Paste Paper

Paste Paper

The Sunday Paper #80

Sponsored Paper of the Week: Madeleine Durham Paste Paper


Madeleine Durham loves painting paste paper! The happiest moments of her life are those spent creating in her Santa Fe studio. Painting has always come naturally for Durham, so when she was re-introduced to paste papers a few years ago she immediately saw the possibilities. 

Place an order for Durham’s paste papers on Etsy and enter the code PastePaper11 to receive a 15% discount through the end of December 2015.

Durham enjoys working in a painterly fashion using a brush technique. Pigmented pastes have allowed her to fully express the colorful and fluid abstraction of the style which defines her work. Lively shapes and strong patterns are a central part of her imagery. Durham’s papers are 100% archival made with Golden acrylics and Jin-Shofu wheat paste. Currently, she is working on Arches Text Wove, and her papers are grain short and are slightly larger than 13” x 25” which is a third of a sheet of Arches. Durham is experimenting with new patterns on kozo which will be available soon, larger papers for binders who require more than a 13” short grain, and smaller kozo papers with intricate designs especially for miniature book binders. Durham currently has a line of greeting cards and printed silk scarves are coming soon. She looks forward to sharing her designs and ideas with everyone as they come to fruition!


In the Studio: 

25 Days

Throughout December I’ll be featuring various paper aficionados on the blog (makers, artists, designers, stores and distributors) as well as twelve how-to projects (pictured above) featuring some awesome papers. I’ll be selling a paper pack that includes a set of 12 papers so that you can make the projects with me throughout the season (instructions will be posted every other day starting December 2nd). Most of the projects are simple – perfect for getting the kiddos or grandkids involved! Look for news about the kit soon, and I hope you’ll spend  some of your holiday time designing with paper! 

Did you read about the paper airplane collector in The New Yorker awhile ago? Harry Everett Smith collected paper airplanes on the streets of NYC for more than twenty years. Here’s just one fascinating snippet from the article about Smith (who died in 1991) “The papers are intriguing—scraps and junk mail bear the fingerprints of history, in fonts, colors, and patterns. But what reportedly attracted Smith was the variety of constructions. A friend recalled him observing that there were trends in the designs, ways of folding that would become prevalent and then disappear, only to have a resurgence years later.”


I’m not entirely sure what the fascination is these days with paper cars, but here’s another one designed by British artist Owen Gildersleeve (look him up, he does incredible work). The Nissan Juke is currently the UK’s best-selling car in the sector (which means, I guess, that they had the budget to hire a paper artist to design a cool car)!


Watch this lovely video by Linda Coussement about a gentleman in the Czech Republic who recently quit his corporate job to – drumroll please – become a full time papermaker

Isamu Noguchi is one of my all-time favorite artists and designers. I used to love visiting his old studio, which is now The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. His work is featured in Papercraft: the UK’s first major Japanese washi exhibition in London. Eek, the show just opened and is about to end – only 10 days in duration!

20th century designer Isamu Noguchi's Akari lamp was inspired by the lanterns used on Gifu fishing boats.

20th century designer Isamu Noguchi’s Akari lamp was inspired by the lanterns used on Gifu fishing boats.

This is kind of unbelievable. An antique paper machine went missing in Wisconsin. Have you seen it anywhere?


About our sponsor: Madeleine Durham works out of her home studio in the high desert of Santa Fe New Mexico. She is happy to work with artists who have special requests and is also able to deliver patterns in multiples up to a hundred if needed. Visit her on Facebook and feel
free to contact her about your specific needs:


Sunday Paper ClickIf you enjoyed reading The Sunday Paper today, why not sign up to get it delivered to your in-box each and every Sunday? Click here to subscribe (it’s free), and you’ll receive my nifty pop-up alphabet template as a thank you gift! 

If you read this blog regularly, would you consider making a donation to support the research, writing, design and delivery of The Sunday Paper? Click on that cute paper button (I made that paper) to see how you can provide support.

And if you run a paper-related business, you might be interested in promoting your business in The Sunday Paper.

Thank you to those who have pledged your support, and enjoy your Sunday!


  1. Madeleine Durham’s work is spectacular in its quiet, but wild color. Her painted surfaces are art in themselves and as incredible as the color field painters like Frankenthaler, Stella and others. I spoke with Madeleine at the Book Arts Group Rotunda Show and she talked about her 2 brushes. Adding her paper to my projects makes a really a zingy contrast.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks for commenting, Sally! They are indeed luscious. I look forward to meeting Madeleine one day!

  2. Mary C Leto says:

    How timely… I just got out a stack of your books to go through for ideas for Christmas cards. Hmmmm …Use paper already made, make something new with a watermark or maybe just rest this season? Looking forward to the daily projects. Paste papers, a favorite, make nice cards too…these papers featured are quite different and beautiful. I once made a heavy card stock from the previous years Christmas wrappings and cards and cut into postcard dimensions. I swiped a streak of blue “paste” across the front then with cheap foam stamps of snow flakes I pulled out some color – easy quick Christmas postcards and easy on the budget postage stamp wise as well…
    Always an inspiration Helen…thanks…. Mary