Robert J. Lang

Robert Lang is a leader in the field of paper folding – he uses mathematics to advance origami folding techniques for applications in technology – like folding a giant telescope into a compact form so that it can travel to space. We chat about his journey, from discovering origami as a child and devouring books on the subject, to coming up with his own designs and methods for folding, to developing a computer program called Treemaker, to help with complex folding structures that has led to consulting jobs around the world.

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Janna Willoughby-Lohr

Janna Willoughby-Lohr runs Papercraft Miracles, an eco-friendly handmade paper company in Buffalo, New York. We chat about how life can throw you a curveball, and you can choose how to react. This quote, from Janna’s instagram, will give you an inkling about how she reacts: “This is your Sunday evening reminder that you can handle whatever this week throws at you”. We talk about Janna’s handmade paper stationery products, that include custom wedding invitations, seed bombs, paper flowers and planning tools; and how she is shaping her business – she’s the recipient of the Prestigious Ignite Buffalo Grant and was recently recognized as one of Stationery Trends Magazine’s “40 Under 40” for Stationery & Gifts. Janna is also a musician and a poet, and the mother of two little boys and her energy is infectious!

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Kathryn & Howard Clark

Howard & Kathryn Clark founded Twinrocker Handmade Paper, a legendary papermaking studio in Brookston, Indiana, in 1971. We talk about how the two of them met in graduate school at Wayne State University in Detroit cleaning silkscreens, (how sweet) and how they were introduced to papermaking by Aris Katroulis, a Tamarind trained printer who was exposed to paper by Laurence Barker, who was also in Detroit teaching at Cranbook. Kathy says she thought there were papermaking studios everywhere, since there were two in Detroit! After Grad school, they moved to San Francisco, where Kathy was the first woman to print at a Tamarind offshoot shop in San Francisco. Howard, who studied mechanical engineering and industrial design started building equipment and Twinrocker was born. Eventually, the couple moved to Brookston, Indiana to a family farm and the business grew over time, creating some of the finest papers in America, collaborating with numerous artists and selling papermaking supplies. Howie tells me how one of their key mentors in developing fine papers (because they were some of the few doing this at the time) was old books and old prints – they learned a lot from the paper in old books.

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Stephanie Hare

Stephanie Hare runs Share Studios in Philadelphia. Stephanie has one of the most beautiful instagrams about paper that I’ve seen, featuring images of fiber in water, equipment and sheets of handmade paper in luscious colors. Check it out at instagram.com/share.studios. We had a lovely chat about how Stephanie’s business has evolved since she learned to make paper after college in Maine, while working in a gallery specializing in handmade paper and paper lights. She tells me how she has built a strong online following, first for her lights and then her stationery products. We talk about the decisions she has to make while running a business with popular products all by herself – not only does she make paper, but she creates moulds & deckles and sells a basic papermaking kit too.

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Madeleine Durham

Madeleine Durham is an artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico who was introduced to paste painting when she studied painting and book arts at Santa Fe Community College. One day when she applied paste to a sheet of paper with a brush, she noticed a line that her brush created on the sheet of paper. She tells me how she’d probably created similar lines lots of times, but something happened that day that inspired her unique and gorgeous style of paste painting. We chat about a couple of unique commissioned papers she’s created, where she travels to sell her papers in person, and how she decided to teach her unique process to others.

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Melanie Brauner

Melanie Brauner is an artist in the Pacific Northwest who makes lovely hand dipped paper & metal jewelry. She grew up around artists, makers and craftspeople, and she never questioned whether she could be an artist and make a living. She learned to make paper with me at the Oregon College of Art & Craft, where she studied book arts and metals. We talk about how her business took off after she started wearing her jewelry around campus – people were buying the pieces she was wearing – and how she’s built a super successful jewelry business with her work in over 50 retail shops around the country. Enjoy our conversation!

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Jocelyn Chateauvert

Jocelyn Chateauvert is a paper artist in South Carolina who manipulates abaca and flax in astounding ways. She discovered hand papermaking while getting an MFA in metals and jewelry at the University of Iowa. We talk about how she started out combining paper and metal, two seemingly disparate materials. Jocelyn then tells me how her work has evolved from jewelry and body adornment, to sculpture, installation, and lighting, and how she has come up with a vocabulary for the more than 50 unique techniques she has developed for manipulating paper.

