decided to keep up with this hobby because “it’s relaxing and can be really fun. It’s easy to make all sorts of different stuff if you follow the directions, and some of them look really nice too.”
Moving on from the crane, Ginny recently decided to challenge herself a little by trying a more modern version of origami. Some of the objects she has created are swans and single pieces of paper objects.
Natalie, who sometimes makes origami pieces with Ginny, learned origami at the age of six from her aunt, who learned how to create origami pieces when she lived in Japan. From her nine years of experience, Natalie enjoys creating origami because of the concept that by folding a piece of paper, she can create a new object that she and other people can appreciate.
Ginny and Natalie sometimes give their special creations to friends for birthday presents. With other projects, they keep them for themselves. Ginny says she keeps her favorite pieces, like the Hello Kitty she made, in her room so she is reminded what she can create with just simple pieces of paper. Natalie likes to keep the bigger pieces she has constructed for herself and her family to remind her of the time and effort that goes into her pieces.
Ginny and Natalie have created several pieces together, including a Hello Kitty, some panda bears, and a dragon boat. Though they are not working on a piece at the moment, the girls hope that spring break will give them a long enough time to create a new art piece. They are planning to work on a complex three-dimensional bird.
While working on origami pieces one after the other, Ginny and Natalie are considering starting an origami club at Hockaday next year.
“Ginny and I have considered it, but if we do that we really want to have a plan of what we want to teach, how we want to teach it, and if we want to introduce any larger projects or just the basics,” Natalie says.
Other students seem interested. Freshman Reehela says that an “origami club would be enjoyable, because you can learn how to create interesting three-dimensional things out of paper.”
Although creating a club would take a lot of effort, both Ginny and Natalie like the idea because it would allow them to teach others the importance of origami and how enjoyable it can be.