Kayvan explains his passion for folding paper and how you too can learn to make interesting things.
I was introduced to origami through the construction of a simple plane and a small paper boat by my parents and my brother when I was very young. But for almost two to three years now, my studies in origami have been continuing in a very serious and professional way.
At the beginning of 2020, when, due to Corona, I had to stay home for about four months, I had fun with paper, and the animals I made were very funny and entertaining. I decided to turn “work” into a hobby. It is nice to share this with my friends on YouTube and Instagram.
The challenge with origami, for me, is that you test yourself and that you do this by hand, using only a sheet of paper. You can make interesting and strange shapes. You can make these shapes look very simple or very complex and difficult.
I decided to set up a channel on YouTube, with animals that are very simple to make, folding paper, step by step. After 10 or 15 to maybe 20 very simple animals, my friends will have gained more experience. They will have learned and realised why you fold a sheet of paper in a certain way. They understand the specific purpose of each sheet of paper.
I used to do this more for fun. But it can be used for other reasons. For example, at an occasion with my son’s friends. I made a bird and fox origami for 30 people in the class and gave the lamb to his friend. Maybe one day they will ask their teacher to teach the rest of the children how to make animal origami.
To my friends who watch my videos, I suggest watching my work several times and to go slowly and become more competent so that they can learn folding in the necessary order. As we move forward, it becomes more and more difficult. You can improve.
After 3 months of work, you can look back and see that what you did in the first few weeks and that it was very easy. You can easily do it yourself without looking on the internet and are ready to do a much more difficult figure.
Monica’s Balloon Dresses raised some interesting questions, which she was kind to answer.
Ingolf, from Bad Sassendorf in Germany had a question.
Is the balloon dress warm or cold when you wear it?
Ingolf, the answer to your question is this one: usually the balloons have the temperature of the room but as one wears the balloon dress, the balloons take the body temperature. However, if it is a dress with a low cleavage and outside is cold, one should have a piece of fabric to match the dress or not if it’s worn inside. The balloons keep you warm. I wore one and the feeling was between fabric and leather. I hope this answered your question. Please feel free to ask any question regarding the balloons. Thank you. Monica.
Michèle from Merkwiller, France, in an email to me, wrote the following:
The article from Monica in Dublin amused me a lot! Imagine, the dress balloons burst during the dance! Scandal 😊 !!!
Balloons, balloons 🎈
I am happy to see that other people are having the same questions as I once had.
Usually everyone is a little afraid of balloons: afraid to blow them too much or to manipulate them in order to turn them into other fragile objects. You should see people’s faces when I twist balloons 🎈 for parties. The immediate question is: how can you do that? You make it look so easy to twist…
Well, it’s all about practice.
The magic is in the material: LATEX. It is durable and fragile at the same time. Secret ingredients are passion and skills.
A dress made for a party is using double stuffed balloons which is harder to manipulate but more durable. You can dance away and the chances to burst a balloon or a bubble are slim. However, if it happens to have a balloon popped, the dress won’t deflate. Only the outer balloon will, or a segment of the dress. Of course, it could be fixed in minutes, easier than the fabric.
Also, one could sit on the dress if the design is suitable. E.g: my “Cinderella” dress is not suitable for sitting on because of the round balloons 🎈that it’s made of.
The purpose of having a balloon dress is to feel fabulous, special, unique, like being on a catwalk, being photographed and having all eyes on you. How special is that?
Speak the unspeakable
Say the untold things
I’m all ears
To you, my lovable
Who joy for me brings.
Speak about the old years
About the unforgettable dreams
Your voice in my space like a bell rings
And my heart swings
Between words and thinks of
Today, tomorrow and memories.
So, speak the unspeakable
Reveal the untold things.
Me, I’m all ears
Mirna, Safita, Syria
This story started sometime in July or August., when I saw the following advertisement in a Dublin listing:
“We launched a new product: Fancy Balloon Dresses. It is suitable for all occasions: parties, weddings, hen parties, birthdays, big events, grand openings, celebrations, proms, fashion, shop windows, launching products. Balloon decorations also available. “
followed by the contact details.
And then the pictures. Wow! A wearable dress, beautifully designed for a ball, made completely from balloons. I was stunned by the beauty, attention to detail and the fact, that this dress was on a mannequin, meaning, a woman could actually wear it! Imagine, coming to a party wearing a dress made from balloons. And it is not worn over your normal clothes! The balloon dress is it! Paris haute couture? Eat your hat! Milan? Go to Dublin! New York? You have even more Irish heritage!
I put the listing into the future file and started to think. This was an opportunity not to pass. But how would a person react, when somebody from France, wants to take the balloon idea, and use it for educational purposes, embedded in some obscure project? I wrote an email, and after overcoming the initial reservations, we talked via WhatsApp video. By now, it was approaching the end of September.
Monica is a teacher, an artist and a person with unbounding creativity, an entertainer. Born in Romania, she and her family found themselves with an exceptionally talented son and few opportunities to encourage and develop this talent at home. She and her husband rolled the dice and in the early 2000s they ended up living in Dublin. Their son went to university and did his master’s in music. Music being a financially challenging occupation, he decided to do a second master’s in computer science.
