Alphabet Books

In seventh grade, I discovered calligraphy and spent time in the library at school studying the books they had and practiced my hand lettering. I’m sure that I could pick up a calligraphy pen now, after all of these years, and remember most of the strokes I memorized so long ago. But I did not spend 10,000 hours perfecting my technique, so I would

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A Map To Now

I enjoy collaboration. So far in my artistic career, I’ve collaborated with a choreographer, a sound artist, a poet, a videographer and other artists.

Here’s my newest creation, a broadside created in collaboration with poet Carl Adamshick. The publication of this piece coincides with Carl’s new book of poetry Saint Friend (which also features the poem) and you’ll find a description of the book at

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The Story Behind Alpha Blocks

I’ve just finished packaging the first 40 copies of my newest artists’ book, Alpha Blocks. Would you believe that this project began in 1986? I was studying abroad in Germany for a year and stumbled across the font Block Up in an old letraset catalog. I was captivated with the idea of bringing the two-dimensional font printed on paper to life, so I decided to

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String Theory

I’m preparing to show some work at the Alpine Arts Center here in Edwards, Colorado, and it got me thinking about my love for (untied) knots. When a friend of mine got engaged years ago in NYC, I vowed to give her a piece of ‘tying the knot’ themed art. I purchased the Ashley Book of Knots for inspiration.

a page from

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A Butterfly Book

The template for this butterfly book is available if you subscribe to my newsletter. Thanks to those of you who already do! I do enjoy designing paper projects like this and plan to change the template download quarterly. If you are a newsletter subscriber, you’ll receive each new template as they are released.

Notice that the pages in the center are book shaped and

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Artist Profile: Shawn Sheehy

The first time I met Shawn Sheehy, we spent an hour or so together in the pop-up book section at Powells Books in Portland. It was fun to page through the collection of movable books, oohing and aahing in tandem with another pop-up enthusiast.

Shawn Sheehy, Hesperana, 2010, handmade cotton/abaca paper

Shawn makes incredible pop-up books, often using his own handmade papers.

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Alpha Blocks


I’m excited to be finishing up the first copies of Alpha Blocks, my newest artists’ book. It will make its debut with Playing With Pop-Ups. I’ll start taking orders later this week and will start shipping as soon as the books arrive from the warehouse (there is no exact arrival date for the boat coming from the printer in China). Look for details

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Paper Moon & Paper Star

This is Day 20 of 25 Days of Paper and Day 89 of my 100 x 100 Paper Weavings Project.

© Helen Hiebert, 100 x 100 Paper Weavings, #89, 9″ x 17″, $100

This is one of my favorite weavings! I find it so interesting how these weavings develop. I have to admit that I wasn’t terribly excited about the possibilities when I

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Artist Profile: Sarah Horowitz

Cirsium Vulgare by Sarah Horowitz, 18 x 11.5, sumi ink on dyed kozo

I met the artist Sarah Horowitz in Portland a few years ago and immediately felt a kinship. Later we learned that we share the same birthday (although I could have been Sarah’s babysitter)! Sarah’s exhibition Briar Roses opens this Thursday (September 5th) at Froelick Gallery in Portland, featuring

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Thread Loves Paper

A couple of months ago, I received a copy of Thread Loves Paper in the mail. Now most of you must know by now how much I love the combination of thread and paper. A recent visit with Tony White, head librarian at MICA (which, by the way, has an awesome artists book collection), reminded me of Buzz Spector’s pieces with handmade paper and string.

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This is going to be a short, photo-heavy post since I’m traveling. I had a whirlwind of a day at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), where I’ll be lecturing and teaching a workshop tomorrow. It started with breakfast with Yoojin Kim, a senior here who specializes in pop-ups and was so highly recommended by colleagues that I invited her to do a project for

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Side Effects of Codex

A quick note: Quarry Books is hosting a giveaway for Playing With Paper. Join in the fun by clicking here! I’m back from the Bay Area and had a lovely time. I was quite anxious about Codex, wondering whether it would be “worth my time, effort and expense”. I find myself wondering how to evaluate this question; it would be interesting if the organizers had

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Hello from Codex!

This is just a quick hello from the Bay Area where I’m attending the Codex International Book Fair. I arrived a day early and had a wonderful time walking up to Mt. Davidson near my friend’s home, exploring Chinatown and attending an Indian festival.

View of the SF skyline from Mt. Davidson

The book fair today was amazing! I saw so many old

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Codex Book Fair

I’m off to the Codex Book Fair on Friday… will any of you be there? I’ll be in Booth 167, and I’m looking forward to it! For those of you who don’t know about it, this is the 3rd biennial event, where “the most distinguished book artists and artisans, private presses, and fine art publishers will be exhibiting their art and craft”. It takes place

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The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book


The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book, 6″ x 18″ x 8″, paper, graphite, letterpress, book board/cloth

This project took 16 years to complete (although there was a long hiatus in the middle) and touches on many facets of my career (collaboration and inspiration, to name two). My initial interest in paper came from pop-up books and cards, and I made the prototype for

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