New Year Mandalas

New Year Mandalas

The Sunday Paper #89

Paper of the Week: Wax Paper


I ran across a story about 16 Genius Wax Paper Tips and it got me thinking. I remember my mom teaching me how to wrap a sandwich in wax paper – there was a special fold that made a nice pouch. And as a kid I loved melting crayon shavings between sheets of wax paper for a stained glass window effect. I’ve made pleated and crumpled papers with abaca handmade paper, but I decided to pleat and crumple some wax paper to see what happened when I ironed it. The wax melted and the overlapping areas stuck! 

How have you used wax paper in the studio?


In the Studio: There are so many facets to the learning process and it never ceases to amaze me. Below you see the envelope wrapper for my new artist’s book Vertices, which will be in a group show at the University of Washington later this Spring. The particular facet I learned about with this piece has to do with the changes that occur between the wet and dry stages in the papermaking process. This is double-couched sheet – pink on gray. The symbols look much more dramatic in the wet sheet, which you see below. I realized only after I’d made the sheets and saw them at this stage that they would dry lighter (i.e. I didn’t pre-think how subtle the images would be once the paper dried). It works with the concept of the book which deals with the intersections in relationships – they aren’t always clear – but I am still debating remaking the paper in white on gray, which would be more visible.



There’s a 2016 New Year Mandalas FB Group and this mandala by Donna Sakamoto Crispin caught my eye because it is made from paper cord. Donna produced a lovely book called Paper Moons, a study in paper cord, weaving techniques and textures on indigo dyed paper. 


The Durango Arts Center is currently featuring the exhibition The White Season celebrating the ephemeral beauty of winter January 8–January 30, a group exhibit featuring Sandra Butler, Charlene Geiss, Mary Ellen Long, Andrea Martens, Maureen May, Catherine Nash & Joan K. Russell. The White Season interprets how winter recollections for many of us embrace serenity, silence, grace, tranquility and eternity.
Cloud Root Paper by Mary Ellen Long

Cloud Root Paper by Mary Ellen Long

I like this quote by Ellen G.K. Rubin, who curated an exhibition of Czech artist Vojtech Kubasta’s work which is currently on view in Cedar Rapids: “A successful pop-up is one that enhances the story or enables you to understand the illustration better,” she said. “If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a pop-up is worth a million.”
If you find yourself on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest, check out this new storefront that serves as as both a storefront and office for Alice Larson, who works as a social welfare researcher when she is not folding paper into ornate shapes.
At her new shop, Alice Larson, left, shows some of her work to customer Pam Haulman. — Image Credit: Susan Riemer/Staff Photo

Alice Larson in her new shop  — Image Credit: Susan Riemer/Vashon Beach Comber Staff Photo

This is an information podcast about Jillian Bruschera’s Mobile Mill project on Art + Activism’s Digital Dialogue. Take a listen!


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  1. Diane Eicher says:

    Re: wax paper: I made one of the Waldorf window stars from your 25 Days of Paper using plain old kitchen wax paper. I folded the points an extra time so the 8 individual points are skinnier than what you showed in the blog. I like the way it turned out… simple, yet sort of classic, too. And there’s certainly no problem locating paper supply!

    • Helen says:

      Cool, Diane! Thanks for sharing… I’m sure there are many other fun illuminated paper projects to be discovered in our kitchen drawers…