Fold It Like Mike Friton


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The Innovator from Cineastas on Vimeo.

My friend Drew sent me this video. He drove up from Cincinnati (Norwood actually) for a visit back in December and noticed a folded piece of paper I had lying around. It was something I had done a couple of years earlier and he asked how I did it. “Oh, it’s really easy. I’ll show you!” I said. We proceeded to spend the next hour and a half in silence, except for the sound of crunching paper, trying to replicate the pattern (badly). Every 10 minutes or so someone would break out laughing when the absurdness of the situation occurred to them – a group of people intensely folding paper, in silence, on a Friday night!

The orange piece of paper in the video is what we were trying to make. The video is about Mike Friton, a freelance shoemaker, weaver, paper sculptor and innovator who worked with Nike for over 30 years. As he described his processes I noticed we had a lot of similar interests – shoemaking, folding paper into 3-D forms, weaving, I used to run track, and I also have a Bernina sewing machine. If I was an older white guy, I might want to be Mike Friton. How great would that be?

The photo up top is the original paper from a few years ago. Our more recent attempts looked like that, but less crisp, like people with severely underdeveloped fine motor skills had folded them.


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