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Origami for Busy People -Book Review

marcia joy miller

Marcia Joy Miller’s has been practicing origami for many years and is a seasoned origami artist, designer, and teacher.

 Origami for Busy People, her just published first book, is filled with many of her own ingenious models. Without a doubt this book is a treat for origami enthusiasts.

What I love about this book:

  • The first chapter includes an illustrated list of symbols, folding tips, techniques, and a clear description of bases and instructions on how to fold them. If you are just beginning your origami voyage, review this chapter carefully. Every technique that Marcia references is used to build the models featured throughout the book!
  • Diagrams are clear and use all the international standard origami symbols and conventions.
  • Explanatory text accompany most diagrams. Although it’s possible to follow the diagrams without reading the text, Marcia’s detailed instructions help clarify the folding sequences.
  • There is a variety of ingenious models presented including flat models suitable for making greeting cards, action models, one-piece models and several modular pieces.
  • All models are rated as being either at the beginner or intermediate level.
  • One of my favorite models is the Morph Ball. Built with twelve pieces of paper, the Morph Ball is one of the more intricate pieces in this book. Once you are finished assembling it, the ‘morphing action’ from ball into a disk is lots of fun and very satisfying.

What I am not so sure about:

  • Although the diagrams are clearly numbered and sequenced, the layout of some pages seems overly crowded. Consequently for some models especially, very close attention must be paid to following the proper step sequence. Otherwise, it’s possible to get lost as the layout tends to lead the eye in directions that might not be correct.
  • The book includes 48 tear sheets at the end intended to be used to make the models in the book. This is an enticing feature. But I rather not tear the sheets and destroy the integrity of the book as a beautifully published object. It ends up looking like a book with missing pages.
  • The division of the book into chapters such as “Coffee-break origami”, “Lunchtime Origami” and “After-work Origami” seems to be a marketing strategy that doesn’t add to the experience of origami, or an understanding of the models. But, if this increases the appeal of origami to those who perceive themselves as busy, then the mission is accomplished!

Despite these few misgivings, Origami for Busy People is an excellent addition to the origami library, and I’ve included it on my list of presents to give this holiday season. The book is a labor of love and offered to its audience in the best spirit of origami from one with an original mind, and a playful heart.

Here are photos of some of the models in the book


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