Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Origami Whales Project with Peggy Oki!

 Driving through the small town of Carpinteria the other day I was compelled to stop at PORCH, a beautiful boutique home and garden shop.  I couldn't be happier that I did because I got the chance to meet and speak with Peggy Oki.  Peggy was the only female member of the legendary Zepher Skate Team in the 1970's and that makes her a hero in our house!  I can't even count the number of times my kids have watched Dog town and Z boys absolutely enthralled that a woman could skate and hang with the boys the way Peggy did- she is a true inspiration to my 5 year old daughter!  Little did I know that Peggy is a hero to many others for other reasons as well....

Peggy is an environmental activist who displays an inspiring amount of dedication to protecting all ocean life.  Surrounded by like minded individuals on this day, she was busy making garlands of whales for her international campaign: The Origami Whales Project.  Based on Japans 1,000 origami cranes tradition, Peggy and her cohorts worked to memorialize the 34,000 and counting whales officially killed since 1986, when such hunting was banned outright.  Her original origami curtain, consisting of 30,000 Origami Whales was first exhibited in late May 2007 at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts during the 59th annual International Whaling Commission Meetings.  Each origami whale, made by thousands of children and adults of all ages, from all nations, represents a whale killed in 21 years since they were supposed to be protected.  As the whaling continues, 2,000 Origami Whales are added each year to reflect the most recent estimate of whales slaughtered.  When you see these curtains in person it's hard to imagine that this many whales have been killed - it's a wake up call, seriously moving.  This visual she has created is a very powerful tool and I believe is truly making a difference in raising awareness.  You can help to!  Find out how, here!


  1. Seriously friend, there is not a rose you don't smell. And love seeing your cool adventures here in my back yard! jp

  2. I did not know there was life after skate boarding. This is interesting. Ms Oki proves there is.

    The origami whale project is really fun and positive. We should be making whales in Pontiac schools and public places to link us to the world wider than our streets.

    It would be a good quasi public venue activity too. Everyone passing through could make their little contribution in folded paper or just watch the thang grow over time.

    thank you Sharon,

  3. Great idea Blair! Peggy goes into public schools around here to bring awareness to the children - I'm hoping to work with her to get her to my kids school as well.

  4. Thank you Sharon for the wonderful post!

    It was great to meet you. I'm really excited about teaching the "Art for Whales & Dolphins" course worldwide. Making progress on the information package to send to you. For now, there are 3 photos from our workshop this summer, located at the right hand column of the Origami Whales Project "News!/blog" page, 15th-18th down:

    I hope you've been out enjoying our gorgeous weather this weekend : }.

    All Z-Best!

  5. Hi Sharon,

    How are you doing? I hope all's great. I sent the brochure for the "Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program"* to you in April, but didn't hear back. Did you receive it? I will be teaching the course this summer in Carpinteria. The flyer may be downloaded from this link:

    * I would gladly teach the "Whales & Dolphins Ambassador Program" at your daughter's or any other school, youth group, etc. The cost would vary depending on location and number of students. Please do contact me if interested!

    The Origami Whales Project will have a booth this Saturday @ International Surfing Day celebration at Santa Claus Lane (Carpinteria, CA 93013) June 18th, 9am -3pm. We'll be teaching how to make Origami Whales, and there will be action letters with space for children's art as well. Would you like to join me at the Origami Whales Project booth for outreach? If you can help for even part of the day in between all of the fun activities that would be great!

    Either way, I hope to see you at the celebration at Santa Claus Lane on Saturday, June 18th, 9:00am-3:00pm featuring a medley of fun events for the whole family. FREE Grom (under 18) surf contest, learn to surf clinic, advanced coaching, yoga, live music, beach clean up, and works by local artists and activists.

    "Our goal is to gather like minded people and organizations together to celebrate the sport of surfing, and share passion and love for a clean healthy ocean."

    Artists and environmental booths will be from 10:00am-3:00pm.