Published: 27th April 2020
Bobbie Vijayakkar's five cool origami art that will keep you busy during the Lockdown
Everyone today knows what origami is all about. Whether you're a kid or an adult, Bobbie Vijayakkar can teach you how a few bits of paper can keep boredom at bay during the lockdown
Bobbie Vijayakkar is self-trained origami artist who has been conducting workshops for children and adults in and around Mumbai. He narrates, "I learnt folding papers and making models when I was only seven years old. My uncle would give me old magazines and tell me to make models out of those papers. I would spend all my time making different models including dog, birds, butterflies and they looked attractive." While he continued doing origami in school and college, he had never taken it seriously. Since, Bob is an architect and an interior designer, he was posted to Jaipur on a project, a few years ago. "I was away from his family and got lots of free time. That's when I developed an interest in this art and decided to teach this to other kids in Mumbai. Origami is as important as other hobbies like reading books or painting. I feel it is equivalent to meditation as you concentrate or focus on folding the paper properly and giving it a proper shape."
Bobbie knows that kids love movement origami hence he tells us how to make a tumbling toy with a paper. Here are the steps to follow:
Make a tumbling toy with paper
1- Make a square out of origami paper or regular paper. The square can measure either 4x4 or 5x5 centimetres. Try to keep the square small. I personally prefer to use newspaper or recycled paper from magazines over A4 sheets
2- Next, fold the square paper in the centre in such a way that you get a mountain fold or a valley fold. Basically, there are two types of folds — mountain fold and valley fold. Every piece of origami art starts with it and when unfolded, it ends with these two folds
3- Then, fold either side of the paper into a triangle, which is popularly known as house fold as it looks like a house. Wait for a moment and ensure that it really looks like a house. Only then go ahead
4- When you make a house fold, you will see a vertical line formed. Then, fold the tip of the house and see that it touches slightly below this vertical line. Give the house a double fold. This will add weight to the tumbling toy. You will see that all these folds are made on only one side of the paper
5- The bottom part of the paper which is unfolded can now be folded in the form of a cupboard or what we call as a book fold. Fold either side of this cupboard into a triangle. Four tiny triangles are formed and your little tumbling toy made of paper is ready. Give it a slight push and it actually tumbles
The two-fold story:
Mountain Fold: According to Bob, a mountain fold is nothing but the shape of the letter A. In this type of fold, the pinnacle is on the top and everything is flowing down
Valley fold: Valley is the opposite of a mountain fold. When you reverse the paper folded in mountain shape, it appears like the letter V
Benefits of learning origami:
- Origami is clearly mathematical. Math or Geometry problems can be solved easily if a child knows the art of origami
- Origami can be used in school to teach Math to make an equilateral triangle, pentagon, hexagon etc
- It teaches young kids how to use the right and left brain as the paper is folded on both the sides and there is a lot of handworks involved
- It also gives them the pleasure of accomplishment once they complete each origami model.
- Aside from this, children learn team building. For instance, if one child learns to make a particular model easily and quickly, then Bobbie tells them to teach it to another child. He believes in the principle of 'Each One Teach One'
- Most of the corporate companies have these origami sessions as ice breakers for their employees every day. It helps them to think fresh and different
Bobbie's lockdown models
Every alternate days, Bobbie has been conducting workshops on social media for kids. After the lockdown, a lot of private companies started approaching him to conduct origami workshops for their employees' kids too. He says, “Anyone can learn origami for free by attending my workshops when I go live on Instagram and Facebook. I have created and taught kids to make tumbling toys, flapping birds, barking dogs and so on because children like action origami or movement origami. In movement origami, we can create frogs, peacocks, seals, a sailing ship in a water tank, etc. In origami, I teach kids to make a paper dustbin that can be used while travelling. They can dispose all kinds of trash like chips packet, banana peel etc which can be later disposed into dustbins."
Some of his fond memories while teaching origami:
A year ago, Bobbie went to Dharavi in Mumbai when an NGO invited him to teach origami to kids in this slum. "I was happy to see one of the kids who quickly understood what I was teaching and his friends were confused about folding the paper. Hence, the kid started telling them in a simple language that they could understand. He told them to make the first fold like a multiplication sign (diagonal fold) and then fold into plus or addition sign (vertical or horizontal fold). This was the first time that I realised that origami can be taught using mathematical symbols also because it is a form of sign language"
Once Bobbie gifted a couple a heart which he made from a ₹500 note and they treasure it still
Don your origami hat
Whenever Bobbie holds workshop for children, he teaches them to make a hat out of paper and wear it. He believes that wearing a cap gives them a feeling of happiness and confidence that they can accomplish or create anything just like the Harry Potter
Bobbie looks up to these origami artists
Jeremy Shafer is a famous origami artist based in California and has been into this art since he was ten years old. He is famous for creating his own and unique designs in origami and some of them include Man Swatter and BARF Bag
Paul Jackson calls himself a paper artist, paper engineer, writer and teacher. He has written more than 40 books about origami for adults and children. The recent books are all about the application of folding techniques in design as it is a subject he has taught in more than 80 universities and colleges in 13 countries
Origami videos to check out
Bob recommends videos by Jeremy Shafer on his YouTube channel called JeremyShaferOrigami. He has taught to make flying chicken, jumping mouse, jumping man, heart box and many other creative things which you will love
Bobbie's future plans
Bobbie will continue to teach this art to children as they are the future creators or designers and use origami commercially to make sustainable furniture at home or in designing rockets and satellites to fit the panel in the smallest of the spacecraft
Currently, Bob is using his art of origami to create a folding bed which is the need of the hour. He says, "There are people who have created detachable beds but there are no folding beds. I want to create this folding bed in such a way that it can be carried in the smallest of the container."