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Hold the fold: Students learn ancient oriental art
by Jason Collins
Jul 14, 2013 | 1038 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Avegail Almerol and her son Drake Parsons get some help folding a bird out of a paper during an origami class at the library.
Avegail Almerol and her son Drake Parsons get some help folding a bird out of a paper during an origami class at the library.
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Christina Gonzalez gives a hand to her daughters Toni and Gaby during an origami class at the library Thursday morning.
Christina Gonzalez gives a hand to her daughters Toni and Gaby during an origami class at the library Thursday morning.
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Ozcar Vargas admiring his finished bird.
Ozcar Vargas admiring his finished bird.
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Jim Ramsey teaches a few lucky kids (and some adults) how to make an origami bird. Double click the video for full screen
Hold the Fold
Jim Ramsey teaches a few lucky kids (and some adults) how to make an origami bird. Double click the video for full screen
When Jim Ramsey’s students were finished with their classroom drafting assignment, he would have them folding paper.

It was always something simple — basic origami shapes to keep them busy until the Jones High bell rang and it was time for them to leave.

“We started playing around with different shapes such as, if you make a octagon or hexagon, what can you make it into?” he said.

Well, that little tactic of keeping idle hands busy seemed to resonate with Ramsey as he practiced more complex folds.

Eventually, he picked up books and started searching the Internet for new ideas.

“You can look up just about anything on the computer. Just put in ‘origami’, and you can learn to make anything. I picked up a lot of stuff there,” he said.

Ramsey will often carry small pieces of paper with him when he and his go someplace.

“I needed something when my wife and I went shopping,” he said laughing.

“Woman have to go up and down every isle when they shop. Men go in, pick up this and that, pay and are gone.

“She will go in someplace like Ross’s, and I will sit down and fold things and give them to the kids coming in and out. We were both happy.”

On Thursday morning, Ramsey was inside the library performing one of his usual demonstrations.

“I have a couple of two or three simple things. It is up to them if they want to continue on,” he said.

As he looked out at the students in the library, he smiled — happy to be back in front of a class again after a dozen years of retirement.

“I like fairly simply stuff because I like to start it, get it done and get it out of the way,” he told the students. “I don’t like long, complex projects.”

He held up examples — an angel, flower and bird.

Ramsey recited the history of origami, but the students seemed more eager to start learning this oriental art form.

There would be no idle hands that morning as they creased each fold and tucked each corner.

What began in China in the first or second century, then spread to Japan in the sixth century will continue on with these youngsters.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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