Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feature of the Day #17: Allegro Arts

Silver Origami Unicorn Pendant - Blade Runner
Silver Origami Unicorn Pendant
Today's feature of the day goes to the finely crafted origami pendants of Allegro Arts, AKA Lego. Lego started folding origami through his roots as a musician. He got into musical instrument repair, and found that most of the tools he used were also used in jewelry making. Lego then began working with silver. He has been folding origami for 12 years, and decided to combine his two hobbies of folding and working with silver. The result is beautifully intricate silver origami jewelry. Each piece is hand folded, kiln fired, and highly polished. 
Lego chose the term "Allegro" because in music it means "brightly, with life". This is a very accurate choice of terminology that reflects his charming creations. 
Origami itself originated in 17th century Japan and literally means folding paper. It wasn't popularized outside of Japan until the mid-1900s, but has since evolved into a modern art form. Typically origami entails the folding of paper to achieve a variety of shapes and forms without cutting the paper or using glue. However, when origami originated the rules were less strict and non-square paper, cutting, and gluing were all utilized. 
Origami Tulip Washi Paper Pendant - Round Yellow
Tulip Washi Paper Pendant
For Lego's origami, he seems to only demonstrate the strict traditional methods. He utilized .999 fine silver for his folding process. In his unicorn pendant (see above) he tried to replicate the exact model used in the movie Blade Runner. 
Lego also creates resin pendants of tiny origami sculptures placed on washi paper from Japan. Washi means Japanese paper, and is commonly made from the fibers of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub, or the paper mulberry. It is typically tougher than ordinary paper and is used in many traditional arts, such as origami. For his Tulip Washi Paper Pendant (see right), he  "folded an origami tulip from yellow foil paper, with leaves of green foil, floating on a background of handmade washi paper from Japan." It is simple, elegant, and a fine testament to highly-tuned craftsmanship that only human hands can achieve. 
Lego's store is small currently, but there is a nice variety of jewelry in various animal forms. For example, his Silver Origami Butterfly Pendant shows off the classic origami design that been made for countless years in hundreds of different ways. Butterflies, "area symbol of rebirth, hope, and fortune."
Silver Origami Butterfly Pendant Necklace
Silver Origami Butterfly Pendant
Lego also has seahorses, lions, elephants, cats, and many other various creations.
Check out his store on Etsy today and see all the simple, but wonderfully complex creations he has to offer.
~Squirrel Creek Creations
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