For the first time in my life I was invited to be a guest at an
origami-convention, and I was totally perplexed about it. So, beforehand I was a
bit nervous about this convention, how should it go and what do I have to offer them?
On Friday we left home by car and around half past 3 in the
afternoon we were at the convention place in Röttgen, a small village near Bonn.
It turned out we didn't sleep in the conference centre, but in a hotel about 7
We went to the hotel to change and leave our stuff, and returned to the convention
place, where I met Nick Robinson, Ralf Konrad, Vincent Floderer, Joan Sallas,
Annet and Paul from France, and many other familiar and most of all unfamiliar faces.
I set up my exhibition and talked with people. Sometimes it was
hard to communicate, because my German is lousy… but because it's similar to Dutch,
I could understand much, but not all.
After dinner Vincent took us all outside to fold a beautiful
mushroom. I've done this before, but with his paper and his instructions, the
result was far better than before. And he's such a funny guy. You can see from his
face how he enjoys what he's doing, with the twinkling in his eyes.
I met Edwin Corrie, and I was very glad to meet him. I like his
folds very much and it was a pleasure to talk and fold with him.
That night game-time arrived. Everybody had a name tag with a folded corner,
just like the Origami-Deutschland-logo. There were different colors and everybody
with the same color had to join up and fold some Sonobe-variation-spheres from 30
modules each. These balls where collected to use the next evening as
piñata's with sweets inside.
The next morning at 9 'o clock was my first lesson scheduled.
Not knowing how many lessons I was planned to give, I started directly with the
Sprinkler+ rotating ring. With this model I made a little booklet with diagrams
and I provided colorful Korean paper I bought at a shop called Morning Glory
There were about 20 people in my class, and that was more than the space at the
tables. Luckily there were enough chairs, so everybody could sit.
It's enjoyable to teach a modular model. After you explained how to fold one
module, the class is busy folding and there's time to tell somewhat more about the
model, what you can do with the modules, and walk around to see if everybody knows what
to do. After the class, I was exhausted. For me it comes not naturally to teach,
it costs a lot of energy. But it's very rewarding to see the folders happily
walking away with your creation.
After class, I started to look at the exhibition when I met Heinz
Strobl again and talked about the Knotology page
on my website and what he's done since I met him in
1999 in Holland. And that was quite a lot! He gave me a lot of homework... I'm
intending to add some of his later work to my website, in time.
I also talked with Wilhelm Möller, who also folds with strips but in a
different way. I intend to give some of his work some space on my website too.
I met Elsje van der Ploeg and Sjaak Adriaanse, some Dutch folders
involved in ELFA-group, Envelope and Letter Folding. I regret that I didn't take
more time to spend with them and make letter folds. The ELFA-group was for me the
inspiration I needed to create my corner-folds/paper-fasteners. There
was always something else I needed or preferred to do at these moments.
Everybody could fold peace-pigeons and write on it a peace message
and your own name and (email)address. This afternoon we set the birds free on
balloons to send the peace message to the world.
In the afternoon I teached my photo-album "Harmonica". As usual,
I was a few minutes late and the class was already waiting for me. I think
everybody who wanted finished an album good for 4 pictures. I had still time
left, so I teached my flower and leaf. The last step of the flower was a bit
difficult for some of the people, but overall I think it went very well.
After that I could spend a quarter of an hour at the ELFA-class.
But unfortunately they stopped also a bit earlier than the given time. But it was
good to see that there's a good interest in envelope folding.
After dinner, when I was checking my email at the free provided
computer, Ralf began with his class for his tesselation class. I like his work
very much and was eager to learn the star with 3D-stars on top. It was so exiting
to see the work getting more and more to the end result.
It was evening and in the aula Paul and Annette performed their sketch with hats.
I took my paper with me, and did two things at the same time... folding and
watching. I've seen Paul and Annette 2 times before in the past couple of months,
in Firenze and in Santiago de Compostela, but now I could understand what they
were saying. It was very funny.
Then Ralf showed me how to continue with the star and showed the secrets of
his "Würfel" tesselations. Amazing!
After that I sat at the computer with Susanne to look at
mine, and the website of Muji in London, where you can buy very
cheap plain origami paper. And I said goodbye to Evi, who had to leave already
and I didn't even have time yet to talk to her.
The next morning it was time for class again, and again at
9 o' clock! So, like the first 2 times, I was a little late and people were
already searching for me. This morning I teached the 11-fold Christmas Scenery I
created with the help of Russell Cashdollar last year at the New York convention.
I could notice by myself that this was a premiere. I never teached this model
before, but I was pleased that everybody finished with a good result. We finished
making the X-mas greeting card and after that I showed the people how to fold my
paper-fastener with butterfly and showed them how to make the heart-corner.
class I joined Vincent Floderer in his class.
After lunch people were leaving and saying goodbye, you could stay for some free
folding, but all in all the convention was over. Because we wanted to go for a
vacation to the Harz, we decided not to stay very long ourselves and drive a
couple of hours today, so tomorrow the driving would not be so long.
It took us more than an hour to say goodbye to everybody, and the parting was hard.
I met so many wonderful people!
I want to thank Ruth Shumann, Gabi Grottenthaler, and everybody
else who was involved with the organisation of this convention for all the work
they have done, and for giving me the opportunity to be there and teach.
I'm very grateful !!!