Origami Page:
     The Watermelon

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.



The Watermelon: Interesting Facts and Fancies:

The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5.000 years ago in Egypt! It is found in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of ancient buildings.

The watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa and it still grows wild in that area of the world. They are tropical or subtropical plants and are grown in many areas of the world today. In 2014, global production of watermelons was 111 million metric tons!

Interestingly, there is a traditional Japanese game called "suikawari" that involves splitting a watermelon with a stick while blindfolded. The rules are similar to the Piñata game, except that the watermelon is laid on the ground while the blindfolded participants attempt to smash it open with a wooden stick. The first to crack it open wins, and everyone gets to share in eating the melon!

This origami watermelon is from one of my favorite designers, Shoko Ayogi from Japan. She presents a very playful style in the origami models she creates. I love to use this particular model to decorate greeting cards for the summer months. Large models are fun to use to decorate a festive party table as they will stand by themselves, and smaller models can be used as place-cards.

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

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