A Peak Inside of Playing With Paper

Playing With Paper is now in stores. Have you seen it in a shop near you? Here it is at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland (thanks to my friend Lisa for snapping this pic). I’d love to post pictures of the book in various locations, so send me a photo if you happen to see it!

Playing With Paper

Playing With Paper

I thought I’d share a few of the projects you can learn to make in the book. The gorgeous photography is by Stephen Funk.
This is the very first project I made for the book! My artist friend Shu-Ju Wang had recently travelled to Taiwan and she brought back this lovely turquoise blue paper. I crumpled it to give it a texture so that it looks more like cloth and then wove this beautiful hand marbled paper (made by Steve Pittelkow) into it. Marbling is an incredible art. In 2011, Steve taught a workshop at Penland in the studio next door to mine. I had the pleasure of watching him do a demo one day. It was fascinating to watch him distribute the color onto the water and then move the paper to create his patterned papers.
Steve Pittelkow's marbled table runner

Steve Pittelkow’s marbled table runner

Steve purchased a copy of the book from me and tried his hand at making his own table runner last month, featuring another incredible sheet of his own marbled paper.
Window Star

Window Star

My children went to a Waldorf charter school in Portland, where they learned to make these window stars. They are surprisingly easy to make, and the variations are endless.  I used kite paper to make this one, but you can also use waxed paper or tissue paper.
Paper Ring

Paper Ring

I remember folding a bunch of paper circles at Haystack Mountain School a number of years ago – I saw a sample someone else had folded and was making a physical note (rather than a mental note, which would have gotten lost!) Those circles were in my drawer of book arts samples for years. I stumbled across them last spring, when I was writing the book, and somehow the idea for this ring was born. I found the metal ring blanks at Collage, a well-stocked art supply store in NE Portland and then I had another idea. I glued a magnet to the bottom of the paper disk, making the ring toppers interchangeable.
Magnetic Ring

Magnetic Ring

I am making a dozen or so rings to sell at the Codex Book Fair in CA next month. If you can’t make it to the fair, but are interested in owning one of these, you can buy the book and make one yourself, or send me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to send you one (I’m thinking Valentines Day present).
Collapsible Party Light

Collapsible Party Light

One of the fun things about writing a book (after not having written one for about 10 years) was that I got to sneak in some projects that I’d developed and taught since the last book (Paper Illuminated). I participated in a lantern festival which included an evening lantern walk to celebrate Portland’s brand new East Bank Esplanade eleven years ago (I remember this, because my daughter was a newborn). Leading up to the event we held several make-your-own-lantern workshops, and I developed this one, which is super simple. You just wrap a piece of reed around a yogurt container, collage paper over it and then slip the yogurt container out (of course, complete instructions can be found in Playing With Paper!).
036castleOkay, this is my last story for today. When I heard that Paul Johnson, pop-up artist extraordinaire, was coming to teach a workshop at OCAC last spring, I volunteered to host him in our home. We had a lovely time together, and I happened to be looking for one last project for the book. Paul generously developed this Pop-up Paper Castle, we scrounged up these papers, and he fabricated the project (including templates which are in the book) in a day in my studio.
I’d love to hear about any projects that you make or are inspired to make after looking at Playing With Paper. Please share them with us by leaving a comment below. And if you’d like an autographed copy, just click here.

4 comments to A Peak Inside of Playing With Paper

  • Elizabeth Bolton

    This book looks so enticing, I just ordered it from Powell’s in Portland – I’m so thrilled to be getting it! Love your website and blog.

  • Marel Kalyn

    Hi Helen, Enjoyed today’s blog (which I linked to from facebook for the info on Codex show). Sure would love to go to that! But, in lieu, have just now officially subscribed to this blog, so will look forward to what you tell us about your experiences at Codex. I like the way you weave into the narrative how you got started/your history, your experiences with other papermakers, the aside about wallpaper, and especially like that you also talk about other papermakers/book artists (looking forward to going to websites of the marbled paper artist). Have a great time and lots of sales at Codex! I have decided to buy Playing with Paper first and add a few others gradually to my collection. I’ll either order it from Powell’s or from your website store.

Leave a Reply to Helen Hiebert Cancel reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Paper Talk Podcast

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Anchor.fm

Subscribe to the Blog

Please enter your e-mail address and click the checkbox to subscribe to The Sunday Paper. You'll also gain access to my monthly e-newsletter updates.


Follow Me on FacebookFollow Me on PinterestFollow Me on YouTube



I’m Helen Hiebert!

THE SUNDAY PAPER brings you stories and examples of people doing exciting, innovative, and beautiful things with paper, as well as link to interesting paperfacts from around the globe. Read all about it here!

Featured Items

My How To Books

Join the Craft Industry Alliance

If you enjoy reading The Sunday Paper, please consider making a donation to support the delivery of interesting paper news to your inbox once a week.