Columbus Makes Artwork Presents Origami Artist Karen Tucker


Karen Tucker has been making and teaching origami since joining Ohio Paper Folders and helping her origami-obsessed son. She usually visits the CenterFold Origami ConventionJuly 29th – August 1st at Crown Plaza North. The conference offers lessons and an exhibition of origami art. Monica Salisbury, president of Ohio Paper Folders, had a chat with Karen about her work.

Monica: What attracted you to origami?
Karen: A program at the YMCA teaching the peace crane when I was in elementary school. I was so excited about this amazing new craft that my mom bought me what is probably the only origami book available in Springfield, Ohio in the 1960s. When my son was in elementary school, I showed him some models from the same book, and after that my son started teaching me.

Monica: Do you have a preference for what you follow and why that? Do you have a favorite model or designer?
Karen: Coming from a practice-oriented household has always been important to combine art and function. The models that I keep folding are usually containers (boxes, bags, trays). Tomoko Fuse and my son Jon Tucker are particular favorites among a long list of designers I admire.

Monica: You teach origami and you create it – why? Do you feel like you are learning from those you teach?
Karen: By teaching origami, I can share the excitement I felt when I first learned about origami. Our local origami club, Ohio Paper Folders, has a variety of community class opportunities, and my communication and teaching skills have grown tremendously with the club’s help.

Monica: What are some of the benefits of learning origami?
Karen: Origami can teach listening skills, the interpretation of two-dimensional diagrams, and the ability to create toys from any available paper for bored children. Origami is magic; Turn a flat piece of paper into something beautiful, amusing, useful or amazing.

Karen Tucker makes and teaches origami.
Photo provided by Ohio Paper Folders.

Monica: Can you tell us what’s the best thing about the current Columbus art scene?
Karen: We are in a pandemic! But I’m a particular fan of the Columbus Symphony and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

Monica: Tell us what’s your favorite food, book, movie and song?
Karen: Fresh strawberry cake is my absolute favorite. It’s a wonderful life is a movie that I never tire of year after year. Luciano Pavarotti, who sings “Nessun Dorma”, transports. It’s impossible to pick a favorite book, but I really appreciate my first origami book, Origami Made Easy by Kunihiko Kasahara.

Guests can take part in the CenterFold Origami ConventionJuly 29 – August 1 at Crown Plaza North (6500 Doubletree Ave., Columbus, OH 43229) for classes, exhibits, and more. For more information or to register for the congress, visit or call (740) 334-4213.

Columbus makes art gifts is a bi-weekly column made available to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council that supports and promotes the arts and culture of Columbus. The column is an Art Makes Columbus campaign project and tells the inspiring stories of the people and organizations that create Columbus art. Find out more about local artists, organizations, public art and events below

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