By Heather Zubek
Tissues folded in all shapes and sizes were under beds, on shelves and in wardrobes. Two-year-old Agustin Candusso was at it again.
“We would go through bursts of tissue folding using hundreds of tissues,” says Agustin’s mother, Caroline.
“But he would get frustrated as the tissues would lose their shape, so he would spit into them to try and get them to stay rigid.”
It wasn’t until March last year when the family went through another explosion of tissues that Agustin, now eight, was given a book on origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes.
“He read the instructions a couple of times and could fold the shape from memory,” says Ms Candusso.
Agustin had worked out all the base folds and started creating his own shapes.
“Paper folding is interesting as you get to create new stuff,” says Agustin. “The first shape I made was a penguin.”
Paper pay day
Now the young artist from Wagga Wagga, in NSW, has turned his passion for paper into a business, selling his work at a local market and online.
With his mum, Agustin created 142 flowers for their first market, and sold 122.
Agustin goes to the market and does all the talking to people,” says Ms Candusso. “I just stand there collecting the money.”
Tulips and lotus flowers
“We call our business Papel Paper,” says Agustin. “Papel is paper in Spanish.”
In September Papel Paper was asked to decorate tables for an event in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra.
“Together we created 319 flowers in total,” says Ms Candusso. “That’s 6,000 folds.”
The tables were covered with large tulips and lotus flowers. “Everyone was amazed and they all said they didn’t realise it would be so big,” she says.
Lots of practice
Agustin spends most afternoons after school in his studio folding and creating new works of art.
He wants his art to make people feel “like Christmas”.
“I feel happy when I fold,” says Agustin. “The hardest thing about paper folding is that it takes lots of practice. You have to keep on going though.”