Table of Contents
When her grandfather gifted Polly Verity with a book on the art of origami as a child, it ignited a lifelong passion.
Today, Polly has made a career out of folding paper. Working out of her light-filled home in Wales, the artist creates striking designs, from the simple to the intricate.
Although she dabbles with other materials such as wire, Polly always returns to paper.
“I’ve always been interested in paper as a medium and when I saw that it was possible to turn a flat sheet into something three-dimensional that’s when I got really excited,” she told Euronews Culture.
Carefully folded by hand, her designs range from paper faces and lips to abstract geometric patterns.
Turning paper from 2D to 3D
“I really like the initial terrifying thing of being faced with a blank sheet of paper and then just going for it,” Polly said.
The artist prefers not to plan as she creates; instead, she simply begins folding the paper spontaneously to ‘sketch’ out her final piece.
Of all her designs, the paper faces that Polly creates are her most popular. The process involves using dampened high-quality paper, which she folds into the final shape.
“The paper faces or kisses don’t take too long. It’s just my hands and the paper and it’s very direct.”
For her geometric designs, the process takes longer.
First, she designs the form of the pattern. She then flattens it out and puts the creases into a computer program. From there, the final repeat pattern is sent to the ‘vinyl cutting machine’ that grazes the sheet of paper so Polly is then able to fold along those lines.
Each design uses a single sheet of paper, with no glue or cuts.
“I’m using just my hands to fold it up. I don’t use any tools to do that.”
A meditative process
For Polly, the creative process is a meditative one.
“I really need to find that sense of calm,” she said. “In order to find that, when I’m creating, I listen to minimal, repetitive classical music. I find it just gently resonates with my brain and gives me a sense of calmness when I’m working.”
When she’s not working, she finds inspiration around her in photographs, buildings, and the patterns she sees in nature.
Surrounded by the beauty of the Welsh landscapes, Polly says she prefers to stay in the present when creating her designs and focuses not on the outcomes but the journey.
“[My designs] resonate with me at the time [when I create them] and I put them out there and then just allow other people to interpret them as they will.”
Watch the video above to discover the unusual origami designs of Polly Verity.
Additional sources • Video editor: Morade Azzouz, DOP: Johno Verity