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Drew Matott

Drew Matott, like so many papermakers I talk to, stumbled upon the medium by chance, when he was at Buffalo State College, where he wanted to study film. He is the co-founder of Combat Paper and the founder of Peace Paper Project, programs which involve turning meaningful pieces of old clothing into handmade paper. We chat about the unique business model of Peace Paper. and the most recent developments, including a DIY Hollander beater and St Pauli Paper, a new papermaking studio in Hamburg, Germany. Enjoy our conversation!

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Papillon Papers

Vernon & Madeleine Weiring, a father-daughter team based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently launched their company Papillon Papers. I fell in love with some of the gorgeous decorated papers I’ve seen on their website and wanted to learn more about them, especially after reading that they call themselves design archeologists – how cool is that? – they dig through the past to find designs and decorated papers and resurrect them. In this episode we talk about how they look through old books, mostly from the 19th century, seeking decorative end paper designs that appeal to them, and then bring theses sheets that have been hidden under the covers of old books back to life! Listen to our conversation to find out how they are doing this. Enjoy!

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Sarah Horowitz

Sarah Horowitz is a printmaker based in Leavenworth, Washington, who also makes drawings and artist’s books. We talk about how her parents fostered her artistic interests by always providing her with access to materials and art classes as she was growing up. She attended Hampshire College in Massachussetts, where she ended up focusing on printmaking. After college, she honed her printmaking skills at studios in Switzerland and Scotland before returning to the Northeast, where she got involved with the book arts community. Eventually, she ended up on the West Coast when she was looking for a community print shop to work in. She tells me how she discovered there were more papers to print on than Rives BFK, and we discuss one of her artist’s book projects in detail, which involved custom handmade paper. Sarah talks about the reciprocal process of printing on paper, as she explores how the paper responds to her imagery and the ink, and how her plates print on the surface of the sheet. We also have a long discussion about how she pigments and sizes Japanese papers to obtain the exact colors she wants and the tooth that allows her pen to glide smoothly across the surface for her drawings.

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Nancy Cohen

Nancy Cohen is a New Jersey artist who was introduced to handmade paper during a residency program at Dieu Donne Papermill in New York City in the early 1990’s. She became entranced with paper as a material, and she talks about the similarities and differences she finds between paper and glass, a material she also works with. Nancy creates all of her work without a papermaking studio – she brings wet sheets that she makes at Dieu Donne back to her own studio – and she is pushing the medium in really interesting ways. We discuss the life cycles of her installations, which she often exhibits multiple times, her pulp drawings that were recently on view in NYC, and how she helped her son and daughter-in-law create their handmade paper wedding invitations gorilla style.

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Lynn Sures

Lynn Sures is a Maryland-based artist who works with handmade paper in a variety of ways. Lynn tells me how she first discovered that paper was made by hand while reading the book Papermaking by Dard hunter, and that she assumed that nobody on earth made paper by hand anymore (she was wrong!). We talk about her teaching philosophy and her work with pulp painting. And we discuss the paper she makes to draw on (she says if you make your own paper, it isn’t scary to draw on a blank sheet). She describes one paper she took to Africa with her on a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Lynn has spearheaded several unique papermaking efforts, including the Pulparazzi and the National Collegiate Handmade Paper Art Triennial. And she was recently elected president of Friends of Dard Hunter, the national papermaking organization that was founded to preserve Dard Hunter’s collection and currently meets annually in a different part of the country.

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Peter Dahmen

Peter Dahmen is an artist and designer based in Dortmund, Germany. I discovered Peter’s work on the internet, which is how he has become well known in the field of pop-ups, and has connected with clients around the world. We talk about the first pop-up book he saw in a bookstore as a child, how that interest was rekindled about 10 years later when he was studying communication design at the university, and how he became a youtube sensation 20 years later! Peter describes some really interesting projects he’s been involved in – from designing a pop-up wall for a car manufacturer to creating a pop-up book for a magician – along with the challenges and breakthroughs that he’s made with new paper and new technologies.

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