Monica somehow managed to continue her teaching with special needs children, (children with disabilities), who need extra support. She had done this in Romania, but of course, in Romanian. The English had to be polished and, as anybody knows, setting up life in a different country, even within the EU, is not that easy. But, a positive and fun attitude certainly helps.
We all have seen people make funny animals out of balloons. Tie several balloons together, and bingo, you have a tiger or a clown. Cute! But there is more!
Monica continued to explain to me that a balloon is not a balloon. Aside from your standard balloons which you can buy in a toy shop or arts & crafts stores, there are special balloons. Balloons come in different sizes, thicknesses and lengths. Not to mention colours. But then, as Monica showed me, balloons also come as multi-chambered objects. I saw a balloon with five different chambers. Play with that and a lot becomes possible.
When we spoke, she had started making another dress. I was allowed a glimpse of it. I saw lots of little balloons, blown and tied together in a cylindrical form. Being a night owl, it was being created with Rossini playing in the background.
Where did the idea for dresses come from? During the Spring lockdown, an opportunity presented itself whilst doing an online marketing course. Well, why not? Carpe Diem.
How does one order a dress? Well, that would really be fun! Monica would love for you to fly her out to your home so that you could have a personalized fitting. The cost may be one thing, the current times another, but the wow effect? Priceless!
Where does the creativity come from? A recent post on her Instagram page is revealing:
“… I decided I have to see Lion King, the latest version, as my school kids kept talking about for some reason and wanted to hear the song Hakuna Matata, over and over again every time I asked them to choose something…
I haven’t seen this movie until yesterday.
As I was watching, my mind started to wonder…All of a sudden, I stopped the movie and the image frozen on the screen stared at me. I stared back. I took my drawing kit, long left on a shelf and I draw THIS. In 10 minutes. It was sooo relaxing. „
The picture is the profile of a very proud lion.
Having imagination, the right mixture of inspiration and most importantly, the ability to see and feel, beyond the end of one’s nose and to combine all that, is not so difficult, as Monica explains:
It is very interesting, how a piece of music, a painting, a paragraph from a book or images and sounds come to one’s mind as a muse. Cinderella’s Ball Gown was an idea that came from an opera by Rossini. I listened to it last weekend and I just wanted to do something special. I hope you like it.
Art, education and having Ubuntu (humanity & sharing) and being Hakuna Matata (do not worry) is always possible. Even in this current climate, which is far from inviting. In the darkest of nights, there are always stars you can look up to.
You can admire Monica’s spirit and work on the following social media channels.
In December 2019, Marwa, who is a pupil at the Wissembourg High School had an English Exam. Here is her preparation text for the oral exam.
First of all, I will explain what western means, then I will explain in
detail the concept of acid western. And finally, where the term acid western
Western is a fiction genre which tells stories set primarily in the
latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, often centring on the
life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle riding
Acid Western is a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s
and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed
Westerns, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the
The term “Acid Western” was coined by the film critic Pauline Kael in a review of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film, El Topo, published in the November 1971 issue of The New Yorker. I will show you some pictures of the film El Topo. The trailer is very strange, if you like weird movies go and watch it but right now, we won’t see it. Jonathan Rosenbaum expanded upon the idea in his June 1996 review of Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man, a subsequent interview with Jarmusch for Cineaste, and later in the book Dead Man from BFI Modern Classics
In the book, Rosenbaum illuminates several aspects of this revisionist
Western: from Neil Young’s haunting score to the role of tobacco, to Johnny
Depp’s performance, to the film’s place in the acid-Western genre. Argues that
the film inherits an artistic and political sensibility derived from the 1960s
counterculture which has sought to critique and replace capitalism with
alternative models of exchange. In the traditional Western, the journey west is
seen as a road to liberation and improvement, but in the Acid Western, it is
the opposite, a journey towards death; society becomes nightmarish. Rosenbaum
used the term “Acid Western” to describe a “cherished
counterculture dream” from the 1960s and 1970s “associated with
people like Monte Hellman, Dennis Hopper, Jim McBride, and Rudy Wurlitzer, as
well as movies like Greaser’s Palace; Alex Cox tapped into something similar in
the 1980s with Walker.”
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) and Yellow Sky (1948) feature characters that are forced to step out of society and take a stand against it. Yellow Sky in particular set up many elements that the director Monte Hellman picked up two decades later. Monte Hellman’s cult film The Shooting (1966) could be considered the first Acid Western.
The film’s stars Will Hutchins, Warren Oates and a young Jack Nicholson, and was anonymously financed by Roger Corman. The Shooting subverts the usual priorities of the Western to capture a sense of dread and uncertainty that characterised the counterculture of the late 1960s. Hellman quickly followed up with Ride in the Whirlwind (1966). It was an extremely ambitious big-budget Western about early American trappers and Indians, for which a virtually invented language of “trapper talk” was devised. The film was aborted one day before production. Wurlitzer’s unproduced 1970s screenplay Zebulon inspired Jarmusch’s Dead Man. Wurlitzer later transformed his script into the novel The Drop Edge of Yonder.