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Within the Fold: Origami Containers – G190737

Workshop ID: G190737
Dates: July 21 - July 27
Price: $675.00 - $1,540.00

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Learn to make beautiful and functional boxes, envelopes, picture frames, unique gift wrappings and more—with paper. In this workshop, we’ll fold a variety of containers, from elegantly simple ancient designs to ingenious modular constructions created by a modern origami master. Participants will experiment with a variety of color combinations, paper weights, and surface decorations. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and lore of origami as well as its growing applications in the fields of science, mathematics, education, medicine, and space exploration.


Package Price
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath$1,540.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath$1,465.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath$1,195.00
Camping RV$835.00
Camping w/Electricity$795.00
Rio Arriba Commuter$675.00
Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson is a graphic designer, writer, and singer/songwriter who lives in West Virginia. Her interest in paper art and craft dates back to childhood, but she became a dedicated origami enthusiast about 15 years


Download and Print Welcome Letter: Anderson – Origami

Within the Fold: Origami Containers

Instructor: Colleen Anderson

Start Date: 7/21/19, End Date: 7/27/19

Check-In Begins at 3:00pm at the Welcome Center on 7/21/19. Dinner 5:30 – 6:30; Orientation 6:45 pm

Invitation: I’m looking forward to a week of folding fun with you! My students agree that learning to fold an origami creation from another person, rather than from a book, is by far the easiest and most fun. Last year, my wonderful students wowed everyone with their beautiful creations. Take a moment to look at the picture of them on the “ORIGAMI” page of my website, please: Better yet, we enjoyed so much laughter and good companionship while we folded. On some days, we even moved our tables outdoors so we could bask in the high desert atmosphere at Ghost Ranch and listen to the strains of the gospel music class taking place next-door.

Learning Outcomes: You will learn some origami history and learn how origami is being applied in many different fields (education, aerospace, medicine, etc.) by watching a PBS video, “Between the Folds.” We will have at least one new project each day, and you’ll learn to make at least five or six kinds of origami containers in this class, including:

  • The ingenious (and ancient) Masu box
  • Origami envelopes (and we’ll make some notecards, too)
  • Variations on an elegant modular box designed by Tomoko Fuse
  • We’ll probably make a few butterflies and cranes, too, just for fun.

And, just in case you need a reminder a month afterward, you’ll go home with printed instructions for most of what you create in our class.

Course Schedule: Our class will meet in the mornings only, from approximately 9:00 a.m. until noon. We’ll attempt at least one (sometimes, two or more) new origami projects each day, allowing time to fold more than one of the same container. We will begin with simple container envelopes, one-piece boxes, and simple modular boxes and proceed, each day, toward more complex folding projects.

Instructor Background: I’m one of those I-want-to-do-it-all people – a graphic designer by vocation, a writer and songwriter on the side. The origami bug bit me about 20 years ago when my friend Neal gave me a beautiful origami box he had bought. I loved it and wanted to figure it out, so I took it apart…and couldn’t get it back together. A year or so later, I discovered Tomoko Fuse’s first “Origami Boxes” book, and fell in love completely with origami containers. I’ve taught several weeklong Road Scholar courses in origami containers at Cedar Lakes Crafts Center in WV, and taught my first such class at Ghost Ranch in 2018. It was so much fun, for me and my students, I can’t wait to come back. I don’t have any specific origami awards (there are many more accomplished folders in the world!), but if you want to check out my published books and two song collections, please visit my website:

Provided Materials: I will bring all the paper and other supplies we might need. We’ll use mostly scrapbooking paper for learning, since it is colorful and crisp (holds a fold nicely). I will also bring a small but excellent rotary cutter so that we can make things in various sizes. You might want to bring a sturdy box (or acquire one while you’re at the ranch), because you will have some beautiful creations to carry home.

What to Bring: Nothing except your enthusiasm and, perhaps, a box to carry your creations home.

FAQs: Q: Why do you teach only containers? A: Because I love containers! Instinctively, I guess, I have always been enamored by the Japanese theological sense that a container is like a “dwelling” for whatever is inside. Also, I enjoy folding things that have an obvious utility.

Q: What if other people are more adept than I am? Will I feel stupid or get left behind? A: Experience tells me that some people “take to it” more quickly than others, indeed, but the joy of learning together is that the “quick” ones love to help their classmates so that everyone has a good learning experience.

Testimonials: I haven’t collected any testimonies, but I will say that my origami students from 2018 have all kept in touch by email to tell me about how they’ve used what they learned. Some have taught children how to make the simpler projects, for instance. Some have made boxes to hold Christmas gifts. And at least one student has gone on to even more complex origami projects.

Recommended Resources: There are so many good origami books! Among my favorites are Eric Kenneway’s “Complete Origami” and any of Tomoko Fuse’s “Origami Boxes” (there are several).

This workshop has passed.

Please select another Ghost Ranch offering.

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