Find me on Etsy

I’m not a very good blogger. I’ll admit that. Of course looking at my posts and the interval of time between them should make that obvious.

I like to fold. I’ve been developing my own techniques towards that purpose for something like six years now and I still manage surprise myself with what I can find in a simple piece of paper. Origami tessellation is, after all, a niche within a niche and by all rights it should have exhausted itself by now. But I keep folding.

But I’m not that good at talking about what I do or how I do it. Folding the way I do has become as second nature as signing my own name. I don’t think about “reverse folds” and “rabbit ears” and “bird bases” when I fold and I don’t think any of those terms would apply anyway. I don’t know what words would apply.

So don’t count on a book of instructions or diagrams coming from me: it’s not that I’m trying to hide anything or that I am possessive of my designs. I just don’t know how to do that. I have great esteem for those who create and encourage others to create with them; artists who can teach. My friend Philip is a great example of this ideal. I wish I could do what he does.

People seem to like my origami, but I don’t think I’m much of an origamist. I’m just a struggling artist who stumbled onto an unusual way to get images out of my head and onto paper (or rather into paper). The creases I make are a meandering path into unknown territory, and the path is never the same the second time. If I could lead others down that path, or better yet, help them find their own, I would.

Speaking of meandering, all of this is merely poetical justification for the more prosaic purpose of shameless promotion. I don’t have instructions or diagrams but I do have the origami art itself. Once they are folded, I have no use for them, but hopefully someone else would. I try to make them look good, as I would with artwork of any other media, and  each piece is one of a kind. I have opened a shop on Etsy to sell the fruits of my paper-folding perambulations. You can still go to my Flickr site, of course, if you just want to see what I’m up to. But now their is a home for pieces you can have for your very own. Buy one, hang it on your wall, scrutinize it, take it apart and try to put it back together again. Help me finance my paper habit.


3 thoughts on “Find me on Etsy

  1. Your post has made me think a little bit about teaching, and learning, and what role we all play in this….

    Philip has his own way of teaching– but you can still do what you’ve done all along: lead by example. And we need people that can lead by example, just as much as those that lead by lecture. By staying out of the teaching arena you force us to do what we should have been doing all along: to learn by figuring things out ourselves.


  2. Joel – my wife and I stumbled across you and your masks a number of years ago on the Lawrence Art Walk. You were showing them for the first time in the library, and had maybe three on display. I went coo-coo for them and had to have one, told you that if you ever hooked up with the folding community they would eat your stuff up. In your fashion you expressed doubt that anyone would be that interested, and said you weren’t even that sure you wanted to sell the ones you’d done.

    Well, I told you so. 😉


  3. Hi, i’m Ada.
    I’m a reporter from the Hong Kong free magazine,”Trends’on”.
    Trends’on is a free media that focuses on art culture and art education.
    We will be focusing on origami artist in the following issue (launches on 15/02).
    We would like to try and let more people know about this subject, at the same time get more people to look at art/design differently.
    We would like to ask you a few questions about yourself, your work and your thoughts on hair stylist, and the information might be featured in Trends’on.
    Would you be able to help?


    ada cheng
    m: 6173 5113


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