Historic Paper

Historic Paper

The Sunday Paper #155, April 23, 2017

Paper of the Week: Historic Paper

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I was traveling this past week, and one of my stops was at the University of Iowa Special Collections Library. It amazes me that you can make an appointment at a place like this and handle the old books and paper! This is a pull-out page in Euclid’s The Elements of Geometry, the 1733 edition. But alas, I need to see the edition from 1570! Thankfully, it looks like they have that one in Denver. There are all sorts of curiosities when you look at old books. This page was bound in upside down, and there were little printed markings in the sidebars that I couldn’t decipher. Proof that there’s always more to learn!


Out of the Studio:

Here’s proof that Chicago is the windy city! My daughter and I spent the week in Northern Indiana with my parents-in-law. We were in the city for 2 quick days, visiting DePaul University, where our son will go next fall. We checked out the neighborhood (Lincoln Park) and rented Divvy Bikes, which we took along the shore to Millenium Park and back.

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Stopping by Iowa City yesterday reminded me of  this fabulous video about the University of Iowa’s escapades in Chancery Papermaking. On June 10th, 2016 at Center for the Book, a team of 12 papermakers attempted to make 2000 sheets of paper in a single day using historical techniques and methods. And they did it!!

Paperscapes is an exhibition at the Philadelphia Arts Alliance features work by Sun Young Kang (image below), Dawn Kramlich, Elizabeth Mackie, and Susan White. Up through April 30th.


Here’s a lovely story about artist Jim Kellison, 81, who makes small villages or cities from the collection of paper buildings he makes by hand. He adds details to the cityscapes with tiny model people and cars.

paper houses

This has to fall under one of the coolest things ever: an origami vending machine! And there’s even a bag attached to the machine requesting that customers leave the empty plastic containers from their purchase so that they can used again. I would love to stumble across one of these machines!


For those of you papercrafters, here’s a how-to video for making a paper hot air balloon that a readers found and shared with me. Send me a picture if you try it!


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  1. The Center for the Book in Iowa City is one of the finest book arts departments I have ever visited. The enthusiasm was visceral! Rare books are truly sacred objects of science and human story.
    I love the vending machine, in your blog, too! Adorable.

  2. Loved the origami vending machine!
    Thanks for the intro, would also enjoying seeing one in person.

  3. Lou says:

    Wow! Jim kellison is just a couple of hours away. Would have loved to see his pieces yesterday. Are you going to try and see him while you’re in Raleigh? See you soon?