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A Brief Introduction to Kirigami
Kirigami is similar to Origami, the only difference being that in Kirigami you also cut the paper, not just folding it. The word “kiru” means “to cut” in japanese, and “kami” means paper. An example of Kirigami are the paper snowflakes you may have made as a kid. Kirigami is often confused with Origami, but these two crafts are not the same. In Origami you are not allowed to to make any cuts in the paper, you must only fold one or more sheets together. There’s also no gluing or taping allowed in origami, however, both those techniques are acceptable in Kirigami. A little trick to help beginners improve is to use a pencil to make markings where to cut on the paper.

Kirigami History
Kirigami was first used in Japanese temples as an offering to the gods. All throughout Asia Kirigami was widely recognised as an art form. People in Japan and China created Kirigami to represent wealth, as paper was expensive and the hobby was restricted to only wealthier people.

Kirigami became popular in the US in the 1960s when, after the release of Florence Temko’s book Kirigami, the Creative Art of Papercutting, people started combining Kirigami techniques with a variety of other traditions. Scherenschnitte for example, is combined with Karigami to make cut paper silhouettes. Kirigami puppets that have movable parts are sometimes used in Bunraku, a form of japanese puppet show.

Kirigami Today
Today Karigami is still used for decorating greeting cards, in handmade gift wrapping, other home decor projects, scrapbooking, and in Primary School education. Those paper snowflakes help students develop visual motor skills as well as their planning abilities.