Carlynton 7th-grader leads origami workshop at library

Megan Guza
| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 4:00 p.m.

Rory Dougherty's hands flew across the colorful square of paper in front of him. Within a minute, he had turned the 6-inch-by-6-inch piece of paper into a paper doll and began making pants for it.

Rory, 12, has been turning paper into origami art for close to four years. Saturday, he taught his first art class — “Folding With Friends” — at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, the first of four origami workshops.

“It's fun to see him be able to teach other people,” said his mother, JoLynne Dougherty.

The idea for the workshops came after JoLynne Dougherty, the children's program coordinator at the library, wondered out loud one evening what type of program could be put together to get through the winter doldrums. Rory suggested origami.

Rory, a seventh-grader at Carlynton Junior-Senior High School, said his interest in origami was sparked after his mother and grandmother introduced him to it.

“We had long church services, and I needed something quiet for him to do,” his mother said. “We showed him the basics, and he just took off.”

Origami is an ancient Japanese art of folding paper into sculptures. No scissors or glue are used, only folds and pinches.

Rory called it “the neatest thing.”

“It's just a fun pastime,” he said. “I like to make things and give them to people.”

He said he was commissioned to make 40 origami Santas during the holiday season, and he often displays his creations in the family's home in Carnegie.

Saturday, however, was his first foray into teaching.

“It's fun to watch,” said his mother. “When you see your child outside of the house in a leadership role, it really makes you seem them differently.”

For Rory, it was a chance to share his favorite pastime.

“My friends at school don't do (origami) much, but I have friends at church who do,” he said. “I like to show people.”

Saturday's class was the first of four workshops available to children ages 6 and older. Younger children may attend if an adult stays to help them.

The next class is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday in the children's section of the library. Workshops last about 45 minutes, and Saturday's designs will include turtles and sumo wrestlers.

For more information, contact the library at 412-276-3456.

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