Green Banana Paper

Green Banana Paper

The Sunday Paper #151, March 26, 2017

Paper of the Week: Green Banana Paper


This is one of the coolest (handmade) paper companies and products I’ve come across… ever! Green Banana Paper wallets are like leather, but without the cruelty. Banana paper wallets are naturally water, fire and tear resistant. A thin coating of wax is applied to the outside to protect against sweat, spills or rain. With thoughtful use, one can expect a wallet to last for years.

The wallets come from one of the most remote islands in the world – Kosrae, Micronesia. The products they make are providing livelihoods, skill-development, and sustainable exports for a community of 6,000 people. The wallets are naturally strong, beautiful, and water-resistant. As far as I’m concerned, the founder – Matt Simpson – deserves a gold star for his vision, passion and dedication! 

Green Banana Paper wallets are available now through a very successful kickstarter campaign. Grab your wallet before the campaign closes at the end of the week!


In the Studio:
Recently, I met an electrical engineer (on the ski hill, no less) who has an interest in lighting. I invited him to my studio and we had a blast exchanging ideas about paper and electricity. He made me this small lighting panel with about 8 different LED bulbs, two switches and a dimmer to test out lighting my Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book for an exhibit. The book comes with a flashlight for viewing when held in the hand, but figuring out how to light it while on display has been a challenge… until now! I’m super excited to see what we come up with next!
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  • There’s a new episode on Paper Talk, featuring an interview with Jillian Bruschera whose Mobile Mill and Papermaker’s Pack are both innovative and inspirational. Have a listen! You can also subscribe to Paper Talk on ITunes.
  • Interested in book arts? That’s the theme of this year’s Red Cliff Paper Retreat that takes place in my Colorado studio Sept 8-10 and/or Sept 10-12.


Pencil lovers unite! There’s a new book, The Pencil Perfect, by Caroline Weaver who also has a pencil shop New York City. I’m adding this place to my list for my next visit to the Big Apple. Have you been there?


The most intriguing part of this story about the work of Jennifer Davies, which was recently on view at City Gallery in New Haven, CT, is the fact that she makes monoprints from alsphalt cracks in parking lots!


Here’s a lovely article about how the NEA, which provides funding for state arts agencies (in this case in Kentucky) can make a difference in real people’s lives. Artist Nicole Hand is using book arts to reach out to and celebrate adults with disabilities (and here here to columnist Constance Alexander for telling the story).


I recently discovered the work of Ben Parker, whose paper tessellations are just incredible. In fact, the discovery led to the purchase of his book Six Simple Twists, which has been sitting on my desk for a few weeks now. I’m hoping the word simple isn’t misleading, because my attempts at folding tessellations in the past haven’t gone so well!


I’ve written about Peter Dahmen before (and he’s featured in the gallery section of my book Playing With Pop-Ups). Here’s a link to a great video that shows his amazing large-format pop-ups among other things.


About our Sponsor: Green Banana Paper is the only papermill in the Pacific islands. They recycle waste banana trees from over 75 farmers and employ 20 full-time fiber processors, papermakers, printers, weavers, sewers, and finished product assemblers. The company was founded to create jobs on an island where most people are forced to leave to find employment abroad, leaving their families and home. Green Banana Paper aims to collaborate with the worldwide papermaking community, and create world-class paper and finished products sustainably using the abundant natural waste of their fertile volcanic island.


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Thanks again to those of you who have pledged your support, and enjoy your Sunday!

1 Comment

  1. […] o’ shrimp file – pencils and death. The pencils are at CW Pencil Enterprise, which Helen Hiebert mentioned in her blog/newsletter and Alisa Golden had a blog post about visiting the shop. Must. […]