Words by Ashley Schleeper Photographs by Kathrin Koschitzki
Cherry blossom season is fast and fleeting. Use our instructions to make your own origami paper sculptures to keep things floral all year round.
Cherry blossoms erupt for but an instant before they pass. Ephemeral to a fault, sakura, as they are referred to in Japan, erupt in full bloom then patter offstage like a ballerina. One of the loveliest aspects of sakura is their tendency to grow en masse. No blossom is an island. Rather, buds flower on top of one another, forming a gentle tangle of petals that resembles tufts of clouds, kissed with pink. Beneath these branches of florets, picnickers often gather for a nibble and a bit of banter, a practice known as hanami. Unfortunately, the season for hanami is fleeting, not unlike the blossoms themselves.
As synonymous with Japanese culture as sakura, origami—the art of paper folding—stands to right nature’s trickery (the swift cherry blossom season). Here are some steps to bend and crease and fold breath into paper flowers that will continue to bloom little by little, as you open only a few blossoms each passing day. These delicate flowers do not require much, save for a bit of patience. Ingredients to have on hand include small bowls for watercolors, a pair of scissors and very thin (about 30g) soakable paper—a crucial agent in the process. Before opening each petal, take care to allow them to dry completely. This is the key to ever-blooming sakura, and an everlasting hanami.