Destin Black

Origami Jewelry

Blue Metamorphosis, Suddenly Dreaming, Kangaroo Hop, Grrr! and Earth Amber


Artist’s Statement

Origami Made Static

                I began doing origami about twenty years ago. It was part of a Junior College Speech class. Someone demonstrated. I enjoyed it so I started to learn more. I found that Origami relaxed my mind, perhaps because it occupies it so fully. Origami requires both precision and patience. A small error will be amplified with every fold until it ends up somewhere it never meant to be. Patience is an absolute. The work is too delicate for agitated movements. The paper will tear or the crease will collapse and all that will be left is a strangely wadded piece of paper. Success requires tranquility. I like that.

Origami is an ephemeral art. No matter how many hours you spend on it, the end result is still just paper and paper is fragile. It does not often endure. Why do it? Why make art? The briefness of its’ existence  makes it more meaningful. It becomes the ultimate expression of art for Art’s sake.

And yet, I wanted to share it. I wanted to find a way to make something that would endure so that others could see how delicate and lovely it is. This was a challenge. Everything about Origami demands to be undone. I tried spraying paper with various clear coats. It got too wet and unfolded or the chemicals were too strong and it dissolved. Sometimes it worked but left the paper so plastic-like that it was not recognizable any longer. Thick, cloth-like paper would work, but that limited folding to the simplest models. Eventually I came up with a process that worked. I found that most standard paper could be carefully folded, reinforced and sealed so that it still looked like origami but remained durable enough to use for other purposes. The folding is still limited. I can only manage to preserve intermediate level models. Advanced models require paper that is simply too thin to be made any more durable.

Intermediate models are enough. I use most of them for jewelry or kinetic sculpture (Unfortunately I do not have access to the sculpture work at this time). The jewelry begins with a focal piece of origami. Then the rest of the piece is constructed through beadwork. Some of the pieces use handmade beads in glass, clay or paper. Others use commercially purchased beads. The result is quite stunning.

Origami jewelry is an opportunity for me to share serenity and precision with others. Every moment of construction is a meditation and the result is a piece of art that resonates myself.