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Malachi B-J Brown's Origami Page

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My Origami Story

NB: Most people won't be interested in this part, so feel free to just check out the pictures of models I have made.

Origami is a hobby that I discovered when I was about 7 years old. I was in Florida for Christmas and I had picked out a neclace for my mother (that she had to pay for). The man that wrapped it folded a small paper crane to put on the box, instead of a bow.

That crane changed my world forever.

I had never seen anything like it before. Less than a year later my great grandparents gave me the Reader's Digest book of arts and crafts. It had four scant pages of origami models. I learned them all. About a year later my mother got me John Montroll's Animal Origami for the Enthusiast. I would get in trouble in class because I was folding those models and the teacher thought I wasn't paying attention. Despite many attempts, the more complex models in that book were beyond my abilities until a few years ago. Even though I couldn't fold everything, I kept trying. Montroll's turtle remains one of my favorite models. I like to fold it out of Storch Chocolate Riesen wrappers.

When I found Wings and Things: Origami That Flies by Stephen Weiss, I took an extended trip into the realm of paper airplanes. While that was fun, it wasn't nearly as exciting as what I would discover next.

After having fiddled with origami for over ten years in relative isolation, I read about unit origami on the internet. I was very interested, but I couldn't find any accessable models. However, the next summer I found an origami book that had a very short section on unit, or modular, origami. It only had one Sonobe related unit. I was hooked. While I still enjoy "normal" origami, modular origami is my passion.

I have slowly accumulated a large origami book collection and I have made many interesting models. I enjoy making origami and I also enjoy teaching it, especially to children. Children are easy to teach because they don't have preconcieved ideas of what they can and can't do. They don't realize that a fold is supposed to be "hard" or that a model is "complex", they just fold whatever they have the finger dexterity to do. Origami is a great way for kids to lean about math and geometry, but the main reason I like to teach origami is because I want to instill the same sense of wonder in children that I had when I first saw that paper crane. It lifts my heart every time I heard a child say, "Look mommy, he made this out of paper!"

I don't like to keep the models I make because they start to clutter my space and because I'm usually not happy with how they turn out, so I give almost all of them away.

Creation of new models is one of the origami challenges that I have yet to face. For me origami is still a paint by numbers exercise. Someday, I hope to make that leap.

These pages last updated May 17, 2009. (house cleaning)
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