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 you to obtain three-dimensional objects using two-dimensional structures that are easy to find. The intrinsic charm 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 gods, the basic principles that govern it undoubtedly have their roots in the religious concept of the life cycle and the acceptance of death: the complexity and fragility of the paper is in fact symbol of the mortality of the temple, which by tradition is always rebuilt the same every twenty years. The human caducity and the perishability of the various supports are not considered a negative value: on the contrary, the intrinsic message in this philosophy of life is that beauty and shapes can be recreated and reborn in a continuous cycle.
The period of affirmation of the art of origami can be traced back to the eighth 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 reproduced on the occasion of religious holidays, civil celebrations, demonstrations and family events.
In particular, inherent in Japanese culture there is a profound respect for nature, which translates into admiration and veneration for all the arts related to the use of flowers or which aim at the reproduction of natural elements. Not surprisingly, the creation of paper flowers is one of the most popular origami techniques, both to embellish domestic environments, shops and streets and to offer 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 it is a declaration of love.
In modern times origami principles have been applied in various areas, such as in architecture, and the technique is frequently used in rehabilitation exercises for the elderly and disabled or in children's entertainment.
TECHNIQUE AND MATERIALS
The traditional origami technique was not very rigid and made frequent use of cuts, as well as starting from not necessarily square bases; the models diffused today are instead much more schematic and the starting form 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 (plain or newspaper, gift paper, plasticized ) and you can choose the size and color in proportion to the object you want to obtain. Although Japanese art is inspired by geometric and mathematical principles and knowledge, no special training is required, but a certain amount of precision and attention is sufficient in following the rules step by step. When folding the paper, keep the corners firm, make sure that the edges match perfectly and that the folds are well marked.
The procedure for most 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 used, one can count the fold downstream, the fold upstream, the accordion fold, the book fold). Most of the figures originate from a basic form (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 diffusion of the art of paper made the primary models enriched in more intricate forms; sometimes the paper must be curled, creased, rolled or moistened.