I'd like to introduce you to the work of the immensely talented Christina, of Ume Origami! She and I met on My Craft Corner, where I immediately became a fan of her wonderful creations. I interviewed Christina, and here's what she had to say about herself and her beautiful art:
Describe yourself in a haiku.
With a few simple creases
I have been folding random things since I was in the second grade. We started learning how to fold in conjunction with a class project on the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Once I knew how to make a crane, I went gung-ho and folded hundreds to hang around the school on the anniversary of the atomic bombing. Another childhood favorite of mine was making origami “fortune tellers” to determine who was going to “date” who -- I was quite the match-maker!
When I was in college, I joined the “Origami Club” and starting folding more complicated designs and diagramming my own crease patterns. Recently, I have been trying to stick to easier folding projects because I think origami is a beautiful and fun craft, and I want to be able to include others in the process. I was an East Asian Studies major once upon a time and now I teach Asian Art History so I have become more interested in the history and development of paper folding.
What other crafts do you enjoy?
I am willing to try almost anything, but my favorite crafts other than origami are amigurumi (a Japanese form of crocheting to make cute little stuffed animals) and jewelry-making. As a graduate student, money does not come easily so making my own accessories has been one way to update my wardrobe. And I love all sorts of papercrafts, of course! If you know any way to use up paper scraps, please let me know... My pile is ever-growing and I do not have the heart to throw them away!
How long has Ume Origami been open? What made you decide to open an online shop?
I opened Ume Origami on September 3, 2009. It is a relatively new venture for me and this is the first time I have ever tried to sell my work online. I was part of a wonderful program in Japan the preceding summer called Hiroshima and Peace where I did coursework on the atomic bombings. I met a lot of wonderful people through the program and I had the great opportunity to be in the city for the anniversary of the bombing. Seeing all of the paper cranes around the Memorial Park was truly a sight to behold and I decided to start folding cranes in my spare time to eventually send to Hiroshima on the next anniversary.
When some friends were visiting, I tossed around the idea of opening my own origami shop online. Everyone was very supportive, and a few weeks later I bit the bullet and registered for an Etsy account. Thus Ume Origami was born! I chose the name Ume for my work for sentimental reasons. Ume means plum blossom in Japanese. When I was living in Japan in 2005-06, my friend and I used to travel around and take beautiful floral photographs from various parts of Japan. My favorite flower was the plum blossom and so I chose to go with Ume (pronounced oo-meh) as my online tag. My shop features origami jewelry, and lots of items related to my new favorite thing: chiyogami paper dolls.
Where can we find you online?
The fastest way to find me is through my blog which is my “main hub” so to speak: http://www.umeorigami.com. From there, you can find my Etsy shop (http://umeorigami.etsy.com) and my work on Zibbet (http://www.zibbet.com/umeorigami). If you Twitter, you can find me at umeorigami (http://www.twitter.com/umeorigami) and I also have a FaceBook page (http://www.fbook.me/umeorigami). I am always looking forward to making new friends though social networking so be sure to say "hi" and tell me how you found me!