Pamela Paulsrud

Pamela Paulsrud is a Chicago artist who began papermaking to examine and exploring the creative process from inception to completion. From the formation of sheets, to working with fibers in its various degrees, she was led to create spontaneous marks within the pulp, and the medium became an art unto itself and now offers her a multidisciplinary approach in her exploration of capturing sound, or resonance in paper with sound wave phenomena. We talk about the Treewhispers project that Pam and Marilyn Sward started in the year 2000 after Pam conceived of it on a bike ride (her daily practice) and where the project is today (it is still going strong). More than 7,000 paper rounds created by people from around the world feature stories, poems and imagery about trees. These disks are strung into tree-like forms for exhibition, and Pam tells me about the time Greenpeace contacted her, and how Treewhispers became an influential part of one of their activist campaigns to save a forest.

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Pam Thorne

Pam Thorne lives in Burnie, Tasmania, on an island south of Australia. Pam is best known for creating, with her artistic partner Ruth Rees, a series of life size papier-mache sculptures which are displayed in numerous locations around Tasmania. Pam is the concept originator of paper on skin, a biennial wearable paper art competition, Gala Event and exhibition. In 2012 Pam was Burnie’s Citizen of the year.

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Douglass Howell, a Conversation with Elisabeth Howell King

Douglass Howell is probably the first person to have used hand papermaking as an artistic medium as early as the 1940’s, creating what he called Papetries which were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery in NYC. Howell mentored several people, who went on to establish papermaking studios and paper programs at the university level. His daughter, Elisabeth Howell King, tells me about his life with paper.

Sarah Brayer

Sarah Brayer is an American artist living in Kyoto, Japan. I met Sarah back in the 1990’s, when she would come to make work at Dieu Donné Papermill, a hand papermaking studio in NYC where I was working. Sarah talks about how she traveled to Japan after studying art at Connecticut College and ended up making Kyoto her home. She works in printmaking and papermaking, and we discuss her early interest in Japanese covered door panels called fusuma. She ended up discovering Imadate, Echizen where they make these panels, and she has been creating her own large-scale poured-paper images there since 1986, and is the only western artist to do so. It was fascinating to hear Sarah talk about the nuances between working with Eastern and Western fibers – she talks about their personalities as well as their unique voice.

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Ioana Stoian

Today, I’m talking with Ioana Stoian, a british-born artist currently lives and works in Minneapolis. When I met Ioana there a few years ago, she gifted me a black t-shirt with the word ARTIST in white and all caps across the front. We began our conversation talking about self identifying as an artist – that was fun! Ioana got interested in hands-on learning during a five year decorative painting apprenticeship in France, and that interest led her to travel to Japan, where she discovered the art of paper folding. She was inspired to create her own designs, which she has published in a couple of books. You can read all about her books and watch Ioana read her latest children’s book, Always Be You, in the show notes. Enjoy our conversation!

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Richard Flavin

Richard Flavin did the illustrations of Japanese papermaking in Tim Barrett’s book of the same title. Richard grew up in Boston, and he learned about woodblock printing and handmade paper when he was in the army in Korea and traveled to Japan, where he has lived and worked since 1970. We met to talk about his work with paper in the gallery that he and his textile artist wife Ryoko Haraguchi, run.

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Robbin Ami Silverberg

Robbin Silverberg is a paper and book artist in Brooklyn, NY. I have long admired Robbin’s content-rich artist’s books, that show off her unique papermaking techniques. We had a lovely meandering conversation about her first paper sculptures, how she started creating artist’s books while living in Vienna, Austria but didn’t even realize they were a genre. She returned to NYC when she discovered there were others making artists books – she’d found her tribe. Robbin currently has a 30-year retrospective at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and she took me on an audio tour, describing some of the works having to do with the book as an object, women, language, transformative reading and more. One fun fact: Robbin and I were on Sesame Street with a bunch of cute kids making paper in the mid-1990’s.

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Michael LaFosse

Michael LaFosse runs Origamido studio outside of Boston with Richard Alexander. This is a really unique studio, because not only do they create, fold and teach unique origami techniques, but they also produce handmade papers designed specifically for folding and origami. Michael and I talk about how he discovered origami as a child, first learning to fold a paper airplane with his uncle, and then by chance seeing one episode of a black and white TV show about origami. We chat about how he developed his style and how he teaches beginner to master level origami at Origamido Studio, as well as in schools, where he often uses origami to teach math and geometry. Enjoy our conversation!

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Jean-Paul LeConte

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Jean-Paul Leconte is a self-employed illustrator, graphic designer and web designer from the Netherlands. His interest in paper engineering started

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Matt Shlian

Matt Shlian is a paper engineer whose work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. We talk about the trajectory of his career – from immersing himself in various media first at Alfred University and then at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, to working as a visiting research scholar at the University of Michigan, where he collaborated with scientists using paper techniques he developed. Matt works with art consultants and galleries worldwide to place his artwork, which is created using technology and a lot of handwork. And we talk about the balancing act of making work, hiring employees to help, being a husband (he and his wife have collaborated on some pretty cool projects) and raising two young children. Enjoy our conversation!

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Robert J. Lang

Robert Lang is a leader in the field of paper folding – he uses mathematics to advance origami folding techniques for applications in technology – like folding a giant telescope into a compact form so that it can travel to space. We chat about his journey, from discovering origami as a child and devouring books on the subject, to coming up with his own designs and methods for folding, to developing a computer program called Treemaker, to help with complex folding structures that has led to consulting jobs around the world.

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Janna Willoughby-Lohr

Janna Willoughby-Lohr runs Papercraft Miracles, an eco-friendly handmade paper company in Buffalo, New York. We chat about how life can throw you a curveball, and you can choose how to react. This quote, from Janna’s instagram, will give you an inkling about how she reacts: “This is your Sunday evening reminder that you can handle whatever this week throws at you”. We talk about Janna’s handmade paper stationery products, that include custom wedding invitations, seed bombs, paper flowers and planning tools; and how she is shaping her business – she’s the recipient of the Prestigious Ignite Buffalo Grant and was recently recognized as one of Stationery Trends Magazine’s “40 Under 40” for Stationery & Gifts. Janna is also a musician and a poet, and the mother of two little boys and her energy is infectious!

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Kathryn & Howard Clark

Howard & Kathryn Clark founded Twinrocker Handmade Paper, a legendary papermaking studio in Brookston, Indiana, in 1971. We talk about how the two of them met in graduate school at Wayne State University in Detroit cleaning silkscreens, (how sweet) and how they were introduced to papermaking by Aris Katroulis, a Tamarind trained printer who was exposed to paper by Laurence Barker, who was also in Detroit teaching at Cranbook. Kathy says she thought there were papermaking studios everywhere, since there were two in Detroit! After Grad school, they moved to San Francisco, where Kathy was the first woman to print at a Tamarind offshoot shop in San Francisco. Howard, who studied mechanical engineering and industrial design started building equipment and Twinrocker was born. Eventually, the couple moved to Brookston, Indiana to a family farm and the business grew over time, creating some of the finest papers in America, collaborating with numerous artists and selling papermaking supplies. Howie tells me how one of their key mentors in developing fine papers (because they were some of the few doing this at the time) was old books and old prints – they learned a lot from the paper in old books.

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