Flat + Folded = Work of Art

Posted by on Mar 7, 2019 in Artists & Their Work, Regina Semko | Comments Off on Flat + Folded = Work of Art

As Charleston Crafts celebrates it’s 30th year, we focus on one of the founding artists, Regina Ann Semko. Today, Regina works primarily in origami, but in the following interview, she describes how her artistic background followed many paths, moving to origami when her studio space was confined to the kitchen table. 

Regina’s work is also available in the Charleston Craft Online Store

Many artists have been ‘makers’ all of their lives. Have you always been creative and what mediums did you explore before moving to origami? 

I have always been an artist even though I have had to work most of my life at “jobs”. My father taught me how to draw and how to make crepe paper flowers when I was really young and it seems that I was always helping with bulletin boards and centerpieces for organizations I belonged to in school. I have tried many crafts including macrame, candle making, soft sculpture, Ukranian egg decorating, collage, and numerous needle crafts. My mother used to make many of our clothes, so there was a sewing machine and I taught myself to sew. In the 70’s I exhibited at craft shows, selling both my machine and hand sewn items: clothing, boxes, and wall pieces. I switched to origami when I needed to work on my kitchen table.

Your work encompasses several genre’s…jewelry, sculptural, framed art, ornaments. Which do you prefer?

I make a lot of different origami items and enjoy them all. I prefer the ones I am working on at the time. I am always looking for more items that could be made fairly simply in origami and become a useful item in someones home.

You have been a member of Charleston Co-Op for many years. Were you a founding member?

It was in the 80’s that I became a founding member of Charleston Crafts Co-op.  During this time I also served as the artist liaison for the Drayton Hall Arts & Crafts Show and participated in the first Piccolo Spoleto Craft Show. It was an exciting time for craft art in Charleston.

Where do you go for inspiration…other mediums, other artists, art shows and/or galleries?

My inspiration comes from many places, nature, galleries, items trending, etsy, the internet, and my dreams. I attend the Ohio Paper Folders origami convention, CenterFold, each August where I take classes and enjoy meeting other folders.

Do you teach or participate in art shows? 

Since I retired from my position at the College of Charleston, I have more time to work on my origami and have also added two indoor craft shows where I enjoy speaking with the folks who stop at my booth. I still occasionally do demonstrations of origami, but have stopped teaching.

Aside from the Charleston Crafts Co-Op, do you belong to any other artist organizations?

Besides Charleston Crafts, I am an exhibiting member of the Trumbull Art Gallery (Warren), board and exhibiting member of Simpy Hand Made (Fredericksburg), and a member of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.

What is the most important tool in your studio?

The most important tool is my paper cutter that has a grid and can cut up to 12″ paper since I cut most of my own paper for projects. And the papers I use are many depending on the project. I use and love origami papers, chiyogami being my favorite. I use scrapbook paper, art papers, gift wrap, wall paper, and recycle calendars and any found papers including paper samples from paper manufacturers. 

How do you see your work evolving in the next year?

I am currently working on more framed pieces and adding more items for the home, although it may take another year to complete and test them.