Origami is a centuries-old Japanese art form of folding paper into intricate shapes. Local artist Dawn Morrow learned to fold and now it keeps her busy.
She told the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese woman who contracted leukemia from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. In an attempt to persuade the gods to cure her, she pledged to bend a thousand of paper cranes, but she died. before reaching this goal.
“I went way beyond that,” said Morrow, who came close to 30,000 origami cranes.
This feat is not unreasonable since she has been lying down for more than 25 years.
Origami played a big role in her marriage. Morrow met concert pianist Doug Morrow online, back in his childhood days of chat rooms. They seemed to have a lot in common, and he traveled from his home in Cedaredge to meet her. The relationship blossomed between the two artists. While dating, the strips of paper used in restaurants to bundle silverware and napkins gave her the opportunity to keep her hands busy while chatting with Doug, so she started folding cranes.
Unbeknownst to him, Doug saved them all. She continued to bend during their year-long courtship, and when they set a wedding date, they decided to bring a thousand cranes and string them up for display at the reception. However, things didn’t go as planned and the crane bags were never put on.
Friends who knew about the plan decided the cranes shouldn’t be wasted, so when the newlyweds went out to start their married life together, they found the car full of paper cranes.
“We found cranes for a year after, between the seats, in the ashtray, under the seats,” Morrow said.
Origami FOR ALL
Morrow worked as a certified practical nurse, medical records secretary and ward secretary in long-term care facilities for nearly 30 years, until COVID sidelined her last November. That, added to her rare lung disease and permanent back injury, forced her to quit her job and be on 24-hour oxygen. Now she spends time at home making origami pieces. , creating macrame wall hangings and painting with acrylics, among many other crafts.
One of her most impressive creations, she said, was a 2-by-3-foot Christmas tree made of origami cranes.
“I tied the cranes to a floral foam cone and wrapped it in Christmas lights. Then I folded translucent paper cranes which I placed over the lights to shine,” she said.
The piece sold out quickly.
One of the things she likes to do is fold the bills into tips for the servers. She also attaches origami pieces to webs and thin strings to create patterns. Hearts are a recurring theme throughout his art.
She said that origami happens in everyday life. Think paper airplanes and those fancy napkins shaped like fans, swans, and even neckties at fancy restaurants.
How to make an origami crane
In Japanese lore, cranes were thought to live for 1,000 years. These special migratory birds symbolize health and long life and are believed to bring luck and good fortune. Below are the instructions for you to create your own!
For best results, Morrow offers a few tips:
Be precise when bending
Morrow emphasized that the fold must be exact. Folding a crane, she showed how she uses her fingernails to make sure the crease stays. Each piece requires multiple foldings and unfoldings to make the final piece.
Use the right paper
Since the focus is on folding, you’ll want to use paper that’s easy to work with. Morrow suggests buying specialty paper used specifically for origami. She described it as thicker than tissue paper and thinner than copy paper.
Typically, she orders it online or stock up when she goes to Denver. Locally, her favorite store is Clubb’s Variety Store in Delta. Sometimes you can find it at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, although the selection is often limited.
Continue to learn origami
Since the art has evolved over the centuries, there are tons of designs you can try. Morrow suggested removing books from the library, where she teaches art folding classes.
Morrow’s Art Lessons
Up there with origami, photography is another of Morrow’s passions. She is also president of the Thunder Mountain Camera Club.
To see Morrow’s art, visit
www.2MorrowsMuse.com. To contact her, send an e-mail [email protected].