World's best origami : [over 100 amazing models from top origami artists]
Nick Robinson.
New York : Alpha ; London : Turnaround [distributor], c2010.
Join the fold and discover this timeless art form. World's Best Origami is an amazing collection of more than 100 of the most unusual and best-loved origami patterns ever created. Expert origami artist Nick Robinson has collected traditional origami patterns as well as his own pieces and those from some of the greatest origami artists in the world- many in print here for the first time ever. " More than 100 pieces-the most comprehensive origami book on the market "Projects rated from beginner to advanced and include everything from boxes, containers, geometrics, and abstracts to figures, birds, animals, and flowers, and more-this unique volume has something for everyone at every skill level "Each diagram clearly displayed with easy-to-understand instructions "The only book to include the works of several masters of the craft, including Edwin Corrie and Francesco Guarnieri, as well as the author
Trash origami : 25 paper folding art projects reusing everyday materials
Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander.
North Clarendon, VT : Tuttle Pub., c2010.
Two famed origami artists and award-winning authors offer 25 fun and innovative origami projects from their renowned Origamido Studio as well as many of the world's most talented paper-folding designers.
Metal clay origami jewelry : 25 contemporary projects
Sara Jayne Cole.
New York : Lark Crafts, 2010.
Combining the allure of metal clay jewelry with the three-dimensional dynamism of origami, the pieces in this guide from noted artist Sara Jayne Cole are riveting. Cole offers up the know-how to fold metal clay paper sheets using surprisingly easy techniques, and a gallery of inspirational work is sure to have crafters of all skill levels eager to start on the 25 contemporary projects.
Origami bonsai : create beautiful botanical sculptures from paper
Benjamin John Coleman.
North Clarendon, Vt. : Tuttle Pub., c2010.
Origami bonsai is the art of folding paper flowers and leaves which are glued to natural branches, creating exquisite botanical sculptures.Origami Bonsaiteaches readers from all walks of life the skills necessary to create these intricate and stunning pieces of art. The beauty of origami bonsai is that even newcomers to paperfolding can create fantastic arrangements. With each page of the book readers will have the opportunity to create their own amazingly lifelike sculptures. Revolutionary approaches in this book include mass production of leaves, painting techniques and depth enhancement. Each page leads to new discoveries that will inspire the creation of wildly complex plant sculptures. Readers will be surprised at how easy these sculptures are to create, and how much they are appreciated by others.
Uber origami : every origami project ever!
by Duy Nguyen.
New York : Sterling Innovation, c2010.
This is the top, the cream of the crop, the ultimate origami collection against which all others will be judged! With over 125 projects—from animals to cars, dinosaurs to Elvis—if it can be folded,Über Origamihas it. Gathered from the most popular books by the ingenious origami expert Duy Nguyen, this array of projects will astound any fan of paper art. Some even use junk mail or dollar bills! And everything’s arranged by category so it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for, from the most traditional folds to funky new designs. nbsp; Sections include: Easy Does It (for beginners)nbsp; - Animals, Myths & Monstersnbsp; -nbsp; Man & Machinenbsp; - nbsp;Irregular Origaminbsp; - Holiday Origami
The paper architect : fold-it-yourself buildings and structures with 20 ready-to-use templates
María Victoria Garrido Bianchini ; Ingrid Siliakus ; Joyce Aysta.
New York : Potter Craft, c2009.
In "The Paper Architect," readers not only get the chance to create extremely cool three-dimensional paper facsimiles of awesome structures--the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and the Coliseum--they also get interesting architectural details about each building.
10-fold origami : fabulous paperfolds you can make in just 10 steps!
Peter Engel.
Rutland, VT : Tuttle, c2009.
Every charming paper sculpture in this collection, from the traditional pinwheel and sailboat to the romantic valentine and picture frame, requires only 10 steps. And with three levels of difficulty to choose from, both beginners and more skilled origami crafters will find plenty of enjoyment. Full color.
The origami artist's bible
Ashley Wood.
New York : Chartwell Books, 2009.
Easy-to-follow diagrams and step-by-step instructions describe how to create beautiful models with a combination of fantastic traditional papers and stunning modern prints. Learn simple fold sequences that can be used as the base for hundreds of different designs, then combine them to create over 50 specially chosen projects that will charm and entertain.Whether you fold for fun and relaxation, to create useful dishes and boxes, or to amuse and fascinate children, this is an essential reference for the beginner and experienced folder alike.

The word origami comes from the Japanese oru (to fold) and kami (paper). 

The tradition of folding paper in Japan can be traced almost as far back as the introduction of paper itself -- around the the sixth century A.D.  It may have developed for both religious and official purposes. 

Paper itself was considered sacred, perhaps because the Japanese word kami can mean both "paper" and "god" (although they are spelled differently).  Folded paper continues to have symbolic significance in Shinto shrines.

Sadako and the peace cranes

Perhaps the most famous origami design is the Japanese crane.  It is considered an international symbol for peace because of its connection with Sadako Saski, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Learning that she was dying of leukemia at age twelve, Sadako set out to fold 100 paper cranes. A Japanese legend says anyone doing so will be granted a wish.

(Sadako's story)

Official documents and certificates were often folded in such a way that they could not be copied.  Folded documents also accompanied valuable gifts.  Such gifts were referred to as origami tsuki, indicating that the gift was authenticated.  In Japan, gifts for special occasions, such as weddings, are still decorated with folded paper (noshi).   

The basic technique of origami is folding.  Combinations of folds form models.  The simplest fold is the valley fold, which results in a valley-shaped crease.  Increasingly complex folds have been developed, including techniques for folding paper into curved shapes.

Purists resist using more than one sheet of paper, or even cutting the paper, to achieve the final result.  However, some artists have folded cardboard, cloth, wire mesh, sheet metal, and even sheets of pasta.

Origami is not only for artists and craftspeople.  Scientists, architects and mathematicians have utilized principles of origami for practical applications such as airbags and telescopes. 

From a simple fold to complex science and mathematical computations, the ancient art of paperfolding continues to keep pace with new technology today.       

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff