Meet the Members

This is a new section of our website featuring members, past and present, old and new, from the Society.  It builds on the occasional series we publish in the BOS magazine, which has put the spotlight on long-standing members, and is always a topic of interest since it allows others to find out more about the BOS origami family!  Do check back regularly for new posts!

Meet the Members…Brendan Plumb

Brendan joined BOS just over a year ago at the beginning of 2019 and since then has been actively involved in the Society. Read on to find out more about Brendan…

When did you first join BOS and why?

I joined the Society in January 2019, a colleague gave me a flyer from the BOS table at MCM Comicon. It took a few months to pluck up the courage, but when I turned up to my first mini meeting and discovered a group of people who also carried around boxes of paper all the time, I was sold.

What do you like most about BOS and can you share any moments/events that you have really enjoyed?

I went to both Bradford and Milton Keynes conventions last year and absolutely loved them! I also volunteered for the 2019 Comicon events, it was really interesting helping people of all ages to fold, many for the first time. I am now a regular at the London meetings and have made some really good friends, I have learned a huge amount in my first year and my folding has definitely improved.

Why does origami appeal to you and how long have you been into it?

I have always loved the creative aspect of origami and find folding helps me to relax and focus. My first experience with origami was a copy of Eric Kenneway’s “Paperfolding For Fun” that I got in my early teens forty years ago, and it is still my favourite book.

Which are some of your favourite folds or models and why?

I initially liked folding animals and birds, but since joining the Society, I have started dabbling with more complex modular designs and tessellations which I also enjoy. It’s really hard to pick favourites but I fold the following models constantly:
* Robert Neal: Dragon
* Traditional: Lily
* John French: Swan
* John Montroll: Hummingbird
* Tomoko Fuse: Navel Shell

Tell us an anecdote, fact or news involving origami

At dinner at the Bradford convention the hotel placemats were conveniently made of A3 paper, I can’t recall whose idea it was but they had the diagram for a baseball cap by Paul Jackson, within half an hour everyone in the restaurant was wearing one, it was a surreal and hilarious experience!


If you would like to share your answers to some of the questions above, or have ideas for other questions we could ask, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know by going to the Contact Us page, selecting ‘Website’ and leave your details so that we can get in touch.

Or you can return to the main Meet the Members page.

 

Meet the Members…Steph Moore

Steph Moore

Steph joined the BOS in 2015 and her first BOS conference experience was the 50th anniversary event at Stratford in 2017, she enjoyed it so much, she has been to every conference since then!  Read on for Steph’s story…

When did you first join BOS and why?

It was from the back of the book Mathematical Origami that I heard of the BOS but at the time I was busy with a young family so I didn’t give it much thought. It was years later, when I was searching the internet for some model or other, that the BOS popped up. I dithered for a bit and finally joined in 2015.

What do you like most about BOS and can you share any moments/events that you really enjoyed?

I liked the sound of the things I read about in the magazine but was apprehensive about going to a conference as I didn’t know what to expect, “would I be good enough?”.  Then the 50th anniversary BOS event came up.   The timing was perfect – my children were now in their late teens – I could risk leaving them for the weekend (from what I hear the house party was a remarkably civilised affair, and they certainly had it all cleaned up by the time I got home!) and the lure of Lang, Fuse and Jackson as guest speakers was strong.  I took the plunge and booked.  I was apprehensive I admit, not just about the folding, but I hadn’t travelled alone for many years.

I need not have worried.  Within minutes of arriving at the hotel in Stratford I was welcomed to a table in the bar and we were chatting and folding away.
That is the great thing about the BOS: the people.  Though I have met many over the years who have been impressed by the things I make, I hadn’t met many fellow folders.  This all changed that weekend.  Everyone I met at that conference was friendly, patient and eager to share their ideas, time and paper.  I enjoyed it so much I’ve been to all the conferences since!  Other opportunities have followed, mini meetings, teaching at London Comic Con and the Matsuri.

Until I joined the BOS folding was a somewhat solitary journey now I have friends to chat too and bounce ideas off along the way!

Why does origami appeal to you and how long have you been into it?

I love the way a simple flat piece of paper can be transformed into something to amaze and delight.  I have never been good at sitting still and waiting.  Doctors surgeries, train journeys, waiting for job interviews: in situations like these, if there is no one to chat to, I find I need something to occupy me.  Also, as a Mum, I have often had to wait in such places with children who are easily bored.  Origami is perfect. It’s an ‘any time anywhere’ craft!  I almost always have a piece of paper about my person or can obtain one nearby (I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those institutions who’s information leaflets I have transformed).

I became interested as a child in primary school.  I used to make fortune tellers and that snapping head that can be made from the simple boat.  I was given Rupert Annuals around this time too and, although I can’t remember the bear’s adventures, I do remember making a sleeping face model!

Which are some of your favourite folds. models, books or origami designers, and why?

In my teenage and university years I was folding models from books (mostly borrowed from the library).

The first book I bought was Eric Kenneway’s Complete Origami – it has a bit of everything, history, facts and models from the easy to the complex. I was taken by the antelope on the back cover and couldn’t wait to get stuck in to the jack-in-the-box inside. I got the opportunity to meet Max Hulme (the designer of the Jack-in-a-box) at my first convention and thank him for a wonderful model.  You need a bit a time and a fairly large piece of paper but it’s worth it.

The next book I bought was The Ultimate Papercraft and Origami book by Paul Jackson and Angela A’Court.  I was amazed by the paper ball “Electra” on the cover (I didn’t know words like modular and kusudama then) and HAD to learn to make it. That model was an instant favourite;  the units are fairly simple; it holds together very well (it can be handled and displayed without the need for glue) and I think it is really attractive. I have made so many of these over the years, they are adorning the houses and desks of my friends and relatives the world over and I usually leave one in hotels and holiday homes when I check out. It was designed by David Mitchell he is my favourite designer. I have several of his books, Building with Butterflies, Paper Crystals and Mathematical Origami.

Since joining the society the spider by Rikki Donachie is one that’s caught my attention. My non folding friends are very impressed by it and I have had several requests, especially around Halloween!


If you would like to share your answers to some of the questions above, or have ideas for other questions we could ask, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know by going to the Contact Us page, selecting ‘Website’ and leave your details so that we can get in touch.

Or you can return to the main Meet the Members page.

 

Meet the Members…Zulay Newell

Zulay Newell courtesy of Joel Goodman photography

Photo: Joel Goodman photography

Zulay Newell is a chemical engineer from Venezuela.  Read on for Zulay’s story of how she came to be involved with origami and BOS…

When did you first join BOS and why?

Ten years ago, after my daughter was born, I was suffering with very poor mental health.  Whilst in hospital I started to fold an Origami frog that I learnt when I was a child, with my brother, and in a short time I had a frog jumping around the table. The patients there quickly asked me to do a jumping frog for them to which I replied ‘I will teach you how to make one’. In that instant, we shared a moment of clarity, and my passion was reignited. After leaving hospital I decided that I wanted to learn more Origami and decided to join the BOS in 2011.

What do you like most about BOS and can you share any moments/events that you have really enjoyed?

Since joining BOS, I have found a lot of support and formed a lovely friendship with Penny Groom who was the Membership Secretary at the time.  I greatly enjoy going every year with my daughter to the BOS conventions where I always meet likeminded people and have an amazing time folding with others!

Tell us an anecdote, fact or news involving origami

A year later, in 2012, I was back at the same hospital but this time as a volunteer teaching Origami to the patients. I also developed a love for other crafts, later becoming a craft tutor and setting up the social enterprise Mobile Craft 4U. Origami has always been my first passion and I regularly teach it to the vulnerable in my community. In 2018, together with Origami friends and fellow BOS members Angela Loveridge and Dr Lizzie Burns, we set up a social enterprise, Origami Pulse, with the mission of  Improving Life, one fold at a time. Currently, I am also involved with  a new Charity, CLoop (Creative Loop) which helps peoples’ wellbeing through creativity.


