By: Drew Huddleston
QVHS clubs have long strived to bring students unique opportunities to experience new things. The brand new QVHS Origami club is doing just that, by teaching the unique art of Japanese paper folding.
“About four months ago, I was just doing something, and thought to myself, ‘I should probably learn how to make an origami Crane, that seems like something fun to do.’ I ordered some origami paper and made a lot of cranes,” club founder and junior Micheal Lipton told me about the inception of his interest in origami.
While art and Quaker Valley are intertwined, Micheal felt that his passion for origami was something worth sharing with others. “I wanted to make a club because I had taught a couple of friends how to make cranes, and I enjoyed doing it. I just decided, ‘Why not make it into a club and see if other people will join,’” and it turned out that other people wanted to learn how to make origami.
Meetings, which occur over zoom, begin with a quick five-minute discussion between Micheal and his members. “We talk for five minutes just to get everybody loose, so people will be more willing to ask questions,” Lipton explained. Then, Micheal demos the process, allowing everyone to follow along with him as he walks them through the process. Around half-an-hour later, each student has their own, hand-crafted origami creation.
While the club has seen immediate success, it also has faced its fair share of challenges, as the virtual format is far from ideal for teaching students the complex and precise folds. “It would be incredibly easier to show people how to do origami in-person, but we can’t do that. For the first meeting, I pointed the camera at my hands while I do the origami. It was a lot harder, and I got a couple of texts afterward saying ‘I didn’t really get what happened today,’ so because of that I had to redo the first lesson for our second meeting.”
Despite these obstacles, Micheal remains optimistic, with plans to expand the club, including history into his lessons. Moreover, Micheal has plenty of unique origami creations planned to teach for future lessons, ranging from hummingbirds and sharks to modular origami, which involves the use of multiple sheets of paper. Most exciting, however, is that Micheal is letting his members choose what’s next, surveying them on what creations they’d like to create next.