Make Art Not War

Make Art Not War

The Sunday Paper #403

March 6, 2022

Friends, I can’t stop thinking about Ukraine, so I decided to research the papermaking history there. I’ve just begun, and there is surely more going on with paper in the country, but here are two interesting places I discovered: Radomysl Castle (just West of Kyiv) has the only restored medieval papermill (built in 1612) that uses ancient technology (i.e. making paper by hand);

Re-Leaf Paper is the brainchild of a student in Ukraine, who garnered attention and awards and ended up turning his idea into a company. Re-Leaf mixes fallen leaves that are collected in public spaces with biological fillers to create tree-free paper on a commercial scale. Here is the latest instagram post from the company:

Dear fans of our company and technology! My name is Valentyn Frechka, I am the schoolboy from Ukraine who invented a way to turn fallen leaves into paper, as the media dubbed me. Today my partner and I are addressing you on a completely non-childish occasion. πŸ™Β  ⚠️  In the country where I was born, raised and made my invention, there is a brutal full-scale war with RussiaπŸ‘Ž.Β  Peaceful cities in Ukraine were subjected to insidious rocket attacks and shelling, and hundreds of Ukrainians were killed, including civilians. πŸ˜₯Β  πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ We are a Ukrainian startup, our technology was born in the Ukrainian forest and was implemented in Ukrainian enterprises, and we cannot stay away from this situation and are not apolitical…Β Read the full post here.

I wrote about my worlds colliding in my blog post last week (as in serendipity, not war!) and just yesterday, I chose an organization to support (I found out about them in this post, from the Obama Foundation: How You Can Help the People of Ukraine). Read more about what I’m doing In the Studio section below.


I was saddened to read of the passing of Arizona State University professor emeritus Gene Valentine, whose interests in language and art led him to letterpress printing and papermaking.

Gene Valentine (left) with Daniel Mayer and a Vandercook press. Credit: ASU


I am honored to know several of the artists in the exhibition Reimagined: The Artist’s Book, in Carlsbad, CA through May 14th. What happens when the worlds of art and books intersect? The resulting spectrum ranges from innovative designed books to unique and beautifully sculpted artist books.


I’m featuring one-sheet wonders here on the blog, since the projects in my book fall into that category. I’d love to feature your one-sheet wonders!

This re-usable pillow box is inspired by Japanese furoshiki – a container that can be used a number of times. During lockdown Susan Niner Janes was busy papercrafting – and although she is a blogger, she found herself blogging only rarely. Susan has generously shared a recent design with us. Click here to download the template and instructions.

Β© Susan Niner Janes, Printable Pillow Box with Handle, printed on A4 photocopier card, 160 gsm and cut out with a Silhouette Cameo 4


Check out the amazing paper creations of Asya Kozina.


Paper Tidbits:

  • Anyone out there need a free C&P Printing Press (located in Philadelphia)?
  • Purchase a copy of my new book, The Art of Papercraft.
  • I had a fun conversation with an old friend from NYC, Mitch Teplitsky, who works at Morgenstern’s, Indiana’s largest independent bookstore. Listen here.


In the Studio:

As I mentioned here on the blog last week, I am thinking about the Ukrainian people, as I know many of you are, too. I have a son and a husband who are of fighting age, and I cannot fathom having to break up our family in order to fight for our country. I want to help, and I’ve decided to auction off a few of my recent paper weavings.Β 

Here’s the first one (upper left image below) along with a few more that will be auctioned off in the weeks to come. This week’s piece is called Five x Four. It is an unframed, hand-cut paper weaving made from 90% cotton/10% abaca artist-made paper and measures 9” x 9”.Β 

I am committing to doing four weekly auctions in March and will be donating the profits to Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights. Visit my instagram to read more and bid on the piece. The auction ends on Friday, March 11th at 9pm MST.

Let’s help our brothers and sisters by raising some money together.Β 



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