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Paper Thistle Art

Origami Days

Nov 11

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“A master of origami said he tried to express with paper the joy of life, and the last thought before a man dies.”

~ Tor Udall, A Thousand Paper Birds

Paper folding techniques have a long history in many countries including Europe, China, and Japan. Traditional Japanese origami techniques and directions which were codified during the early 20th century paved the way for a resurgence of interest in the 1980s when a number of paper folders started systematically studying the mathematical properties of folded forms, which led to a rapid increase in the complexity of origami! Today's origami techniques include action origami, wet-folding, kirigami (paper cutting), tessalation-style, moneygami (money folding), and Golden Venture (3D origami), and many more. Popular Scottish-themed origamis include several designs for thistles, kilts, Scottie dogs, and Loch Ness Monsters!


October 24th through November 11th marks the season of World Origami Days, an international celebration of the Japanese art of paper folding.

Traditional Japanese origami has been practiced since the Edo period (1603–1867).  It includes paper-folding only designs as well as paper-cutting techniques and starting with non-square shapes. 

Today, many different forms of origami are practiced:


  • Action - which includes origami that flies, requires inflation to complete, or, when complete, uses the kinetic energy of a person's hands, applied at a certain region on the model, to move a section

  • Modular - putting a number of identical pieces together to form a complete model

  • Wet-folding - for producing models with gentle curves

  • Pureland - adds the restrictions that only simple mountain/valley folds may be used, and all folds must have straightforward locations

  • Tessalations - a collection of figures filling a plane with no gaps or overlaps

  • Kiragami - paper-cutting

  • Technical - in which the model is conceived as an engineered crease pattern, rather than developed through trial-and-error

  • Moneygami - using paper bills for designs

See below for a Loch Ness Monster origami tutorial. 


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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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