– I found Eric’s book online and tried to fold from his instructions, but I was a novice and really didn’t understand how a crease pattern worked, it was so hard, but I was determined! The British Origami Society encouraged me to attend an origami convention in Italy, where Eric would be teaching. So I took the train and went to meet him, says Ioana.
Ioana and Eric have now been married for six years, and they live in Minneapolis – a dream city for paper lovers. The place is known for the paper company Cave Papers, founded by Amanda Degener, who Eric rented a room from when Ioana and he first met. During a multiple month internship at Cave Paper, Ioana was introduced to the world of handmade paper and fell in love with the process. Her passion and thirst for knowledge brought her back to Japan a few years later, where a close friend, Tomoko Fuse, one of Japan’s most famous origami folders, organized an internship at Kadoide Washi in Niigata Prefecture. Ioana spent a month learning how to make the delicate Japanese Washi paper. She really loves the process of papermaking and produces every piece of paper she uses herself.
– Because I’m dealing with raw fibers I can decide which qualities I want the paper to have. I can control the thickness as well as the texture. If you simply purchase a sheet of paper you can fold it, manipulate it, but for me, being part of the process is an integral part of my art, says Ioana.