Making magic with paper at the library

« Austintown Neighbors


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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Michael Baldridge juggled paper balls filled with water called "water bombs" at the Paper Magic event on July 24.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Virginia and Addy Draa showed off their finished rabbits heads at the Paper Magic event July 24 at the Austintown library.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Nathan Skolny and his mom Kim Skolny listened to Michael Baldridge's presentation at the Paper Magic event on July 24 at the Austintown library.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Michael Baldridge balanced a chair on his head during the July 24 Paper Magic event at the Austintown library.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Michael Baldridge called volunteers up to play a game show where they would have to identify the origami sculpture based on the crease pattern.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Michael Baldridge showed the crowd gathered his origami elephant at the Paper Magic event on July 24.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Anthony Williams and Renee Williams, worked to create their origami sculptures at the Paper Magic event on July 24 at the Austintown library.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Michael Baldridge balanced on a board placed on a roll of cardboard to showcase the strength of certain types of paper at the Paper Magic event July 24 at the Austintown library.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

What is origami; is it an art, a math problem or simply magic?

According to Michael Roy Baldridge, of Cirque du Papier, it is all three.

Baldridge, who is from Kent, is an “origami entertainer, and a visual artist,” according to Starr Jones, a librarian at the Austintown branch who organized the event.

“I thought this would be an interesting program because it was for ages 8 and up, so its a good all ages program.” Jones said, Baldridge has a variety of experience as a performer, including notably working for Cirque du Soleil and the Ringling Brothers Circus.

Fifty-eight people were in attendance, exceeding the number of spots available for preregistration according to Jones.

“We had registration... but a lot of people came who didn’t sign up,” Jones said, “There is way more than we thought there would be.”

She said this is the first time any performance of this kind has happened at the library.

“It is good for educational purposes, and it is a different kind of program from what we’ve had. I thought it would be interesting,” Jones said.

During the performance, Baldridge created a number of origami creations including an elephant and a “water bomb.”

Throughout the event Baldridge discussed the history of origami and explained its unique features to those in attendance.

“Origami is sculpting, but it is unique because unlike clay where you add, or stone where you chip away, origami neither adds nor subtracts anything,” Baldridge said.

Baldridge entertained the group that was gathered with a number of tricks, including juggling and balancing a chair on his head.

After the initial performance Baldridge taught everyone present how to create an origami sculpture of their own.

He walked the crowd through step-by-step until they knew how to make a “water bomb,” a rabbits head and a puffer fish.

“It’s nice because he had the show and the hands on making of it,” Jones said, “It’s something families can do together.”

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