"Do you use tweezers/tools to fold them?" is the #1 question I am most often asked. I don't when folding cranes. I can even fold the tiniest 1/2" squares into 1/4" high cranes by hand. I use tiny pieces of paper, my fingers, reading glasses and good light. I do use tweezers now to fold the origami frogs when the paper is smaller than a 1.5" square. You can read more questions & answers about folding miniature origami cranes on my blog at Tinygami.wordpress.com.
Why I fold in miniature
We live in a world where bigger is often thought of as better. All the while we wait for that one big thing to happen and miss out on all of the tiny wonderful things like the beauty of nature and the small gestures of kindness given to us by the people around us. I like to think that the smallness of my artwork is a reason for people to slow down and encourages them to see that little things can brighten their day, not just things made of paper, but many things in many ways.
I also believe that by folding such small origamis it helps to expand the idea of possibilities, that when someone sees or is holding in their hand something they wouldn't have believed it was possible to make, it will help them to realize that there may be more possibilities in their own lives than they have realized. Life's hardships can make us feel cynical and that there is a finite amount of possibilities life has to offer us as individuals. But with one's imagination reignited and expanded, anything is possible.
Why I fold origami cranes
The graceful beauty of the origami crane has made it one of the most beloved of the origami paper folds. Japanese folklore says that the crane lives for 1000 years. This is why the Japanese believe that folding 1000 cranes will bring good health and a long life, not only to the folder but to the recipient as well.
I was taught how to make origami cranes by my maternal grandmother who was one of the kindest women I have had the honor of knowing. She passed away when I was 10 years old but I have two very fond memories of her. One was that she used to go in our backyard and pick up bumble bees and let them crawl on her hands. She wasn't afraid. She encouraged me to pet their fuzzy little bodies while they were feeding on clover. I did, and never got stung. She had that kind of gentle spirit. I also remember the day she taught me how to make an paper crane with a sky blue piece of origami paper while sitting on the front porch on a warm summer day. She was a wonderful role model even though I only knew her for 10 short years. Origami is my most tangible connection to her. I love that folding tiny cranes is a way for me to honor her memory.
The Tinygami Studio
The summer of 2016 was the ground breaking for my custom folding studio. It took just over a year and a half from start to finish. To have my own private work space... I cannot describe how it feels to have such a space. I am (and will always be) eternally grateful to Fred and all that he has done for me. It is amazing. That I can create with no distractions, surrounded by nature in one of the most beautiful places I've ever known is more than I could have ever hoped for. You can view more images of the building process and the working studio on Instagram at #tinygamistudio