From Paper to Stingray, Peacock, Sun: Origami with Parent Peter Engel

Peter Engel, father of Gabriel  ’16, visited the 3-D Foundations 1A class on Friday, Jan. 10.  Peter is able to balance being a professional origami artist (he exhibits all over the country and has published three books focused on origami) along with being a professional architect in Berkeley. Both practices feed one another, and Peter spoke with the class about his inspirations, travels, his love of paper and his love of developing new and exciting designs.

Peter also showed the young artists many of his pieces that ranged from a stingray formed out of paper purchased on a trip to India, to a miniature elephant that held an incredible attention to detail. At the end of the session, students were given the opportunity to work with origami, following Peter’s lead. In the end they constructed a pine tree, learning that a simple looking form can hold a tremendous amount of complexity.

The students in the class are presently working on generating paper bug forms that exist and sit in space. After spending the morning with Peter, students were able to return to their projects with a renewed sense of craft and new entry points to forming and working with paper.

Thank you, Peter!

“The origami designs of Bay Area artist Peter Engel are known to paper folders worldwide.  The creator of dozens of original models over three decades, Engel draws his subject matter from the worlds of nature, mythology, and play.  Inspired by the minimalist Japanese arts of calligraphy, brush painting, and zen garden design, he aims to capture the essence of his subjects in compositions that are evocative yet abstract.”