Paper + Light Online Class


Watch the Video + Scroll Down to Register!

Register Now! Class begins July 6th

$170 for 4 weeks July 6 – 27 OR August 3 – 24

$300 for 8 weeks July 6 – August 24 (Save $40 on both sessions)

Sign up for the class here ↓↓

Paper + Light

Do you love the glow of light filtering through paper? Crave the inspiration you get from the act of making? Have a desire to connect with others who share these same goals? Join me in creating a series of luminous objects that will intrigue your eyes and illuminate your spirit.

  • A new lesson will be added to the classroom every Monday.
  • Work from the comfort of your own home or studio whenever you wish.
  • Pop into the online classroom anytime to ask questions and share your projects and ideas in a supportive and creative on-line community.
  • You will have access to the course material after class ends – and indefinitely!

The weekly lessons will be exploratory (think model making) and concrete (you’ll be building light structures). I will present a wide variety of techniques and models for inspiration as we construct internal and external armatures made with paper, wood, wire, and string.

  • Make momigami (kneaded paper) + add color to paper
  • Learn about lighting components: incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, light strands and battery-operated LEDs. We’ll wire a lamp too!
  • Create art, lamps, lanterns, sculpture and more.


1 – Single Sheet Lanterns: Discover how a single sheet of paper can be transformed into a sculptural object with a cut here, curved folds or pleats there, and a variety of other simple techniques. Light adds a magical effect.

2 – Woven Window Hanging: Friedrich Froebel, who started the kindergarten movement in the late 1800’s, developed paper weaving lessons for children. We’ll take paper weaving to another level as we capture daylight in paper by cutting and revealing segments of your weavings.

3 – Collapsible Forms: Chochin, traditional Japanese portable lanterns, are made of thin bamboo cane wound into rings or a spiral on a removable armature with paper glued to the outside of the bamboo. The lanterns are collapsible and look radiant with a candle or tea light tucked inside.

4 – Bendable Paper: Experiment with embedding wire, string and light strands in between sheets to create a new material called bendable paper. I’ll show how to wire a lamp in this lesson (and in Lesson 8).


5 – Stitched Paper Vessels: Machine or hand stitch shaped sheets into organic vessels that contain light. Bonus: Learn to make momigami (kneaded paper).

6 – Shadow Structures: In the 1640’s, a German priest living in Rome developed the magic lantern, which cast shadows from glass slides onto a screen, a precursor to modern cinema. This shadow lantern/folding screen/book works on the same principle as light casts shadows from a stencil onto a paper screen. A unique Japanese hinge allows this book form to be displayed in multiple ways.

7 – Inflatables: Make light-weight balloon forms to fill with air and light. Unlike rubber balloons, these can be partially filled and shaped, since the paper isn’t elastic and can hold its shape. Or, weight the bottom with birdseed or rice to make a paperweight (or a sculpture that isn’t likely to be blown away or knocked over).

8 – Natural Armatures: Create sculptural armatures with reed, wood or wire, and cover them with paper. Bonus: Learn how to wire a lamp!


I have participated in other on line classes but you have the very best, clearest and most understandable presentations. Keep up the great work. Allison Roscoe, HI

Helen is a skilled, generous, and very organized teacher. I enjoyed every aspect of the online class, from the clear video and the community feel, to the ability to work at my own pace. The projects and materials were lovely. The online format made it possible to benefit from Helen’s vast expertise without the time and cost of travel. Thanks Helen! Sue E.

This was my first ever online class. The videos for each lesson were clear and easy to follow. It was fun to see the results that other participants posted. I found the interactive communication helpful and delightful. Thank you! I look forward to another online class with you! Barb H.

What You Get:

  • Step-by-step video tutorials for each lesson
  • Printable instructions for each project
  • Templates
  • A comprehensive resource list, plus a list of suppliers
  • The online classroom where you can ask questions, share your work, and get feedback

How it works:

  • When you register, I will send you a link to the online classroom, where you will find a comprehensive supply list.
  • Each Monday, beginning on July 6th, a new lesson will be available in the online classroom with a video tutorial featuring a new project to explore throughout the week. This is not a live lesson; you will be able to watch the video anytime, work on your own and then visit the online classroom to ask questions and share your work.
  • As a student you will have access to all lessons, support materials and videos indefinitely!

Supply Kit

For those of you who have taken classes with me in the past and have ordered a kit, there won’t be a kit to purchase for this class. Instead, I’m letting you make your own unique paper choices and will provide guidelines about what to order when you register, including a comprehensive list of materials that are available from just a few suppliers.

If you’d like to see a general list of supplies prior to signing up for the class, please e-mail me:

Sign up for the class here ↓↓

Tools: You probably have most tools on hand, but here’s an idea of what we’ll be using: pencil, ruler, scissors, cutting mat, craft knife, bone folder, eraser, glue, glue brush, hole punch, needle and thread, wire cutters, eyelet setter. Optional (and useful) tools: Sewing machine, miter box & small hand saw.

Beyond the class: The skills you acquire will have multiple applications as we explore paper as a material and a variety of sculptural techniques and forms. Take what you learn beyond this class as you add additional ideas for working with paper and light to your repertoire.

About Helen: My initial interest began on a trip to Japan 30 years ago when I was inspired by light filtering through traditional shoji screens. I took classes at the NY Center for Book Arts with Hedi Kyle, Susan Share, Barbara Mauriello and more and soon began developing workshops combining book arts, papercraft and lighting techniques. I’m the author of five books about paper crafts and papermaking, and I publish The Paper Year, featuring a how-to paper project every month. I am a Colorado artist who constructs installations, sculptures, films, artists’ books and works in paper. I teach, lecture and exhibit my work internationally and have an extensive network of paper colleagues around the world. My interest in how things are made (from paper) keep me up-to-date on current paper trends, which I write about in my weekly blog, The Sunday Paper. I hold an annual paper retreat and two papermaking master classes in my Red Cliff, Colorado studio each summer + fall.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why an Online Class?
I’ve taught projects to hundreds of students in person over the past twenty five years, but since I can’t travel all the time (and perhaps you can’t either) I decided to develop on-line content. This is an extension of the numerous how-to projects I’ve written about in my books and the ideas I continue to develop in my studio, but they are a bit more in-depth and elaborate, featuring skill building as well as creative ideas.

What if I’m traveling or have to miss a lesson?
The sessions are independent, so you can jump in at any point and come back to lessons you’ve missed later. You will also have access to the online classroom indefinitely.

What kind of experience is required?
This class is for all levels but expect some challenges. You should be comfortable using a craft knife. I have taught and mentored all levels, from beginners to experienced artists.

Cancellation/Refund Policy: Refunds are only available within 24 hours of purchase. You will receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee for cancellations within 24 hours.


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