Between the Folds

French Origami Artist, Eric Joisel. It’s amazing that each of these sculptures starts out as a single, flat sheet of paper.

Last night I watched the documentary, Between the Folds. It’s about origami, art, math, and engineers. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it, but I thought I’d give it a try since I did origami as a kid and I obviously like folding metal.

It turns out to be a really cool documentary. I enjoyed hearing how origami has influenced both the artists and the scientists/mathematicians. It was a good mix of technically brilliant pieces and those that had a soft aliveness to them. The patterns were so intricate and resulted in such amazingly three dimensional forms. I wanted to get into the studio right away and start folding metal. Of course it was after midnight when I finished watching it, so I decided to spare my neighbors the headache, hehe.

Material artist Chris K. Palmer experimenting in paper with pattern, movement and a flood light

It was interesting to see how the artists became more and more simpler and emotional in their work as their technique became more developed. For the sciencey guys there was a striving to building a perfect algorithm to create folds or to see what sort of practical applications origami could have. It ended up being such a wonderful blending of math and art.

Being who I am, I was happy to hear both sides talk about how important the process was. One artist, Chris Palmer, spoke about how

The second wedge fold. I couldn't balance the colors in this photo right, sorry.
I have got to get folding!

the public and the galleries see so little of what the piece really is. They see the end result, but so much of it is the process used to create the piece. As a craftsperson, that speaks to so much of what I do.

I still have to finish the pieces that I’m working on right now, but I’m inspired to start working through some ideas that the film sparked. The idea of creating forms using the minimal amount of folding is intriguing. We’ll see where this goes.

I got it through Netflix, but I found this link to Between the Folds on YouTube, though I’m not sure how long it will be available there, it’s unsanctioned. You can also find out more at the PBS site.