LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An Oakdale man who has taught the art of origami for years, is now trying to beat a Guinness world record. We first met Jayson Merrill back in 2001, while he was teaching origami to McNeese Leisure Learning students.
"Origami is a Japanese word for paper folding. It's been around for about 3 thousand years. It actually originated in China. Then the Buddhist monks had taken it to Japan."
Merrill has since written three books on the art. He's come a long way from making simple paper airplanes as a child.
"The paper plane folding, you use tape and cut. I did that for a while. The I started doing origami, I phased that all out. Origami allows you to use techniques that allow you to accomplish the things that you would use with the tape."
Jayson and I met each other at the McNeese Rec Center to see his latest collection of origami planes that actually fly.
"It's my most detailed fighter. It has a cockpit, two after burners, retractable landing gear, and 8 missile racks and they can carry missiles. And it can fly too."
And he's showing me his latest project, a plane that can beat the Guinness world record of paper plane flying.
"I'm trying to get this thing to fly about 230 feet to 300 feet. I've got it to about 210 feet one day and that's 6 feet short of the world record."
We'll wish him good luck and keep you updated on his progress. Merrill hopes to be breaking that Guinness world record in the coming months.