One of the perks of my job involves sourcing unusual and interesting products from different designers or companies. But sometimes, it is not easy placing orders without seeing the actual products, esp. if they require self-assembly. I love origami and so I requested some Japanese origami product samples from Tokyo Shiki, a laser-cutting paper company which I have dealt with previously. I was quite excited and decided to try one out for myself... After swearing continuously for almost an hour, I finally created this wonderful origami 'vase' by Hiroko, a Japanese paper/origami artist that can be send as a pop-up greeting card.
Don't get me wrong, the 'vase' looks wonderful and delicate... almost like an art piece, but the assembling process was rather tedious and it certainly required a lot of patience and a pair of delicate hands. I have a lot of respect for the artist and her work, esp. her 'Ferris wheels', which looks amazing! I have yet to try out, but am wondering if I will have to spare another hour for it? I am sure I would be over the moon if I receive pop-up cards like these, but how many people would spare the time to assemble them is my question. For me, it isn't so much the issue of time but rather the frustration I experienced during the process.
A few days after trying out Hiroko's vase, I decided to assemble an octagonal origami box designed by Jun Mitani, a professor in Computer Science at University of Tsukuba in Japan. ( Dr Mitani is the collaborator of Issey Miyake's beautiful origami-inspired '132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE' eco fashion range, which was nominated for this year's Designer of the year award at the Design Museum).
The sets do not come with English instructions, but Mr Yamada from Tokyo Shiki sent me the video links to assist me with the assembling. I was quite confident when I looked at the instruction photos, but then after about 10 mins, I knew I had to turn to the videos for assistance! Again, the assembling was much harder than I thought, and as much as I love the end result, I realised that I am unlikely to stock these lovely origami items. If you are into challenges and would like to test your patience, email me and I will send you a sample to try out!
Besides the samples I ordered, I also received some lovely gifts from Mr Yamada: washi paper decor. Luckily, these required less than 5 minutes to hang, and so now my view out of the window is slightly more interesting than just bricks or my neighbour's window!