Modular Origami: How Did I Get Started?
12 Feb 2008

I made my first paper models from a classic book by Robert Lang called The Art of Paper Folding. Ravi Subramanian, a classmate in grade V in 1984, lent me that book (for good). Many years later, in 2007, I picked up origami again — this time, it was Modular Origami!

Each model requires love, patience and diligence. My primary goal was stress management. For every person, there are activities that can relax you by absorbing attention fully. Activities range from cooking, knitting, listening to music, gardening and taking a dog out for a walk. For some, it is making a cup of tea and savoring every sip of it. For me, it was modular origami.

In December 2007, I visited an Origami exhibition with superb models on display. Thanks to the organizers for letting me take pictures to share with you.

The same month, I received a charming note from Meenakshi Mukerji, the author of Marvelous Modular Origami. Two of my assemblies are now part of her guestbook (2007). She encouraged me to design something original, now that I have assembled 50+ models by others.

On 29 Dec 2007, my 3-year old daughter Simran was thrilled to see all these "balls" hanging from the ceiling above the dining area. She wanted to make more of these with me. And she actually colored one of the balls with paint. On another day, she transported 30+ origami boxes, one by one, to another room and arranged them neatly in a 'pattern'. Since the boxes are "delicate" she is "careful" with them. Finally, she called me to the other room to show me her work. She squealed in delight when I came and saw!

Assembly of origami models taught me a few things. Color choices are challenging; I am still a neophyte. Taking good photographs is challenging. The human eye is very forgiving when it beholds a real model. In photographs, even minor aberrations stand out. Finally, a picture tends to "flatten" the model by converting 3D into 2D. I am working on making short YouTube videos to bring out the 3D nature of the models.

If you are in the silicon valley, you can get started with modular origami by buying "origami paper" from Michael's or Daiso. 100 sheets cost around two to three dollars. There are plenty of modular origami books in Santa Clara County Library whose membership is free. All that remains is patience, diligence and time. The final result is bound to bring you joy.

If you need help in assembling your first model, write to gurmeet at gmail.

© Copyright 2008—2018, Gurmeet Manku.