Paper Currents 2020

Paper Currents 2020

The Sunday Paper #333

October 4, 2020

Papermaker of the Week: Heather Matthew

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!

© 2016 Heather Matthew, Waterline, screenprint on banana paper with indigo dyed linen pulp inclusion, 83cm W x62cm H

As a paper artist, Heather Matthew uses the fragility and strength of handmade paper as a metaphor for resilience, of both the human spirit and the earth. She often makes banana fibre paper because of its translucent, skin like properties, and she sources recycled clothing and household linen for paper pulp to embed additional meaning into her artwork. In 2017, her papermaking studio was flooded in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie and the papers in her paper drawers survived. She collaged these flood marked, mud spattered papers together to tell a narrative of climate catastrophes and continues to make works about climate change in her collages, artist books and sculptural installations. She has recorded the sounds when making paper and printed these sonagraphs and fractal images onto indigo dyed paper. These invisible calming vibrations she experiences during the paper making process have helped her during the Covid pandemic. Using pulp sourced from recycled clothing donated to flood affected families, she created giant worlds of poured paper shaped into the “blue marble” of the planet as photographed from space by the Apollo 17 astronauts.

In the Studio:

I’ve got a new watermark on the mould, and the paper is going to be part of a Curated Paper Collection, something new I’ll be offering in 2021 in conjunction with The Paper Year Online (details about this subscription club will be revealed soon). Did you play with tangrams as a kid? This is an arrangement of 24 tangrams – a tangram of tangrams!

If you are attending the North American Hand Papermakers conference, Paper Currents, next weekend, (free to members, still open for registration) I am presenting a workshop about how I create watermarks and use them for pulp stenciling. I use western fibers in my work, and Susan Mackin Dolan, a friend and colleague who lives just up the road, is co-presenting and showing her innovative low-tech pulp stenciling techniques using eastern fibers.


Papery Tidbits:


I’d like to get lost in another world. Napaschol Tangnukulkit’s exhibition of paper flowers is called ‘Lost In The Greenland’ because she wants visitors to feel like they are lost in a world that she created.

Napaschol Tangnukulkit’s tropical flowers in glass containers

How cool is this: a paper app! As seen on the All Things Paper Blog: well-known paper artist Yulia Brodskaya just launched the first-ever quilling mobile game app. It features her colorful, tactile art within which players merge identical paper tiles to solve tasks.

I am always thankful for my dear readers who share new paper artists with me! Check out the stunning sculptural and illuminated works by Junior Fritz Jacquet.

I was just talking with a friend yesterday about what I would do if I had to quarantine for 14 days in another city in a hotel room (her son is probably going to China for work and will have to do this). And then I read this story about Simon Lie, who did just that in Sydney, Australia, and he folded his way through the two weeks.

Simon Lie’s origami hotel quarantine creations. Credit: Simon Lie / Facebook

Have you heard of flibbers? Well, this NY Times article shows you how to make one from a sheet of newspaper (remember those?). Spoiler alert: it’s the title project of the 1964 children’s book “How to Make Flibbers, Etc.: A Book of Things to Make and Do” by the author and illustrator Robert Lopshire.


The Handmade Holiday Series begins two weeks from tomorrow. Here’s what one registrant had to say:

“I’m very excited to be doing another class with you! I’ve been pretty uninspired these last months so hoping your usual inspiration along with a dose of your goodwill (and magic) will get me to finally work in my studio again. Thanks!!” – Ruth C.

Watch the video and sign up today.


Featured this week in my Studio shop:

Interluceo: Collage Packs, Playing With Paper, a Package of Three Films, and Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds.


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  1. Incredibly beautiful, surprising work you are showing lately. It is amazing what you are doing Helen and the artists you have posted! Loving it all!

  2. Janet Osborn says:

    Helen, I love the Sunday Paper. I look forward to it every week. Sometimes, if Sunday is too busy, I keep it unread for a special MONDAY treat!
    This week you got my attention with Junior Fritz Jacquet and his beautiful sculptural lamps. This lead me down a google-rabbit hole trying to find out what “Sulphurized paper” is. From what I read, I imagine it is similar to baking parchment. Any ideas on this??
    One of the reasons I am attracted to Jacquet’s paper lamps is the similarity to the ceiling light you created for your dining room. I am in awe!