Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Origami for Mindfulness, by Mari Ono. Review.

Origami for Mindfulness

Colour and fold your way to inner peace with these 35 calming projects

By Mari Ono

CicoBooks 2016

Paperback (includes 61 sheets of origami paper), £12.99 UK/$19.99 US/$23.95 CAN

ISBN 978-1-78249-405-8

Star rating: ****

The world was bound to move on from mindful colouring books – and, thankfully, origami was right here, waiting to be re-discovered! J Author Mari Ono’s new book focuses on the therapeutic value of origami. Who knew, for instance, that the fingertip movements involved in origami activates busy brain activity – and so is a dementia deterrent (we all knew that crafting is good for you). The introductory section is a mine of such information, plus it also provides a delightful social history of origami and its role in Japanese society. (Apparently, the first origami book was published in 1797 – so, like crochet, the craft does not have a long recorded history.)

The well-chosen projects are presented in three chapters: Love & Hope, Happiness & Laughter, and Belief and Willingness. All of the projects are given difficulty ratings. The step-by-steps are photographic with superimposed arrows to indicate folding direction. The projects are playfully propped and photographed. Some of the projects involve a little cutting and/or gluing (Cherry Blossom, Kusudama Decorative Sphere) – so origami purists may not be happy bunnies (but crafters are sure to be).  There is plenty of variety in the projects – there are useful  containers, modular designs, and a stunning Kimono that would make a fab gift wrap decoration.

The 61 origami papers have been specially designed for the projects in the book, a joint project by the author and her husband,Takumasa. Consideration has been given to where the folds fall on the paper. (I am always so very impressed by engineered patterns!) Many papers featured graduated colour, and almost half of the designs are supplied in black and white (in case you want to ramp up the mindfulness quotient by doing a bit of colouring).

This title would make a lovely gift. It is suitable for origami newbies of all ages – older children upwards.

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