By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO December 30, 2003 The Guinness Book of World Records may be interested in Monticello these days.
Thats because Oliver King and company claim to have built the largest origami crane ever assembled. (Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding.)
King is a mentor in the Monticello Teen Link to Community, a teen support program. He worked with Sandy Oxford, an administrator for the Dispute Resolution Center, and students from his program to put together a 10-foot-long "origami peace crane," as he calls it.
He has contacted Guinness, and they are currently researching the history of origami constructs.
The crane is made out of end rolls, magazine pages, and dry cleaner plastic donated from Ellerys. The group spent many hours folding and piecing together four different sections of origami.
He added, I dont think [the students] understood the magnitude of it.
King said the group plans on displaying the crane down Broadway in the First Night parade on New Years Eve. First, they will try to inflate it and use wooden rods to animate the crane. He called it "an exercise in teamwork and cooperation."
King was inspired to make a "peace crane" by the story of a Japanese girl who made thousands of origami cranes while recovering in a hospital after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. She became famous for her origami work by asking for "peace on earth." A statue of the girl now stands in front of the hospital, and the crane became the international symbol for peace, according to King.
King, Oxford and others have put together a room in the neighborhood facility, that will appeal to "all five senses" on New Years Eve.
Oxford said, "We hope to win the big prize at the parade so we can take the kids on a trip."
She also called King "the patriarch of origami cranes. Ive probably done 20 of them, and I still dont know how. He has guided many through the process."
King responded, "When I was a kid, I did a lot of them frogs, boats, pyramids."
He explained that he learned the art at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School in South Ozone Park, Queens when he was in seventh grade.
And he hasnt missed a beat since.