Criss Cross Accordion

Criss Cross Accordion

Nancy Cohen Breakwater, 2018 paper pulp, ink and handmade paper 54 x 54 in.

The Sunday Paper #254
April 7, 2019

Paper of the Week: French Construction Paper

Hedi Kyle turned me onto French Paper. This is a family owned business that has been manufacturing paper for more than 140 years in Niles, Michigan. Remaining as one of the last, small, independent mills in America, French Paper has learned to take their direction from customers, not corporate consultants. How cool is that?

I love the subtle rich hues in the construction paper line. This paper comes in text and cover weights, as well as envelopes in a variety of sizes. I highly recommend French Paper’s sample books, I purchased all of them for $30 (plus shipping) and I received about 200 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper samples, which was totally worth it!


In the Studio:
I love tinkering with paper, and it is especially nice when I find (or make) time to tinker. I’ve been working on the lessons for my upcoming Flexible Book Structures online class that begins this week, and I spent a bit of time coming up with variations on this book structure that I call the Criss Cross Accordion. We will explore the basic structure, and as you can see, there are multiple variations, not to mention the fact that you can expand this structure by adding more ‘pages’. That’s why it is called a flexible book structure. It isn’t too late to sign up for the class! What would you put on those pages?


Papery Tidbits:

  • Books, Vessels, & Containers, oh my! How do you store your stuff? Come explore a variety of papers that can be cut, folded, stitched and manipulated to create books, tubes, pockets, envelopes, maps, bags and more at the Red Cliff Paper Retreat, held in my Colorado studio, September 14-18. One spot left!
  • Interested in paper cutting and storytelling? Béatrice Coron is teaching a workshop this summer at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology.


April Giveaway!
In honor of the April project in the Twelve Months of Paper Calendar, Candlewick Press has generously donated two copies of Shawn Sheehy’s new pop-up book, Beyond the Sixth Extinction. Click through to enter the giveaway!

And here’s the April project, which is designed by Shawn, a pop-up dragonfly. Have you made it yet? I’d love to see a picture of your dragonfly! Need a calendar (filled with 12 paper projects)? They’re now half price!
I love the diverse paper works that are being shared over in Club Paper! From left to right: Karen Krieger’s paper weaving on a hollow and stitched bottle form; Laura Milletari’s “Onion of Tropea”; and Roslyn Moresh’s spider book from Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol’s new book using a weaving from my recent online class (Weave Through Winter).

Nancy Cohen has been working with handmade paper for over 20 years and has really developed a lovely process and multiple bodies of work. If you’re in NYC, go see her work at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts.

Nancy Cohen, Breakwater, 2018, paper pulp, ink and handmade paper, 54 x 54 in.

Did you see this? The celebrated French street artist JR pulled off a stunning optical illusion to celebrate the pyramid at the Louvre’s 30th anniversary. He surrounded the glass pyramid in a collage made of 2,000 strips of paper. This might be one of those “looks better in the photo” installations. Did anyone get to experience it IRL?

This is an interesting musing on the historical and contemporary uses of hanji (Korean handmade paper).


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  1. Thanks for the introduction to Nancy Cohen work. Beautiful!

  2. Outstanding Newsy Letter this week! Love the Shawn Sheehy TREAT! Hope I win, hope I win! He is one of my favorites in paper whimsy.
    The papers from Nancy Cohen are incredible.
    Fabulous and diverse news!

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