Thursday, 9 June 2016

Zen Origami, by Maria Sinayskaya. Review.

Zen Origami

20 Modular Forms for Meditation and Calm

By Maria Sinayskaya

Race Point Publishing 2016

Paperback £12.99 UK/$19.99 US/$23.99 CAN

ISBN 978-1-63106-197-4

Star rating: **** (origami star rating!)

If you are keen on the mindful crafting trend, but want a change from colouring, Zen Origami  could be the book for you. ( Actually, it is a “value added” book – it comes with a batch of mini origami squares  and is smartly packaged in a classy sleeve with a slide tray). 

The author, Maria Sinayskya, has a master’s degree in mathematics. She has applied her pro knowledge (and love of geometry) to origami design, specializing in modular constructions – polyhedral, kusudamas, and stars. The exquisitely intricate-looking globes in the book are all assembled from multiples of the same folded unit. To assemble each shape, you must master the folds of one unit, fold it in quantity (having memorized the moves), then build the shape by sliding the interlocking units into place. The repetitive action is calming (an alpha state of crafty bliss). 

The book is thoughtfully planned (as you would expect ) - preface with meditative slant,  contents a gallery of the book projects, followed by basic how-tos, an excellent tips section, then on to the projects. You are eased in gently -  flat constructions  - before moving on to 3D.

The starter flat shapes are winners and would make great gift wrap decorations. The Giant Star is sort of a cheat’s Froebel Star. The Two-Faced Flower is gorgeous.

The multi-faceted shapes are fabulous, and make use of the double-sided origami papers provided. Some of the star stars include: Skella  Alpha Kusudama (openwork interlocking shape), Isolde Sonobe and Ester Sonobe (dimensional multifaceted stars), Lorence Sonobe (an interwoven appearance). Some of the shapes have graceful floral-like curls, others are more angular and spiky. All are breathtakingly beautiful.

Now, when you are applying yourself to the projects, you will come across phrases like “30-unit dodecahedral assembly”.  Keep calm (that’s the point). The clear illustrations – including close-up details   and  text  will guide you through. The step-by-steps are (as you would expect from a mathematician) precise and foolproof.

The projects have been thoughtfully photographed, and are made up in a flattering choice papers of varying colours, textures, and effects   metallic,  dimpled , mixed prints (although they are not the same as the double-sided papers provided, which are a pleasant mix of prints that reverse to plains). 

If you like origami, you appreciate intriguing, absorbing puzzle-like challenges. Maria Sinayskaya’s collection of complex – yet calming constructions– comes up with the goods.