Helen’s Handmades

Helen’s Handmades

The Sunday Paper #425

August 14, 2022

I’ve been going through my flat files and organizing my papers (an annual tradition that is necessary, because as soon as I get them organized, the disorganization begins, sigh). I gathered up all of my handmade papers and was surprised to find a dozen unique papers that I’d love to ship out into the world. “Helen’s Handmades” includes a dozen sheets made by yours truly (with a nice discount). Click through to read a bit about each sheet and purchase a set while supplies last.


I had the pleasure of speaking with Russell Maret on Paper Talk. Maret is a book artist and letter designer working in New York City. He began printing in San Francisco as a teenager before apprenticing with Peter Koch in Berkeley and Firefly Press in Somerville, Massachusetts. He set up his own press at the Center for Book Arts, New York in 1993 and has been printing and publishing ever since. In 1996 Russell began teaching himself to design letterforms, leading to a twelve year study of letterforms before he completed his first typeface in 2008. In 2011, he began working to convert some of his type designs into new metal typefaces for letterpress printing. Since then he has produced four metal typefaces and four suites of metal ornaments.


Wowza! North Carolina-based artist Anne Lemanski stretches vintage paper or patterns of scanned objects across a minimal metal form and stitches the edges together into a geometric patchwork. Click through to see more examples.

“Painted Wolf” (2019), copper rod, archival pigment print on paper, artificial sinew, 39 x 47 x 15 inches. All images by Steve Mann, © Anne Lemanski, as seen on Colossal.


As the kiddos head back to school, I’m guessing there are a lot of us who have fond memories of shopping for school supplies (or perhaps being disappointed on the first day of school when comparing our own supplies to those of our peers). Here’s a round up five types of classic composition notebooks.


When dumped in landfills, paper is one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gasses. Two brothers in Kenya are saving old newspapers from that fate by turning them into pencils that feel like they’re made with real wood. Not only that, but they are donating many of their pencils to schools.


Paper Tidbits:


In the Studio:

I tend to stick to the papermaking fibers I know, but I try to branch out from time to time. When I order supplies, I’ll often order something I haven’t used before, or try a new fiber that is on the market. Hemp seems to be popping up everywhere these days, but raw hemp fiber requires tedious processing. I made a few sheets with hemp sheet pulp, purchased from Carriage House Paper. I beat it hard (at 2 on my Reina beater) for two hours and was pleased with the results. I was able to pull thin and thick sheets, and I air-dried a sample too. I’m curious to know whether anyone out there has achieved translucency with this particular sheet pulp (I know it is possible with raw hemp fiber).



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  1. Christie says:

    Love the annual flat file organizing line..paper, what’s you going to do. Will the hemp paper be suitable for printmaking? Thanks Helen. Christie

    • Helen Hiebert says:

      The hemp paper is not sized, so it depends on the type of printmaking you will do. It’s funny – I size most of my papers, but forgot to add it to this particular pulp.