If you would like to share your answers to some of the questions above, or have ideas for other questions we could ask, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know by going to the Contact Us page, selecting ‘Website’ and leave your details so that we can get in touch.

Or you can return to the main Meet the Members page.

 

Meet the Members…Barbara Furmanowicz

Ever wanted to find out more about members of the Society? If so, look out for posts like this where we put the spotlight on one of our members – read on to hear Barbara’s answers to some key questions we put to her!  Or you can return to the main Meet the Members page.

If you would like to share your answers to some of the questions below, or have ideas for other questions we could ask, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know by going to the Contact Us page, selecting ‘Website’ and leave your details so that we can get in touch.

Now, introducing Barbara Furmanowicz…

1. when did you first join BOS and why?

I don’t remember when, but I think it was 2016, when I joined BOS. I was preparing my origami book and I wanted to meet all the great origamists that I know from their work. Now I know them and many more and I am not going to leave you!

2. what do you like most about BOS and can you share any moments/events that you have really enjoyed?

I like to learn from different people, different way of teaching, different ideas of people from other countries too. Creative ways of using origami in different fields. I like the international character of our hobby. I like people who are in BOS, they are all nice and gentle, just decent people.

3. who inspires you in the origami world and why?

A person who inspired me most at the beginning of my more serious adventure with origami was Max Hulme. I was so delighted to meet him personally. He is a great creator and such a gentle and humble person at the same time.

Then it was Paul Jackson who speeded up my creativity and influenced my own origami to put it to more simple folds. I owe him a lot.

I also have a weak spot for Tony O’Hare! I love his origami ideas, and I love his open, embracing nature!

4. why does origami appeal to you and how long have you been into it?

I was taught simple origami folds by my mum when I was a little child. Also at primary school we learnt from each other too, but no one knew then that it was called origami. But the seed was planted. That was in Poland. In 2000 I saw a book in a little book shop in the shopping centre in London: “Practical Origami” by Rick Beech. Since then I got hooked! But with long breaks, as I did it only when I had time and could relax. But origami became part of me. Since 2012 I started to buy more books, looking for origami models on YouTube channel, then I became a BOS member… etc.

5. which are some of your favourite folds or models and why?

Traditional – flapping bird. I like all sort of models that do something, move, play etc., it includes toys, planes etc.  I like boxes, because they are practical and pretty. I like practical designs because they are… practical and I can use them in daily life, such us cubs, frames, wallets, bussines cards holders, bookmarks….

Max Hulme – Angel and Shepherd from his nativity
Paul Jackson – barking dog, crown
John Smith – Angel
Tony O’Hare – Robin, Finch, Mouse, Sheep

6. which are some of your favourite origami books or favourite designers?

My favourite origami book is “Step by Step Origami” by Steve and Megumi Biddle. Very nice designs and great method of showing and organizing the bases.
And I have sentiment for Rick Beech’ “Practical Origami” because the models there are lovely and the book has very good graphic look.

7. any tips you can share on folding, designing or teaching origami?

Be patient with yourself when you start folding. Try rather to relax more than achieving perfection.
For teaching: make sure everybody can see exactly what you do. Check on them what they do. And then encourage students to be creative.

8. what other skills, interests or experience do you have that might be of interest to members?

I do teach all sort of ages group, from nursery to 80+. I know how to use InkScape to draw diagrams. I know how to create online tutorials, I created my own channel “Origami for Jesus”. I published my own origami book. I worked with illustrators.

9. what would you do if you were in charge of BOS for a day?

I would collect the best models of our members, also from the past, and publish a lovely, colourful book of origami.

10. tell us an anecdote, fact or news involving origami

My husband doesn’t fold origami, but he supports me with my passion in teaching, promoting my book. He also puts up with boxes of origami all over the house, and rolls of paper in huge amounts. His name is Guido. He is Italian so the main spice we use in our kitchen is ORIGANO. Because we use the word “origami” at home very often, for some time, he has been confused between ORIGAMI and ORIGANO and now he uses ORIGAMI to put into our Italian dishes… instead of ORIGANO!