Origami isn’t just a pastime, it’s a design inspiration. Whether it be the delicate elegance of a peace crane, or the angular minimalism of a sheet of crisply folded paper, the simplicity of this Japanese art form has led to the creation of some truly stunning pieces of contemporary furniture and lighting.
Many a time have I stared at the picture below of Eva Menz’s crane installation at ESPA at the G. It’s not exactly suited to a domestic placement (imagine trying to dust that!) but it’s not too hard to try and replicate on a much smaller scale.
The off-the-peg product:
The do-it-yourself number:
First of all, you’ll need to learn how to fold a basic origami design, such as a paper crane. Next, make lots of them! Choose either coloured or plain white paper, of varying thickness, depending on whether you want to focus on the colour of the shade, or the light glowing through the paper.
Practice before you go and buy lots of paper, as you’ll need to judge how big a sheet you need – some square origami paper is small, so you may want to cut larger, standard rectangle sheets to size instead.
Get your paper cranes, and a paper boule lampshade, then carefully stick the cranes to the shade by the tip of the wing or tail, building in layers from the base up. For a stronger (but fiddlier) way of attaching the cranes, run a needle and thread through the tips of the crane wings and sew onto a stiffened fabric shade.
Thanks to Thalia and Ingrid for their examples!
If a couple of hundred paper cranes is a bit too much, try just a scattering of cranes for a pretty mobile.