Six years ago Patty Bell created a small tree made from origami paper cranes.
It turned out so well, she said, that her art instructor at Crystal Lake Central High School suggested she fold 1,000 paper origami cranes for her senior art project.
Bell, now 25, said the idea was partly inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, the Japanese girl exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Sasaki developed leukemia and, at age 12, began making origami cranes with the goal of making one thousand.
(A Japanese legend states that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, or granted eternal good luck).
In the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Sasaki folded only 644 before her death. Her classmates, saddenedd by her death, and completed the remaining cranes for her.
What seemed like such a simple suggestion took Bell months to complete.
"For a good half of my senior year, there were cranes all over my brother's bedroom," Bell said. "He was away at college. I finished them the day before the Central art show on May 9, 2006."
To display the paper cranes - made in various sizes and color - Bell strung each of the 1,000 cranes from a strand of fishing line and attached the other end with hot glue to a bed sheet. The bedsheets, some white and others light blue, were hung from one end of the art hallway to the to other at Crystal Lake Central High School, Bell said.
And then the cranes stayed there.
"They hung in the hallway for four years," said Bell, who has since graduated from the Schaumburg Art Institute and now works as the marketing assistant at the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, 401 Country Club Rd., Crystal Lake.
Bell was asked to share the display at the Dole Mansion. She hung the tiny birds in time for the August First Friday event at the Lakeside Legacy. Splitting the artistic display in half, Bell hung part of the cranes in Mr. Dole's bedroom on the second floor of the historic Dole Mansion, and the other half in Mrs. Dole's bedroom.
Once strung, Bell took time to teach young visitors to the First Friday the ancient art of origami, Japanese paper folding.
The 1,000-crane display is expected to remain at the Dole through the month of August, and possibly through September, Bell said. The public is welcome to stop by the Dole and see the cranes.