In the course I teach, Think Like an Origami Designer, one of the topics we’ve discussed is how to find the inspiration to create origami.
A while back, I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Tomoko Fuse, creator of an origami monkey presented on Origami Spirit. She is one of the origami creators I most admire and she has authored many delightful instructional books.
I interviewed Tomoko Fuse on camera, but unfortunately the microphone wasn’t working very well and our discussion was very hard to understand. Here is a transcription of some of the questions I asked Ms. Fuse and her kind responses. One of those questions had to do with what inspires her when creating origami.
Read on! I think you’ll find some inspiration too!
LT. How did you become interested in origami?
TF. When I was a child at some point I was ill and didn’t go to school. So my father bought me an origami book. It was a book by Yoshizawa. In my bed, all by myself, I folded everything. It was a big joy and I forgot about time. I just folded and that was my starting point.
LT. Before having that book, had you ever folded something?
TF. When I was young so many children were going to kindergarten that I couldn’t go. At school children were taught how to fold figures and they showed them to me, but I didn’t do anything.
LT. As origami enthusiasts many of us have learned from your well diagramed instructional books. How did you became interested in making origami books?
TF. When I got acquainted with unit origami, my origami work was started. Before then, I just folded simple models, but when I found unit origami it became big for me.
LT. When you design modular origami do you need to use math?
TF. I’m not a mathematician, I’m a normal Japanese person. I don’t use math. Origami in itself includes everything. I learn through origami.
LT. Please describe for us a typical day in your life. What does your daily routine look like?
TF. It is the same sequence. I start folding at about 8:30 am. After lunch, my husband and I take an hour-long walk. Then we go back home and I fold perhaps until 7pm.
LT. Do you do some cooking?
TF. My husband is a very good cook. I enjoy eating!
LT. What’s your major source of inspiration?
TF. Folding itself shows and teaches me. For example, today I want to fold a cube, so I start. Then something new begins to emerge and my focus goes in a different direction.
LT. So an earlier origami idea generates a new one…
Yes, my fingers, my paper, they show me, they teach me… I respond to what the paper teaches me.
LT. How has origami contributed to your life?
TF. Origami has shown me another world. It has shown me a beautiful and interesting world. It provides me with a very nice feeling. It feeds my sense of beauty. Origami is a way in which people of all generations, young and all, become friends.