Origami Page:
     Friendship Butterfly

Mary Ellen Palmeri

Welcome to our monthly "Origami Page". Origami is folding paper and ending up with delightful figures and models, such as flowers, boxes and animals. This feature will showcase a different origami model in each monthly issue, with diagrams and photos to help readers learn how to fold them. Most models use one square of paper, some use a rectangle, and others use more than one piece of paper.


Photo by Mary Ellen Palmeri

August 7 is International Friendship Day, a day designed to foster friendships and bridge the gaps between race, color, religion and other factors so humans can more easily enjoy friendship with one another. The "Friendship Butterfly" was designed by Origami Grandmaster Akira Yoshizawa (1911-2005) to help promote friendship worldwide.  His hope was that children of all ages would learn to fold this butterfly and give it away in a friendship gesture - or even better, teach others how to fold it.  Entire classrooms around the world have learned to fold these butterflies and then exchange them with students from other cities and countries.

Rather than demonstrate your friendship with a commercial greeting why not be creative and give a hand-folded butterfly to those around you?  You can fold these from any square of paper - my favorite size is about 4.5" sq. - but I have made butterflies from many different sizes.  Traditional origami paper works very well for this model due to its thin but strong qualities, but many people use everyday copy paper.  Find what sizes and papers that work best for you.  Some folders enjoy coloring the paper by hand to result in particular designs - first they fold a model, then unfold it to color the areas that will show, then re-fold to finish.

Happy folding!

Origami originated in ancient Asian cultures and has been adapted by contemporary artists worldwide to reflect their own cultures. Local artist Mary Ellen Palmeri has incorporated paper folding into many of her mixed media art paintings, and teaches origami classes locally and nationally. Some of her work can be seen in a Tucson Happenings feature here: Artist_Profile

Ms. Palmeri's original origami models have been published in books and magazines, she has been featured on broadcast media, and her mixed-media fine art works often include various original origami models. Origami LAFF (Lyric Arts Folding Fest) is a Tucson based club founded by Ms. Palmeri to provide a venue for sharing this art. The group meets monthly at a local library; for more details please contact the artist at info@lyric-arts.com

Origami Page

Click for printable PDF file.

Creative Juice Art Bar