Ohio Paper Folders is a non-profit origami arts education organization based in Ohio. OPF provides programs around the state as well as offering service coordination and support for origamists. OPF founder and director, Monica Salisbury, asked origami enthusiast Francis Finnegan some questions about his interest origami. Finn will be attending events with Ohio Paper Folders in the months ahead as activities and schedules resume. Finn is new to the idea of sharing his work with the public and like many origamists he’s been working on his own learning from books and videos.
Monica: What drew you to origami? Have you sold any of your origami work? Do you create your own designs?
Finn: I like the way new paper smells, and the way the surface of a fresh sheet feels cool and smooth. I haven’t been folding very long so I haven’t sold anything, nor even tried to. And I haven’t tried designing anything yet, I’m still finding it exciting learning other people’s designs.
Monica: What is your profession? Do you see any similarities between your work and origami?
Finn: I don’t have a profession — I’m a student. My work is learning. I could see making a connection in learning and origami. My mind is the unused paper and then I’m going to follow the directions of a design (school lessons, for example) and transform my paper by learning.
Monica: Your work is colorful, energetic and rather spontaneous. What is the extent of your art training? Do you practice any other arts?
Finn: Really just what we got in school. I do like to paint and draw. I started painting some of the paper I use for folding, so yeah there is some benefit. I’m still not very good, but I like some of the effects I achieved with painting the paper.
Monica: What’s your favorite food and do you prepare it yourself?
Finn: Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks are my favorite, but I call them fish fingers. My mom generally makes them on Tuesday nights. She serves them with coleslaw and onion pancakes. I’m not allowed to use the oven without a grown up to supervise.
Monica: Do you have additional time to work on your origami since the pandemic has closed so many activities?
Finn: My parents decided I should be home schooled so my schedule has changed completely. I have had some extra time since I haven’t been doing most of the things I used to do. But I haven’t really been doing extra origami.
Monica: Do you think that the community at large could benefit from learning origami?
Finn: Definitely. People need to find more ways to relax and have fun, and what better than folding some paper into something else?
Monica: Do you have a pet, and if so does your pet enjoy origami?
Finn: I have a goldfish; he only cares if he gets fed. My family has several large dogs and they think the origami tastes great.
If you’re interested in origami and would like to help Ohio Paper Folders you could call us at (740) 334-4213 to help us with our community outreach programs. As issues with the pandemic resolve we will be resuming our normal scheduling. We are hoping to be at the Statehouse Tree Lighting, Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. For information on meetings or CenterFold visit www.ohiopaperfolders.com.