Home in the Cottonwood

The Sunday Paper #322
July 26, 2020

Papermaker of the Week: Helen Frederick

This is a new column. If you’re a papermaker and would like to be featured in the coming weeks and months, please fill out this form. I’d love to hear from you!

Helen Frederick is known mainly for hand-driven media such as custom-formed paper installations, artist books, paintings, drawings, and prints that often incorporate the use of language. She also adapts electronic media and sculpture in her installations. Throughout her life, Frederick’s passion for diverse cultures and histories has led her to travel to observe the material cultures of many societies, their skills, and ideas and to make connections among disparate cultural traditions. Her private Reading Road Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland, provides collaborative opportunities for artists interested in works in and on paper, constructions, artist books, and critical conversations about social justice, cultural and visual literacy. She is recognized as a distinguished artist, curator, educator, coordinator of international projects, and as founder of Pyramid Atlantic, a center for contemporary printmaking, hand papermaking and the art of the book. Frederick is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Art at George Mason University.


In the Studio: Online Paper Starts Next Week!

I’m getting ready for an online paper sale which begins August 2nd – make sure you read the blog next Sunday because supplies are limited! Purchase papers that you won’t find anywhere else in the world: watermarks, abaca leather, stenciled designs, rainbow abaca, collage packs, and translucent abaca (made to order).


Papery Tidbits

  • Participants in my Paper + Light online class are doing some amazing things with… paper + light (take a peek over on Instagram). If you’re interested in signing up for Session 2, we start on August 6th!
  • I attended OrigamiTalk last Saturday and really enjoyed it! Ali Bahmani interviews a prominent origami artist every Saturday. Last week it was fun to hear about the work of Ekaterina Lukasheva, who is contributing a project in my upcoming book. You can attend for a small fee.


I met Dolan Geiman recently at Art on the Rockies, a casual yet upscale art fair that takes place within walking distance from my home. Everyone wore masks and hand sanitizer was abundant (a sign of the times for anyone reading this post in the hopefully near-distant future). We had a lovely conversation, and of course I was drawn to his collage work. Geiman produces large-scale paper collage portraits of American icons and Animalia entirely from hand-cut vintage paper elements. He likes to spend time reminiscing on the past while flipping through the pages of decades forgotten magazines, intently searching for the perfect shape, color, or texture within a periodical’s pages to add to his archive of collage elements. He’s become increasingly precise and intricate over the years; his latest large-scale paper collages feature thousands of individually hand-cut pieces.

© Dolan Geiman, Oriole with Nest Original Paper Collage

These lights caught my eye. Yuko Nishikawa makes each lamp by mixing paper fibre with wet clay and turning them into bulbous, hollow shells using a coiling technique. Click through to see her interacting with the objects.

I find this piece by David Joo so intriguing. The sculpture, created with handmade paper, is part of an exhibition titled “Cracked,” and like nearly all current gallery openings, it’s online due to the social distancing requirements necessary to control the spread of coronavirus.

© David Joo, Imaginary Landscape lll

This is a lovely story about Soo Wai Yan, an entrepreneur whose passion for paper flowers has led to paper flower walls for event decorations and boutique visual merchandising, 3D paper animals such as birds, butterflies, bears, koi fish, and even fashionable flower headpieces from paper for beauty shoots. She’s currently working on incorporating seed paper into her flowers to make them plantable!
23 Sandy turns a page! 23 Sandy was founded in Portland, Oregon by book artist and photographer Laura Russell in 2007. For 10 years it was a brick-and-mortar gallery space exhibiting a wide range of unique & edition artist books and paper art. 23 Sandy closed its physical doors in 2017, becoming an online gallery. In July 2020, the gallery is relaunching under the ownership of book artist Erin Mickelson, 23 Sandy’s long-time gallery assistant until her relocation to Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Featured this week in my Studio shop:
Paper + Light Online Class; Try It! Panel Shade online workshop; Ruffle, a drawing in paper; and Playing With Paper.


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I’m Helen Hiebert!

THE SUNDAY PAPER brings you stories and examples of people doing exciting, innovative, and beautiful things with paper, as well as link to interesting paperfacts from around the globe. Read all about it here!

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