The Sunday Paper #435
November 13, 2022
When I visited Japan for the first time shortly after graduating from college, my mother and I stayed in a traditional Inn (ryokan) in Kyoto. I hadn’t become involved with paper yet, although I had worked with it some during college. I can barely recall any details about that ryokan today, but I still remember the way the light filtered through the papered shoji screens and how I felt: warm, comforted, and transported to a place that centered me. Do you have paper memories like this?
Last weekend I taught a Collapsible Japanese Lantern (Chochin) workshop on Zoom, and it was delightful to see the the papers participants chose to illuminate in their projects. Their photos are pretty amazing too. Lamps below by: Carol Held, Lizzy Duquette and Hilarie Rath.
Unravelling the nuanced connection between belonging and belongings, Joanne Tepper Saffren’s show at Axis Gallery, in Sacramento, CA, uses the clothes left hanging on her late husbands side of their closet to create presence from absence. Saffren’s visceral art is one of disclosure—an honest and intimate inquiry into love, loss and grief—and universal in its relevance.
Challenging the boundaries of papermaking, the artist created a unique process to sculpt the wet pulp into human scaled organic paper structures, hung at human height, and floating off the gallery walls. Gestural marks, faces, clouds, landscapes and ghostly figures, emerging and collapsing, are thoughtfully created by allowing the fibers to float and knit themselves on a 4’ x 6’ screen placed in a bed of water.
Space comes alive with art that breathes, flows, moans, and illuminates in SARA GARDEN ARMSTRONG: Threads and Layers, which opened recently at the Gadsden Museum of Art in Alabama. The traveling exhibition will be on display through Jan. 26th, 2023. Listen to my interview with Armstrong on Paper Talk.
I am enamored by the work of Pinaree Sanpitak. Widely shown since its first appearance in Bangkok in 2011 and the Biennale of Sydney in 2012, Anything Can Break is a monumental installation featuring a suspended sky of origami cubes and hand-blown glass clouds illuminated by fibre optics, with motion sensors picking up movement in the space activating musical notes. Click through to see more of her work.
This is a poetic essay about the ceramic work of Toshiko Takaezu. Hoping to engage with people through a variety of senses, Takaezu introduced the element of sound. She wrapped a dried piece of clay in paper and placed it inside her forms before closing and firing them. To bring the work to life requires a physical movement. Gently rotating her work Untitled, one is able to hear the subtle ring of the otherwise mysterious interior. Scroll down on the page to watch and listen to the video.
When I have an intern in the studio, I like to work on projects that will benefit both of us. One of the things Madeline Good and I doing during our month together are fiber tests. We beat a batch of premium abaca for 5 hours, Madeline pulled sheets every 15 minutes to record how the resulting paper looked at these time increments, and then we cut the sheets in half and made two books (one for each of us), documenting our tests. Click through to see me flipping through the book on instagram.
|Featured this week in my Studio shop:
The Art of Papercraft, Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds, Water Paper Time, a film download, and The Papermaker’s Companion.
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