Thursday, August 30, 2012

Star Wars Origami by Chris Alexander

Have you ever tried origami?  I haven't.  I didn't do well with paper airplanes, so I figured trying to make paper figurines would be beyond me.  But this book makes it sound very tempting.

Workman Publishing sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy of it at your local bookstore.

The thought of Star Wars origami was intriguing to me and I had see how it was presented.  Mr. Alexander provides you with instructions on how to make 36 different projects, all Star Wars related.  I was most impressed by the fact that this book includes 72 sheets of specially designed Star Wars origami paper.  He not only shows you how so you can practice, he also gives you the paper to make the final product.  That's a win-win in my book.

The next thing that came to mind for me was how long has he been doing this and why?  When I found out he started at the age of four, I had to ask the author some questions. 

Here are my questions and his answers:

How did you develop an interest in origami? 

When I was four years old my mother loved to take my brother and sister and I to the library. She would pick a few books off the shelves and read to us. One day she grabbed an origami book thinking it was a Japanese story. It had all these cool pictures of thing made from paper. A boat, a fox, a grandfather clock, and a cup, things like that. She made a few things for us and I was fascinated. I wanted to make them myself but at that age the only thing I could handle was the cup, which has only three steps. I made that cup over and over and kept trying to use it at the dinner table. Paper doesn't hold juice very long before it starts leaking, but that didn't stop me from trying. My mom started bringing other origami books home for me and I started learning other simple models. She says it was to encourage my interest in the art form, but I suspect the real reason was to prevent the mess I'd been making at the table.
Isn't four an early age to start it? 

I don't think so. I remember playing with finger paints at that age. I think if I'd been able to paint something I could have put juice in, Today I might be trying to recreate the Mona Lisa instead of the X-Wing. At four my models were very sloppy and I couldn't read the instructions, they were mostly in Japanese anyway. But with a little help I could follow the diagrams and after a few attempts, I'd have the process memorized. With practice and time I could follow most simple models. As the saying goes... baby steps.
Have you always had an interest in Star Wars? 

You can blame my mother again. In the spring of 77 I was 13 and Star Wars Mania was sweeping the country. Before I ever saw the movie my mother gave me a copy of the book. I think I finished it in three or four days. I remember getting so wrapped up in the story I almost cried when Luke Skywalker's friend died over the death star. A few weeks later the family went to see the movie, and my younger sister did cry when R2 D2 was shot by the Jawas. The story really speaks to children. My friends and I started playing Rebels and Imperials instead of Cowboys and Indians, I had all the toys and comic books. I started learning about how the special effects were created and I began designing and building my own plastic space ships. I thought I would become a special effects artist when I grew up.
Which is your favorite character? 

Luke Skywalker. When I was growing up I wanted to be a jedi, protect the innocent with a lightsaber, and fly an X-Wing just like him. Today I just wish I had an R2 unit for a personal assistant. 

Do you have more ideas for unusual origami books? 

I do. I'm working on my next book which I'm calling Shadowgami.  It's a new style of origami no one has tried before. I don't want to give away it's secret yet, but I will say that a few well known origami artists I've shown examples to  were very impressed. I've designed a few models and when I have about 20 or so I'll try to get it published.

I think you can say he's addicted.  I loved hearing about his Mom's influence on him and his changing ambitions in life.  Why not share this book with your own Star Wars lover and inspire them?  Even if you just like doing origami, doing it with specially designed paper has to be much more fun.  Check it out!

Happy reading (and crafting).

1 comment:

Shan said...

I know many whom love Star Wars, but who would have thot?! Bet you the book sells well though 'cause people whom follow are into anything to do with. I am amazed at some of the things they sell, actually. But what a great craft idea. Boys and girls love origami!!