When I was a kid, I had a fascination for paper folding. I learned from many different people growing up. My mom taught me the lotus. Her friend - animals like penguins, whales, and frogs. My cousins - stars and turtles. But out of all the patterns I learned, my favorite was the crane.
Growing up, my mom had a Thai restaurant across from the university. Student employees would come and go over the years and teach me (some even tutor me) arts and academics. A Japanese student taught me how to fold cranes. I remember sitting at one of the booths with her, observing carefully. It was magical! I was fascinated and became obsessed with folding cranes. After school, I'd get to the restaurant and practice for hours, folding them as small as I could. So much so that my mom suggested I try to sell them, and I sold them for 10 cents each. What a deal!
I tried more intermediate and advanced patterns, like dragons, insects, and birds, as I got older. But always came back to the crane. The folds are meditative and straightforward, but the design is complex and universally loved.
Studies show that origami can help improve hand-eye coordination develop fine motor skills and mental concentration. It's a therapeutic art form that anyone can do. When you complete a pattern, you experience euphoria, a sense of accomplishment, and zen.
When I fold miniature cranes, it brings back happy childhood memories and reminds me to be patient and in the moment. It helps me get through mental blocks by meditating on possible solutions. But most of all, it makes me happy when I can create something tiny! Because how can you not love miniature origami?
Images: Turtle, Crane, Lotus
Main Blog Image: Renzuru
Renzuru, Meaning consecutive cranes, is a series of conjoined folded cranes from a single sheet of paper by making strategic cuts. It first appeared in the book published in 1797, Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (the secret methods of making a thousand conjoined cranes).