Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds

The Sunday Paper #73

Paper of the Week: Hosta Paper

In about 1996, when I was working at Dieu Donné Papermill in NYC, I received a letter via snail mail from an editor at Storey Books, inquiring whether I would be interested in writing a book about making paper with plants. It turns out that she’d seen my Compost Papermaking workshop listed in the  NY Horticultural Society’s newsletter and thought it would be an interesting book topic. A few years later my book Papermaking With Plants (now Papermaking with Garden Plants and Common Weeds) became a reality.

Hosta Paper, contributed by Mary Leto, the recipe is in my book Papermaking With Garden Weeds and Common Plants

Hosta Paper by Mary Leto, the recipe is in my book Papermaking With Garden Weeds and Common Plants

How cool is that? I never dreamt I’d be an author, and the opportunity to put this book together forced me to lean on the generosity of my colleagues and other papermakers. One thing I decided to do when preparing the manuscript was to collect paper samples and recipes from other papermakers. The book contains 10 plant paper recipes, one in each category of plant fiber (bast, leaf, grass, etc.) Here’s a photo of the actual paper that Mary Leto submitted for making paper from her garden hosta plants, and the recipe is in my book!

In the Studio:

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of having an assistant in the studio for the past few months. Many thanks to Sandie Brayman for helping me get so much more done that I would have otherwise (and for the great company)! Sandie had no fear when I asked her to take short videos of the papermaking process. Neither she nor I are pros at this, but I think the short clips we shot get the message across. This week we were making pulp prints of the Brooklyn Bridge (available for purchase here). I love how each one is unique: can you see how crisp the image is on the green one, yet the other colors have more pulp on the image?

Here’s the short video Sandie took to show you a bit of the process.

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Sponsor of the Week

From September 11 to November 20, 2015, the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking presents Paper Narratives, an invitational group exhibition featuring the work of five artists: Doug Baulos, Denise Bookwalter, Kerri Cushman, Lauren Faulkenberry, and Lee Emma Running. Each artist utilizes paper as a primary ingredient to manifest their ideas. This exhibition is curated by Suzanne Sawyer. We’ll be highlighting each of the other artists in future issues of The Sunday Paper.

© 2013 Kerri Cushman, StreetView: handmade abaca & recycled clothing paper, slide film, ViewMaster reel, wood, 7 1/8" x 7 1/8" x 3 3/4" (closed), 14 1/2" x 7 1/8" x 3 1/2" (open)

© 2013 Kerri Cushman, StreetView: handmade abaca & recycled clothing paper, slide film, ViewMaster reel, wood, 7 1/8″ x 7 1/8″ x 3 3/4″ (closed), 14 1/2″ x 7 1/8″ x 3 1/2″ (open)

Kerri Cushman is a sculptural book artist and avid papermaker with an affinity for letterpress. She obtained an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College, Chicago (2004). Currently, she is an assistant professor who teaches papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress printing at Longwood University in Virginia. Her narratives push the boundaries of what defines a book.

Cushman says, ” ‘StreetView’ is a hybrid object: part book, part ViewMaster viewer. The book’s blank facade and chunky structure reference industrial building forms. On its own, a single building block is somewhat useless, but when combined with other building materials they create the architecture of a city street—buildings, cafes, and book shops.”

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Check this out: Japanese kirigami (the art of cutting and folding paper) is being used to make solar panels more efficient. Cuts in a flexible backing for solar cells allow a flat solar panel to separate into many small cells that can track the sun across the sky, which provides a 20 to 40 percent improvement in the amount of energy captured by the cells.

This headline caught my attention this week: The Most Fantastic Architecture of the Soviet Union Was Built on PaperRestricted by the aesthetic limits on architecture in the former Soviet Union, Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin imagined the most fantastic cities and wondrous structures on paper. From 1978 until the end of their partnership in 1993, Brodsky and Utkin collaborated on etchings like these, which are featured in the third edition of Brodsky & Utkin, from Princeton Architectural Press.

Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, “Hill with a Hole” (1987/90) (courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc)

Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, “Hill with a Hole” (1987/90) (courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc)

Maryland artist Lynn Sures is currently showing at Central Booking in Manhattan. I hope to get there next week! She’s exhibiting pulp paintings and a chine collé etching. These new works were created during residencies near Barcelona in Capellades, Spain and in Fabriano, Italy.

Lynn Sures, Montserrat 4, 2015. Pigmented abaca pulp painting, 47 x 69 inches

Lynn Sures, Montserrat 4, 2015. Pigmented abaca pulp painting, 47 x 69 inches

I dig these mythical cut paper collages by Morgana Wallace that appeared on This is Colossal.

morgana6

This is kind of a cool concept (sticker art by Chasing Paper) although I’m not sure what I think about reproducing art this way.

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Did you know that we have a papermaking museum in America? It is Atlanta, and it is a fantastic place to visit! It is open to the public, and you can view exhibitions, take workshops and discover the amazing history of paper. For those of you who know who Dard Hunter was (if you don’t, look him up!) his collection is housed in the museum.

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I'm Helen Hiebert!

THE SUNDAY PAPER brings you stories and examples of people doing exciting, innovative, and beautiful things with paper, as well as link to interesting paperfacts from around the globe. Read all about it here!


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