Monday, April 25, 2011

Day Ninety-Seven: A Rayon Mesh Origami Crane

Tonight's bird was one of the most challenging to date:  it is an origami crane made from a square of rayon mesh.  Who knew that such a thing was even possible?  I saw this package of origami paper down at McGuckin's today, and I just had to get it.  It's really not paper at all, but a very loosely woven netting material, that feels like fine window screening.  When I sat down to make the bird, it was like working blind.  Though I was familiar enough with the sequence of folds, my creases wouldn't hold.  Moreover, I was looking through every single layer of the folded piece, seeing all the layers at once:  a truly surreal experience for anyone who is familiar with the process of making origami.  It was as if I were looking inside and through the structure, as I was creating it!  It's hard to describe how odd this felt.
Aside from the technical difficulty of folding and creasing a material that felt more like wire than paper, it was impossible to see what I was doing.  I might have been better off if I had closed my eyes, and just made the folds from memory.
As you can see from my final result, I failed miserably with the points of the beak and the tail; the material was stretching and shredding as I worked.  But still, it is an amazing little bird.  I'll definitely have to practice this many times to improve my technique with this strange material.
Origami is an awe-inspiring art:  to take a piece of flat paper and make a three dimensional form with just folding--no cutting, no gluing, no clipping--is magical.  Now, with this transparent material, it's inner secrets are fully revealed!

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