Thursday, October 14, 2021

Review of Origami in the Garden

Origami in the Garden: Flying Folds photo by mbgphoto
Flying Folds

 Are you fascinated by Origami? Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes that look like animals, birds, etc. I always wanted to learn origami, and several years ago I took a short course on origami while I was on a cruise ship.  What I thought would be very easy, was not easy at all.  I felt like I was all thumbs trying to put together a very basic form.  

I recently was able to view an awesome exhibit of origami, taken to a whole new level.  This exhibit was featured this summer and early fall at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It features sculptures by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box.  These sculptures were created in collaboration with world renowned origami artists.  The large metal sculptures use a lost-wax casting and fabrication.  Each sculpture glorifies the art of origami through museum quality metals.  They are really something to behold.

There were 18 sculptures placed throughout the gardens. In this review I will share some of my favorite sculptures and tell you a little bit about each one.

 Crane Unfolding

Origami in the Garden: Crane Unfolding photo by mbgphoto

The first sculpture we saw when we entered the garden was the one pictured above.   In this beautiful sculpture you can see a crane emerging from a single piece of paper through the folding process to the finished crane.

Here is the sign by the sculpture that expresses what the artist felt.

Crane Unfolding information Origami in the Garden photo by mbgphoto

Rising Cranes

Origami in the Garden: Rising Cranes photo by mbgphoto

This sculpture depicts a number of cranes rising from a rock base.  This sculpture was set in a small water feature at the garden and I like the way the sculpture is reflected in the water.

 Emerging Peace

Origami in the Garden: Emerging Peace photo by mbgphoto

This sculpture is a favorite of mine.  It depicts a butterfly starting out as a caterpillar and finally a beautiful butterfly.  I like the write up on the sign below.

Emerging Peace information Origami in the Garden photo by mbgphoto

Hero's Horse

Origami in the Garden: Hero's Horse photo by mbgphoto

I love the sculpture of the horse and the message it sends.  It looks great among the trees in the park.  Here is the sign by the horse.

Hero's Horse information Origami in the Garden photo by mbgphoto

Master Peace

Asian legend says that if you fold 1000 cranes in a year you will be granted a wish.  The artists who created these sculptures created 1000 cranes and wished for peace.  This sculpture is called "Master Peace" and is made up of 500 of their cranes.  The other 500 cranes are scattered throughout the world.

Origami in the Garden: Master Peace photo by mbgphoto

The sculpture stands tall in the pond in front of the climatron ( a wonderful indoor feature of the garden).  Below is a close up photo I took showing a section of the sculpture.

Origami in the Garden: Master Peace photo by mbgphoto

White Bison

The White Bison were displayed alongside one of the paths in the garden.  I thought they were very interesting in their two tone look.

White Bison origami information photo by mbgphoto

Origami in the Garden: White Bison photo by mbgphoto

Rock, Paper, Scissors

This simple hand gesture game is played throughout the world.  I was fascinated to read that it originated in Asia in 200 BC.  It evolved over the years and today uses three common items.  Here is the sculpture depicting the game.

Origami in the Garden: Rock, Paper, Scissors photo by mbgphoto

Paper Navigators

The last sculptures in this review are the boats that were placed in the pond in the Japanese garden section of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  They  can be seen as you take the path around the pond. I like the way the sculptures are reflected in the pond.

Origami in the Garden: Paper Navigators photo by mbgphoto

paper navigators origami photo by mbgphoto

This is just a small selection of the sculptures that were shown at our botanical garden.  The sculptures will be taken down soon.  I hope you will be able to view them if they come to a gardens near you.

Learning Origami

If you are interested in learning origami you might want to try one of these books offered at Amazon.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. These Origami sculptures are so beautiful. Loved being able to take this virtual tour from afar through your wonderful photographs of this display at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I will have to get my daughter to take me there the next time I visit her in St. Louis.

    The story of a wish being granted if you fold 1,000 cranes in a year happened with a friend of my daughter & son-in-law. He did this before asking his wife to marry him. Daughter and other friends helped hang the cranes all around the room for him beforehand. She said Yes! :)

  2. The art of paper folding has always fascinated me and my other half. Last year that was his request for Christmas! Fine motor skills are enhanced with practice folding paper and for him that is very therapeutic too. I love the results. Paper cranes have been making their way around the world and maybe it's time to get my grandkids involved with making some of these. What a wonderful trip through some lovely gardens! Thanks for taking me on the tour!

  3. I am in awe of these origami-inspired metal sculptures! I loved this opportunity to vicariously share your visit to this stunning exhibition when it was at the Missouri Botanical Garden and to view these amazing sculptures through your camera's lens. What a perfect setting to display and enjoy these remarkable works of art!

  4. Wow! These sculptures are fabulous!!! It is hard to pick a favorite, but I am leaning toward the buffalo simply because it is so very unique, but that Master Peace is truly spectacular. Well, they are all spectacular. Like I said, it is hard to pick a favorite. I would imagine my "favorite" would change with the day and my own mood. You find some of the most amazing things to photograph Mary Beth! Thank you for sharing your finds with us. Clearly, I need to visit St. Louis more often.

  5. Wow these Origami sculptures are simply gorgeous! Thank you so much for allowing us to see these beautiful sculptures in your botanical gardens. This is very inspiring. Maybe I will give it a try one day, I think it must require a lot of skill and patience. As for a favourite "Master Peace" is quite incredible, I love the horse and the first one "flying folds" is beautiful but I love them all!

  6. What a brilliant idea - origami sculptures in the garden. I would love to see this exhibition!

  7. Wow! Those sculptures are stunning! So much talent to do this! An origami garden, that's pretty cool!


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