Help us decorate Gloucester’s first (annual?) origami Christmas (or “Fishmas”) tree with 1000 origami fish!
The origami Christmas tree at the Museum of Natural History in New York – much more grandiose than what we are planning!
For years, people have been decorating Christmas trees with origami for public display in cities around the world. For example, New York City has two famous origami-decorated trees every year: one in the American Museum of Natural History, and another in the Japan Airlines offices on 5th Avenue. I met with David Brooks of Art Haven and The Hive, and he loved the idea of doing one here in Gloucester! The current plan is to display it in the front window of The Hive on Pleasant Street.
Our project has two special characteristics. First, we are making the whole thing – tree included – out of origami. It’s not the first time it’s been done, but it’s not so common! Secondly, we want it to be Gloucester-themed, so it will be decorated with origami fish. This honors both Gloucester’s spirit and history as a fishing port, and the ancient Christian tradition in which the fish is a symbol of Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
We want to get as many people involved as possible. In the spirit of the Japanese tradition of folding 1000 origami cranes, we are aiming for 1000 fish, so, we need a lot of help! Come to The Hive on Saturday, starting at 10AM, to help us fold origami
This is the fish we are going to make – in many sizes and colors!
fish! We are folding a specific origami fish model – the “Twist Fish” by Gay Merrill Gross (from her book Minigami). It’s very easy to fold. I will be there teaching for a few hours, and I will teach a few other people so they can teach others when I’m not there. We will have plain paper at The Hive that you can use, but you can bring your own paper too if you want to use fancier origami paper. (You can get paper at Island Art and Hobby on Main Street, or at other art and craft stores.) Also, you can decorate the fish after you fold it – draw a face or scales, paint it bright colors, or whatever!
The tree itself is already in production. I spent several hours yesterday folding with David Brooks and Mary Ann DeLouise to get our origami conifer off the ground:
Plus, next week I will be teaching two classes on origami holiday decorations! We will fold Christmas and Hanukkah themed models and geometric decorations (the variety of models depends on how we do for time). Folding materials will be supplied.
Here are the dates:
- Friday Dec. 14, 6:30-8PM at the Hive, for teens and adults ($15)
- Tuesday Dec. 18, 6:30-8PM at Art Haven, for children ($10)
I will try to post a more detailed menu of models I hope we can fold.
– Fr. Matthew Green