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200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Activity

Origami Teapot

For a tea gathering in Japan, the host chooses utensils to reflect the season, complement and contrast with each other, and, ideally, create a theme or context that the host and guest will explore together during the course of the tea gathering. One of the key utensils is the tea kettle, in which the host boils the water.

An example of a traditional Japanese teapot in the Asian Art Museum’s collection is the Hexagonal kettle (kama) with design of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. In this activity, decorate a piece of paper to reflect the season and create an origami teapot. You can learn more about Japanese tea gatherings by exploring the Education Resource Portal.

Materials

  • Origami paper, or a 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper cut in a square
  • Origami Teapot Activity pdf (download from sidebar above)

Procedure

  1. Fold the paper in half diagonally to make a triangle.
  2. Fold the triangle in half to create a smaller triangle.
  3. Open the top layer and fold the inside of the bottom right corner to meet the bottom left corner. This will create a square. Turn over the paper and repeat.
  4. Turn the square 90 degrees to a diamond. Fold top layers to meet at the middle of the diamond to create a kite-like shape.
  5. Fold the top corner of the kite shape down, where the crease meets the top of the two side folds.
  6. Open all folds to return to the diamond shape.
  7. Unfold the top layer of the diamond by lifting the bottom corner. This will create a boat-like shape.
  8. Fold down the sides of the boat towards the center so that it is a long diamond shape.
  9. Flip over paper and repeat steps to create a long diamond shape.
  10. Fold the top layer of the diamond in half to create a kite shape. Then fold down the top point.
  11. Turn the paper over and fold the diamond shape in half. Unfold into a diamond shape.
  12. Fold the left flap of the top layer at a 45-degree angle. This is the teapot’s spout. Fold the right flap of the top layer at a 90-degree angle.
  13. Fold the right flap again at a 90-degree angle so that the point is parallel to the top point of the diamond. Then repeat so that the flap’s top touches the diamond. This is the teapot’s handle.
  14. Fold down the points of the diamond.
  15. Fold the diamond in half, and the teapot is done!