Before she came to work at Malvern Library, Reed Apostol spent two years in Japan teaching English as a Second Language. During her time there, she gained an affinity for the nation's culture, particularly the paper-folding art of origami.
On Saturday, Apostol will lead the library's first origami workshop. The hour-long program will begin at 1 p.m. It is for adults only, and there is a limit of 10 students.
The workshop will focus on simple origami, the art of folding pieces of paper in various formations to make representations of animals and other models. There will be an emphasis on flowers due to popular request, but there will be time for other creations as well, particularly cranes, which have come to be the animal most widely associated with the practice. Participants will also learn how to make a paper box in which they can bring their other creations home.
The upcoming class is but Apostol's latest foray into bridging the two cultures.
She volunteers at the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, located on South Broad Street in the city, teaching classes on origami and Japanese calligraphy.
Apostol was introduced to origami in the third grade, when she read the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr, published in 1977. It tells a tale about a Hiroshima girl with leukemia who attempts to make 1,000 paper cranes, inspired by a Japanese legend that says that any person who does so will be granted one wish. Apostol was moved by the story and has since been interested in the many aspects of the Japanese ethos.
According to Apostol, cranes are a point of intrigue for the Japanese because they live a very long time compared to other indigenous wildlife. Her hope is that her workshop will prove similarly long-lived and allow her to share one of her passions with people who want to learn more about it.
Anyone who wishes to reserve a spot at the class should contact the library at 610-644-7259. The registration fee is $5. The library hopes to generate enough interest to hold more workshops in the future for various age groups.