Filed under: Editorial
Paper flowers with a twist. Benagami is a special type of origami created by Benjamin Coleman. I was blown away by the detail and creativity. The passion is inspiring and remarkable.
Per Benjamin, "Makigami is both a material and a technique. Makigami means "roll paper" in Japanese just as origami means "fold paper." I cut newspaper and then saturate it in a liquid that includes small amounts of glue and paint, and then gently at first, roll it into a tube. The tube is then rolled repeatedly, gently and carefully, so that the paper slowly forms a tightly compacted shaft of material. I can control the taper of the shaft by varying the shape I make it from...
...Thick tree trunks are made of many layers of newspaper. Once the makigami has been rolled I shape it by bending it around dowels, broom handles, bowls, or any other shape I think will be interesting. I tape it in place with masking tape and put it in my car, again parked in the hot sun, to cure. Makigami cures in three hours in the summer, more like five in the winter."
He continues, "This is my fifth chess set. These sets VERY time consuming to produce. The set is made entirely from recycled paper. Each plant represents a different chess piece. Mushrooms represent pawns, and the various more powerful pieces are represented by different flowering plants. This set took over one hundred hours to produce. It is the finest set I have made. The trick to making a good chess set is to make sure certain pieces mirror each other. Notice that the castles and rooks mirror of each other (their stems twist in opposite directions). Also notice that the queen and king are similar in height, but the queen has thorns; suggestive of her tremendous power."
He also invented a new kind of paper! It's designed specifically for folding flowers, and is printed on both sides with colored floral patterns. Each package comes with enough paper to make 168 flowers and many, many leaves. This means an Origami Bonsai sculpture can be made in as little as 30 minutes, instead of the hours it used to take because we had to paint the paper.
Super interesting, right? Check out his book
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