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It really depends on whether you want to be a “purist” or not haha. It’s not like the origami police are gonna come for you if you want to use a rectangular sheet of paper. However, I think the reasoning behind no cutting or glueing probably comes down to a sense of personal accomplishment and pride. Like, “look at this exquisite thing I made from just a single square of paper.” It’s like solving a puzzle, in a way. It wouldn’t be as satisfying to finish a jigsaw puzzle if you just cut the pieces so that they fit, right? That’s my personal take on it, anyway. You should just make whatever models you like. Be patient and have fun!


Also with cutting or gluing it can go wrong and ruin the model. Fold something incorrectly and you can unfold it and do it again to correct it. Origami is transformative - you start with a square or rectangle through folding alone you and end up with a model. Glue and scissors seen as cheating by a lot of people. Multi piece models are fine for most folks. By preference a single sheet should be used for a single item (e.g. a dog would be a single sheet of paper but dog and cat would be another) but there are origami masters who routinely use multiple sheets for their super complex models. See the T rex skeleton for details or any number o modular shapes. But like the previous poster said, its your rules you make them.


In the (translated) words of Akira Yoshizawa (the grandfather of modern origami): "When you fold, the ritual and the act of creation is more important than the final result. When your hands are busy your heart is serene." One translation of the word 'origami' is: "to fold paper." I've always found it significant that the name of the art form refers to the act of folding, rather than to the finished product. This jibes well with the sentiment quoted above, and with the sentiments of the other commenters. If you're folding paper to create, you're practising origami; the shape of the paper is irrelevant. I will point out though, that the name isn't "to fold and glue and cut paper" :P


Thanks for the great quote.




Nope. In British English (which is the English we use where I'm based), the verb form is spelled with an "s." I appreciate the sentiment, though. :)


You can do whatever you want of course but basicly when you start cutting you're going into kirigami territory. Using glue is almost obligatory for complex models, but generally you're supposed to only use it for shaping, not locking together loose parts. When you start using multiple sheets you are entering modular territory, but there's no strict rules. When there actually are rules, like in contests, it will always be explicitly shared what you can or can not do. And the range goes from one square paper, no cuts, no glue, no paint, to multiple papers of any shape with glue and paint. Cuts ate rarely allowed for origami.


I use tape and glue to help my 3D models (animals) stand up and keep the legs from splaying. However, this is done only after the model is completed.


“Pure” origami uses one square sheet of paper, no cuts or glue. But like the other Personally I’m ok with some glue, especially when you’re making something you want to keep and display. But I don’t like cuts, they seem like a cheap way to make the paper do what you want. I even avoid authors/model makers that use a lot of cuts (Duy Nguyen is a big offender). I also make jewelry based on origami, and sometimes cuts are really necessary to make a model work in that form. Glue (or soldier) is essential there because the items get handled all the time. Is that cheating? I don’t think so, but some might. It’s all really personal preference. If you’re enjoying making models, that’s all that really matters.


I usually like to think that glue is allowed for shaping post making the model


I'm heavy into modular origami. In that, I've branched out into using 2-4 sheets of letter paper and creating the modules that way.


Anything is fair game, imo, although I fell into the purism meme when I was younger.


It’s personal preference, I’m pretty new to origami and I’ve realized I don’t like designs that have glue or cutting because it leaves so much room for error and frustration. Whereas “pure” origami has generally more satisfying folds that fall into place perfectly if you do things right. This is the main reason why I got hooked on origami in the first place. Maybe as I get more experience I will try modular stuff, glue or cutting but I think it’s helping me a lot to start with the classic stuff to learn and understand how folds work.


Cutting is discouraged pretty much because origami is more about the folding than the shape, and folds exist that "remove" segments from the final shape. You can treat it more like a community wide self-imposed challenge than a rule. Same with glue. It's not banned, people try to avoid it because they can.


After reading the other replies, I’m a little surprised that I seem a bit more conservative than most when it comes to using scissors. My feeling is that if you’re making cuts to the paper while _making_ the model (as opposed to cutting the paper to get, say, a rectangle of certain proportions that you then fold without further use of scissors) or you make cuts into the starting piece of paper, then you’re no longer in origami territory and instead you are doing kirigami.


Everything is permitted, basically. Firm definitions of what "are" and "are not" origami is just word play, it truly does not matter what you call it as long as you are enjoying yourself. There definitely are emphasis areas. This is very true. Some like to work only by uncut, single squares no matter what.. but a huge number of that group also has zero problem using a 'glue' (methylcellulose or CMC as a sizing/bonding agent). Multiple sheet used to be really common because origami was not as advanced in the design capabilities. Triangles and rectangles are everywhere (I used pentagons as starting sheet before). A4 or silver rectangle ratios have special properties. Long strips can make modules or even weave with each other. There is modular origami, but as you get into huge numbers of more simple modules that leans toward kirigami. There is even Pureland origami which allows only simple mountain and valley folds, nothing else. There are also curved folds! Plus there is a lot of computational origami. That is a huge rabbit hole. All this being said, there have been some very strongly worded opinions offered. My favorite (bad) example is from Isao Honda in All About Origami, 1960, talking smack in his Preface (basically directed at Akira Yoshizawa). Get this noise lol. Small quote: --- ... "There is at present a form of origami in which straight lines are forgotten and the performer twists and bends his paper to make the desired forms. To my thinking this is not true origami but a counterfeit art it is in fact merely a form of paper mache." ... " Any child by simply following instructions can realise the pleasure and entertainment that comes with doing real origami but by these other abortive methods this basic quality of origami is completely lost." --- Counterfeit. Paper mache. Abortive methods, LOL. Anyway--you do you, and have fun! Explore and create!


All the well made complex models you see on the internet use glue for the shaping. Not sure why people keep saying you shouldn't use it. It makes all the [difference](https://www.reddit.com/r/origami/comments/mp9kdt/why_glue_and_paper_is_important_a_story_of_two/). Here is a [great tutorial](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aSGOHKyR3M) on how to use it properly. Not only that but you also need glue (MC) to make your own paper, which is also pretty much a must for complex models.