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Origami artist
Wilbur, Origami artist, 1991; Michael LaFosse; Haverhill, Massachusetts; Handmade paper, wood; Photography by Maggie Holtzberg
Wilbur, Origami artist, 1991
Michael LaFosse
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Handmade paper, wood
Photography by Maggie Holtzberg
Good luck bats; Origami artist; 2014: Haverhill, Massachusetts
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Haverhill, MA
Web Site
Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander are probably the only origami artists in the world today who routinely make custom paper. In fact, other master origami artists prize their papers, which are made with permanent, finely ground pigments so that folded pieces will last hundreds of years. Both Michael and Richard have backgrounds in science, which explains the strong natural history focus to their work.

The commonly understood definition of origami is paper folding from a single, uncut square. Folding techniques most likely originated in Asia circa 600 A.D., and came to Europe via the Silk Road. The art of folding paper has roots in Japan but it was German educator, Friedrich Fröbel, who introduced paper folding into early grade school curricula in the 1800s.

One is said to &334;perform" a piece of origami. Michael explains, "The very best origami begins in the design stage, where the folding, from start to finish, is elegant. . . The finished piece has to look alive." In preparation for making Wilbur (1991)), Michael spent many hours observing piglets at the Topsfield Fair. Having the right paper was critical. Experimenting, he came up with the perfect handmade paper: pale pink in color, fairly stiff, with fuzziness to its finish. The actual folding of the piece took approximately six hours.
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