Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Origami Garden, by Mark Bolitho. Review.

By Mark Bolitho
Jacqui Small, May 2017
Paperback (includes pack of double-sided origami papers), 
£14.99 UK/US $19.99/CAN 29.99

ISBN 978-1-911127-10-9

Star rating: *****

The publication of this delightful title just happens to coincide serendipitously, with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We can all appreciate the horticultural glories on display – but not all of us have green fingers (or thumbs, as the case may be). Some of us express ourselves creatively by papercrafting – and The Origami Garden is an appropriate, perfectly-timed treat for us.

The book is being pitched as a mindfulness activity, origami joining the mindfulness bandwagon – which, of course, any involving craft you can lose yourself in qualifies for. Calm sounds good. And origami is much more mentally engaging than colouring!

So – what’s in the book? Splendid, fun, imaginative 3-D designs, well thought out and made up in suitable papers (which are handily provided inside back cover). The models are divided into four themed sections –  Seeds and Plants, Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables, and Garden Life.  So, plenty of variety. There’s a Seedling  in a Pot (including  origami “soil”), Nuts in a Bowl, various flower blossoms, a delightful pleated Palm Leaf, trendily genius flowering Cactus in a Pot, and a cleverly constructed freestanding Pine Tree. There’s a Mushroom, Pear, and an appealingly puffy Tomato. A Butterfly, Frog, Bird, and a perky Snail. Many of these projects would be suitable for gift presentation – or as giftwrap embellishments.

Each project is star-system rated for complexity. Each is accompanied by detailed step-by-step line drawings, including directional arrows and indication of paper side. These are clearly accompanied by text.

The author, Mark Bolitho, has been a long-time member of the British Origami Society, a former Chairman. Having retired from his day job, he has forged an exciting second career as an origami creative. He is a prolific origami author and design  consultant. Now that’s living the dream! Congrats.

Glad to hear that Mark Bolitho has more themed origami books in the pipeline. I look forward to seeing them.

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.