Origami Tea House

Origami Tea House

The Sunday Paper #172, August 27, 2017

Paper of the Week: Thoreau’s Paper-covered Journals

Abelardo Morell’s “Thoreau: 40 Journals in Chronological Order.” Credit Edwynn Houk Gallery

Do you keep a journal? Usually the contents are the main event (as they certainly are in these as well) but this is a photograph depicts the paper covers of Henry Thoreau’s journals, which are on display Tuesday through September 10th at the Morgan Library and Museum in NYC. “Thoreau: 40 Journals in Chronological Order” is part of “This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal,” which traces his life through notebooks and other artifacts.


In the Studio:

I’ll be honest, this week was a doozy! I just got back into the studio yesterday after spending the week in the hospital with my mother, who fell the day before my son left for college and fractured her pelvis. I’m rather exhausted after navigating through new situations, but found a renewed energy once I set foot back into my familiar workplace. I’m super excited about the book structures I’m developing for the Red Cliff Paper Retreat that takes place in my studio in just two weeks. I’ll share images after the retreat!

In the meantime, here’s a new podcast episode with Ron and Jennifer Rich of Oblation Papers & Press, an urban paper mill, letterpress print shop, hand-bindery and fine paper boutique in Portland, Oregon. Their in-house team of designers releases roughly 30 new items annually, inspired by music, quirky conversation, toys, textiles, travel, food, architecture, literature and historical objects. Have a listen!
Papery Tidbits

  • The Paper Lanterns online class is still open for registration. Register now and receive a free 2017 Twelve Months of Paper Calendar with your supply kit!
  • Speaking of calendars, the 2018 Twelve Months of Paper Calendar is coming!!! The photography is done, the text is written, and it is currently being designed. Copies will be available for pre-order in late September.
  • Want to work with me in person? Meet me on Whidbey Island (October 5-8) or find me in San Antonio (October 20-22).
  • If you are in Iowa City, my newest artist’s book Tangential is in the Handy Books exhibition, which opened last week.


I love it when someone takes a technique and turns it on its head. You’ve probably seen the cute and colorful origami characters made from these folded origami sections. Katagiri Architecture + Design took these paper modules to another level when they created Shi-An, a nomadic teahouse built with hundred of pieces of folded paper without the need for any glue. The minimalist structure embodies a Japanese sense of beauty and an appreciation of the concept of transience.

I recently discovered the work of Andi Arnovitz when a former online class participant visited her studio in Israel and told her about me and this blog. Andi sent me a note introducing herself. I’m so glad she did, and I think you will be too! Her works make powerful statements about women and feature paper in a variety of forms.

© Andi Arnovitz 2006, The Missing, paper clay, paint and stain, steel, wood, 39 x 176 cm

Did you put on a pair of these solar eclipse viewing glasses last week (made of paper)? Here’s an interesting article about American Paper Optics — one of the major American manufacturers of NASA-approved eclipse glasses. And the owner, John Jerit, is a major folk art collector to boot!

The Morgan Conservatory of Art in Cleveland just celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. The Morgan is one of the premier institutions in the country with an extensive internship program, an artist residency program, workshops of all kinds, galleries and more.

Founder & Artistic Director Tom Balbo pulls a large sheet of Western-style abaca paper – photo courtesy of Jacqueline Bon

If you find yourself in Maine this week, check out these two talks at Bowdoin during Bowdoin Book Week, On Materiality, A Cultural Consideration of Paper and the Book with Nicholas Basbanes (author of On Paper) and Appreciating Paper: Art’s Best Supporting Actor (I love that title!) with Ruth Fine, former curator of special projects at the National Gallery of Art and Marjorie Shelley from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who will explain how historic European artists chose their papers as well as the genesis of the importance of works on paper. These both sound fascinating, and if you’re not in Maine, the Basbanes lecture will be live streamed. Details at the link!  


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Thanks again to those of you who have pledged your support, and enjoy your Sunday!


  1. Bette Abdu says:

    Thank you so much for the Sunday Paper. You always have such interesting items in your newsletter. Also, I happen to be in Brunswick Maine this week! I plan to attend the lectures at Bowdoin. It is doubtful that this information would have reached me except for your announcement.

  2. Helen,
    Thanks for the link to the nomadic tea house by Shi-An. I think I just found Michael’s zone!

  3. Lou Ellen Plummer says:

    When I was attending a workshop at the Morgan conservatory recently, I watched tom and an assistant pulling and couching these large sheets. It seemed so effortless. I was duly impressed!