Paper Folders

Creativity is not so much more than problem solving. - Cousin Becky

Part of the same family -- my aunt Susie is a wonderful quilter, my cousin Becky is a professional potter, my mom makes costumes and sets and other large-scale decorations. There is a lot of artistic or at least craft talent on my mom's side of the family. But I want to talk about my cousin Aaron and my uncle Jim in particular.

Uncle Jim has been folding Origami for a long time. When my family would go to Indiana for Christmas he would teach us, as kids, how to fold stars and boxes, and he'd make us rings out of dollar bills. When Aaron was old enough and got interested, Jim's interest also picked up. They joined a folding group -- IRON Folders (Indiana Regional Origami Network of Folders), and they occasionally go to conventions or to meet with the authors of origami books.

I wanted to get them to talk more about their hobby, since to me it seems sort of obscure. (I was not one of the cousins to pick up a profound interest or talent in it.) And Jim talked about how he didn't consider himself creative or artistic -- he is an engineer by trade. He just likes to fold.

He talked about a guy, Robert Lang, who was a physicist and well-known folder, who NASA contacted. They needed him to find a way to fold a large lens into a rocket so they could send it into space.

He talked about when my cousin Angie (Aaron's mom) was in the hospital. "For sanitary reasons, we weren't allowed to bring in any real flowers or fruit for decoration. But we could bring in paper," he said. Jim knows dozens of ways to fold flowers.

"I guess that's when paper folding became more important to me."

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