Most of us with less folding ability than we’d like find reasons to justify our modest efforts – “I’m not patient”, “Life’s too hard”, “I’m not artistic”, “the diagrams are not clear” and even the old classic, “the paper’s not square!”. I suspect a lot of it is down to confidence and being prepared to put the hours in to refine our techniques.
Now and again, you learn about an individual who puts things in their proper perspective, for example Saburo Kase. Kase lost his eyesight at elementary school, but it didn’t stop him from becoming a gifted teacher and creator of origami. I was lucky enough to attend one of his classes at the COET and he was so calm and confident. At one point, his translator asked “Mr Kase asks if anyone has problems”. One eprson did and handed his model to Kase, who calmly and nonchalently unfolded the last step, corrected it and gave it back.
Ian died on 30th August, aged 74 and had been fighting cancer for several years. His son Mark writes: “His condition had been largely without pain, but he was very tired for extended periods of time. His death was peaceful which I think is all one can hope for at this stage.” His funeral took place in Daresbury, where he had lived for the last 4 years.
I knew Ian from his earliest days in the BOS, since we both were regular attendees at the North-West mini meetings in Hazel Grove. Ian was an articulate and intelligent folder, befitting his career in adult education. He favoured geometric designs, latterly working creatively in the field of 60 degree twist folds and tessellations. He was endlessly patient when teaching his designs and rarely showed any signs of frustration with less able students such as myself!
He was a very private man and it was hard to get to know him, or to learn anything about his private life, but his commitment to origami and the BOS cannot be doubted. For many years he was our Supplies Secretary and delighted in presenting a wide range of papers. Many of these he sourced himself as large rolls, then cut them down to (perfect!) squares and packaged them for sale to members. Even now, probably 10 years since he stepped down, you can still find his packs for sale and they still show a sensitive choice of folding material.
He sat on the BOS Council for many years and in 2009 was awarded the Sidney French Medal for his devoted services to the Society. He attended many conventions and was an “ever present” during the 10 years of my annual meetings in Wentworth. He always had something to teach, but never sought any kind of attention or acclaim for his work. He knew a great deal about geometry and was happy to share his knowledge. I remember once asking him why two folded corners came together in a sequence and he gave me a withering look and said “well, they have to”!
Here is a design of his that I drew up but which was never published.
I’m sorry to hear that Heide has left us at the age of 80. I met her several times at Origami Deutschland conventions and she was always friendly and courteous. She gave me (and others) a tour of Bonn on one occasion.
She was heavily involved in ELFA (Envelope and Letter Folding Association).
We have said goodbye to Francis Ow, who is at peace after a battle with cancer. He was my friend for nearly 30 years, although sadly, we never met. His creativity was only matched by his courage and huge spirit. My heart goes out to his family.
You can leave a tribute on his website, which will continue to be maintained.
I’ll compose a proper obituary when I can think more clearly.
In my research to get permission for using diagrams, I sometimes find sad news. I’ve just learned that Teruo Tsuji and Keiji Kitamura are dead. Keiji-San and I used to exchange letters & diagrams back in the 90s, he was an under-rated creator, perhaps best known for his cat and his book “Origami Treasure Chest”.
Tsuji, of course, came up with an superb “talking frog”.