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Columbus Makes Art Presents: Folding Lives with Monica Salisbury

John Scully John Scully Columbus Makes Art Presents: Folding Lives with Monica SalisburyMonica Salisbury at a festival. Photo courtesy Ohio Paperfolders.
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Ohio Paper Folders hosts their annual CenterFold Origami Convention August 10-12 at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Dublin. The event features exhibitions, classes and speakers. Ohio Paper Folders founder and origami artist Monica Salisbury will be teaching at the convention. Ohio Paper Folders Vice President John Scully connected with her to chat about her work.

John: What drew you to origami?
I purchased a package of origami paper and it had a booklet of instructions with it. The paper was so pretty. I loved the colors of the pretty squares and I liked bringing the paper to life by folding it into things.

John: What prompted you to start Ohio Paper Folders?
I’d never considered the idea of folding with someone else. I’d been folding origami since childhood and simply thought of it as a singular activity. One day I was online and a search lead me inadvertently to an origamist’s website. Her images were wonderful modulars which I had never seen, nor considered folding, and my mind and fingers were on fire. I had to fold those pieces. I tried to find a local group; I checked the pages of the national organization’s website. I was prepared to drive to Cleveland where a group was said to be meeting. I was crushed when I learned that group had ceased meeting years earlier. When all else had failed, I decided to start OPF and find other people who wanted to fold and to improve their folding skills.

origami in columbus ohio

A sample of origami creations.

John: Metal casting is one of the arts you practice. How does this relate to origami?
I did my first metal casting when I was in college. We did pieces in iron. I found the entire process of creating pieces in metal thrilling. Emotionally, it feels magical. You make a piece, create a negative and fill it with molten metal. Paper is delicate, fragile and not very durable and metal is strong and durable. But it’s easy to bring the techniques together in the creation of jewelry and small pieces. There’s a product called PMC (which stands for Precious Metal Clay) available in a sheet form. It’s a polymer with metal suspended in it. You can fold the sheet form as if it were paper. Then fire the piece (I use a kiln) and burn the polymer away. Only the metal is left. Polish it and you’ve got a beautiful finished piece.

John: What’s your favorite food and do you prepare it yourself? If not, where do you go to get it?
I am a very accomplished cook. If you asked my family they might say my holiday sweet potato dish was their favorite. But my husband is also an exceptional cook and I think I’d have to say my favorite is his recipe for Argentinian-style paella. It has a wonderful blend of warm savory spices without trying to break the Scoville chart, tender chicken, juicy shrimp, flaky cod, jewel-like clams and savory chorizo sausage served with a wonderful rice.

John: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Independence. Artists are trying new things, exploring new avenues in painting, sculpture, music, dance. It’s vibrant and alive.

John: Do you think that the community at large could benefit from learning origami?
There are any number of benefits to be gained from learning and practicing origami. It can be very therapeutic both emotionally and physically. It can be practiced by any age and so it’s a natural for family activities because all members can share in it equally. We are just starting to really explore the many benefits to be gained from origami. It’s going to be interesting to see what develops in the years ahead.

Learn from Monica at Ohio Paper Folders’ annual CenterFold Origami Convention, August 10-11 at the Marriott Columbus Northwest in Dublin. Register for the convention and learn more about Ohio Paper Folders at ohiopaperfolders.com or by calling (740) 334-4213.

Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.

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