Airgami

Airgami

The Sunday Paper #414

May 22, 2022

I spent the past 8 days at Anythink Wright Farms building a giant paper lantern. Step Into The Light was installed on Friday. I am so grateful to this amazing library system for helping me fulfill my vision by offering me a residency,  allowing staff to assist with the construction, and providing an installation crew. I hope to collage together the many process photos we took soon.

I had a lovely Q&A session with branch manager Michael Hibben about my work and the project. You can listen to our 25 minute conversation on Facebook or YouTube.

Here’s how the piece looked when I left to head home on Friday before a spring snowstorm closed the pass between Denver and my home in Edwards. The library has collected books about light that will be displayed on the shelves throughout the summer. I hope visitors will walk around the lantern, read the phrase: “You may think your light is small, but it can make a huge difference in other people’s lives”, and then step into the light and be, shine and create light for themselves and their communities.

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Oooh la la! Check out Stacy Bettencourt’s take on paper quilling. What strikes me is how dimensional she makes her twists and curls: “I don’t think people realize the potential of paper,” Bettencourt says. “You can cut it, shape it, twirl it, and layer it. Quilling is painting with paper.”

Stacy Bettencourt makes beautiful paper hearts. Also, lungs and gallbladders.

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I love how Jo Nakashima creates uniquely colored origami designs with double-sided sheets paper. You’ll find detailed instructions on folding your own versions of his intricate designs on YouTube, but take note of his warning: “Although I call it ‘simplified,’ it doesn’t mean it is simple: it is just simpler than the original version, but actually it is still a bit complex.”

As seen on This is Colossal: Image © Jo Nakashima

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These Airgami masks are not paper, but the inventor saw the film Between the Folds and was inspired to solve a problem: standard face masks didn’t fit his son. The Airgami is a twist on a popular origami design, the magic ball—also known as the dragon’s egg—sliced in half, which creates a large breathing space and fits tightly on the face. The mask is reusable, can be rinsed or disinfected with heat, and comes in four different sizes and various colorful prints, and you can choose between a head strap and ear loops. Robert Lang (an origami master who is featured in the film and came on my podcast Paper Talk) helped Richard Gordon create a computer program to automate the creasing for these masks. Airgami, is vying for part of the half-million dollar purse in the final phase of the Mask Innovation Challenge, run by the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Good luck!

Richard Gordon and Min Xiao decided to develop a new face mask after they couldn’t find a good one to protect their young son from air pollution. “I thought masks were a total horror,” Gordon says.RICHARD GORDON

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In 2011, I met a Korean woman at the Penland school in North Carolina and mentioned to her that I was going to Korea in a couple of weeks to give a lecture through the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA). She was living in England at the time, but was going to be in Korea when I was, so I arranged to spend a week with her after my lecture. Her father happened to know this paper artist and we went to visit him one day. Wjat a coincidence when just yesterday, a reader shared this video about Chun Kwang Young, that very same artist, with me.

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I’m featuring one-sheet wonders here on the blog, since the projects in my new book, The Art of Papercraft, fall into that category. I’d love to feature your one-sheet wonders!

Elizabeth Walsh of Olympia, Washington has been a calligrapher/graphic designer/paper and book artist for over 40 years. Origami has always been a fascination of hers, and incorporating letters into folded designs can be a satisfying challenge. Making milestone birthday cards in an accordion format has become a signature of hers, whether you’re turning 5, 50 or 100, or any decade in between. She delights in the process of creating a unique card or booklet for someone special, but the real joy is in the giving/receiving. This 100 candle card was made for a dear friend’s mother in celebration of her milestone 100th birthday.


Paper Tidbits:

  • I’m so excited that several paper enthusiasts I’ve met online and in person are coming to Italy with me this fall. At this retreat, you will explore the potential of paper as a basic material and a medium for creative pursuits with four internationally-known instructors: Helen Hiebert (owner of Helen Hiebert Studio), Amanda Degener (co-founder of Cave Paper), Carol Barton (paper engineer and owner of Popular Kinetics Press), and Denise Carbone (University of the Arts, Philadelphia). More info here.

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In the Studio:

As you read above, I was out of the studio this week in Denver. Here are a few more shots of the lantern.

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Featured this week in my Studio shop:

The Art of Papercraft, Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds, Water Paper Time, a film download, and The Papermaker’s Companion.

The Art of Papercraft

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2 Comments

  1. Congratulations on creating a giant paper lantern. It’s fantastic! I also really enjoyed this post.

  2. Helen Hiebert says:

    Thank you, Louise!

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