Gum Wrapper Sculptures

Gum Wrapper Sculptures

The Sunday Paper #502

March 31, 2024

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway to celebrate 500 Sunday Paper blog posts. Here are the lucky winners: Christina Little, Paula Hartmann, Linda Farrelly, Claire Marcus, and Vicki N. All five of them will receive a copy of my book, The Art of Papercraft. (Winners: please reply to my e-mail if you haven’t already with your snail mail address).

A big THANKS to all of you, dear readers, for subscribing to The Sunday Paper and sharing paper stories with me!


I had fun teaching the Interactive Eclipse Card workshop on Zoom on Friday afternoon. Thanks to all who attended, and if you’d like to make your own card, watch the recording and make along with me at your own pace.


The Paper Year, my membership group, is open for registration now through April 10th. Here are the techniques and projects we’ll be exploring over the three months. It is such a fun community to be a part of (if I may say so myself – I’m just the guide for this amazing group of paper lovers). Check out this page to learn more about the group, watch the video and join us! Registration closes on April 10th.


I had a lovely interview with Claire Van Vliet on Paper Talk, a printmaker and typographer who founded Janus Press in San Diego, California in 1955. Van Vliet received a MacArthur Genius Grant in 1989 and is known for her innovative use of pigmented pulp to create images in edition for books, prints and broadsides. She has exhibited and lectured in universities and museums around the world. Her next exhibition is Paperworks: Claire Van Vliet, which will be on view at the Boston Athenaeum September 10 – December 30 2024. Enjoy our conversation!


I’ve written about the Drawing on Blue exhibition at the Getty before, but here’s an incredibly informative article about the blue paper, that is still being produced in France today at Moulin du Verger. As early as the 14th century, mills in northern Italy began manufacturing blue paper, which was initially used to wrap commodities, but artists soon began using it. The blue hue provided a helpful middle tone for artists working with white and dark drawing media. Blue paper was also particularly well suited for pastels, since it tends to enhance the appearance of certain colors and provides an undertone for modeling and shading.

Handmade blue and white paper dries in the loft at Moulin du Verger paper mill.. Photo: Michelle Sullivan


If you’re near Santa Barbara, CA, pop in to see Karen Bit Vejle’s ‘Poetry in Paper’ which is on exhibit at Solvang’s Elverhøj Museum (through April 7). She has a unique way of highlighting positive and negative space with cut paper.

“Sparrow and Bumblebee Combat” by Karen Bit Vejle | Photo: Courtesy


Lyndon J. Barrois Sr.has been creating gum wrapper sculptures for decades. The works are tiny and incredibly detailed portraits of historical figures and athletes in flight (think Patrick Mahomes). Apologies if this is behind the NY Times paywall, but the animated story is totally worth a peek if you can access it!


Paper Tidbits

  • Gardens of Discovery Ecological Centre is offering accommodations for two friends or partners with varied skills (housekeeping, building/garden maintenance, papermaking, letterpress, bookbinding, horse care, computer skills) to spend up to a year on Patmos, Greece working on a handbound Gospel of St John, among other projects. Please inquire at
  • Many of you know that I swim for exercise. It was fun to see the film Nyad up for an Oscar earlier this month (a great film about Diana Nyad’s attempts and then success at swimming from Cuba to Florida). Just this week, I caught wind of Rachel Hazell’s new book, Today’s Changing Room, featuring photographs of her lockdown swims on the Isle of Iona in Scotland.


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  1. Shirley Cook says:

    I FINALLY had a chance to visit your most excellent blog – yay!

    Here’s a “free” link to the NYT article about Lyndon J. Barrois’ gum wrapper sculptures, I found it on his Instagram page.

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