A Bainbridge Island girl has set a world record for displaying the most folded origami dogs.
Ezra Strawn, 12, received a book about the Guinness World Records for Christmas in 2021. The idea to set a world record herself unfolded, and she started creating origami dogs that were eventually displayed at the BI Library.
Brynn Blanchard, Ezra’s mother, said: “She initiated the project herself after reading the book and began spending most of her recess time folding origami and channeled all of her origami efforts into this. For more than a year, she stored boxes of origami dogs in her closet.”
Ezra set out to double the record of 1,010 origami dogs because, “It looked like an easy record,” but it proved to be more difficult than she anticipated. It took more than 40 hours of folding time over 18 months to achieve her goal. “I kind of underestimated how hard it would be. My goal was to fold twice as many as the previous record, but it didn’t really hit me how hard that would be. So, I settled with about 500 more,” said Ezra, who only received one paper cut while folding the paper dogs.
Ezra said she learned a couple things during the process: her favorite part of folding origami dogs was seeing the progress and finding out how many she could make in a day, and it was challenging to verify her record. “We had to have a certified professional who had taught, so we had my art teacher from school. She came in and counted them, and we needed three witnesses. So, my dad, my mom, the art teacher, and grandma were there,” Ezra said.
Sakai Intermediate School art teacher Maggie Hitchcock verified the count. The dogs also had to be made of the correct paper and conform to proper folding standard. “She couldn’t include some freestyle dogs; they all had to be matching the pattern in the book. And the book had to have an ISBN that had been published with the Library of Congress.”
Additionally, the attempt had to be video recorded in a public place, so they chose the children’s section of the public library. It took seven people about an hour-and-a-half to set up the display and about 20 minutes to do the count. “On the day of, we had to verify with Guinness that it was a public location. We had to record Ezra walking from the parking lot through the garden and into the library, and we had to submit all these videos to Guinness,” Blanchard said.
After setting the record, Ezra said she may attempt another record in a year or so, but for now, her collection will go into safekeeping. She can add to the larger collection in the future. “I’m really happy that I’m finally done and that I can take a break from folding,” Ezra said.