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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Leigh Suggs

I met Leigh Suggs 10 years ago when she took a sculptural papermaking class with me at The Penland School in North Carolina. We talk about her upbringing with a mom who was an art professor, how she didn’t think she’d ever be an artist, but how her life just kept going in that direction and today she makes a living making paper art. She tells me about the process of applying to grad school and finding the right fit, both in terms of funding and discipline. And of course we chat about her work, which involves optical trickery. She’s interested in getting us to think about how we see and how we use language to describe what we see in her pieces that employ optical trickery. And we discuss a unique ongoing collaboration Leigh has with two women she met during that session 10 years ago at Penland.

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Craig Anczelowitz

Craig Ancelowitz is an artist and designer affiliated with Awagami Papermill in Japan. I first met Craig over 25 years ago in New York City, when he was a paper buyer for Kate’s Paperie. We talk about Craig’s work in product development, which took him from Kate’s to ABC Carpet and then to Thailand and Japan.

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Aimee Lee

Aimee got interested in paper when she took a class about artist’s books at Oberlin College. She went on to focus on papermaking at Columbia College Chicago where she got her masters degree. It was there that she got interested in the history of papermaking, and when she learned how hand papermaking travelled from China to Korea to Japan – she got curious about hanji, Korean paper – Aimee grew up in New York City as the child of Korean immigrants – but she discovered that there wasn’t much information out there about papermaking in Korea.

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Arnold & Mabel Grummer

In this episode, I’m talking with Mabel Grummer, the wife of Arnold Grummer. Their daughter Kim Schiedermayer is with us too. We talked about Grummer’s career, which eventually led to the family business that Kim still runs today and provides papermaking kits and supplies for educators and artists.

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Rachel Hazell

Rachel Hazell divides her time between Edinborough and the isle of Iona in Scotland. We discuss how she teaches five or so workshops in cities around the world (Venice, Iona, Paris anyone)? These sound absolutely delightful – I’ve seen photos of some of the book and paper shops she frequents. Rachel is perhaps the first book artist to offer an online class – you’ll hear about her two popular courses: Paper Love and Book Love as we chat about some of the advantages of taking an online class. And we talk about Rachel’s brand new book: Bound: 15 beautiful bookbinding projects. You’ll hear about some of her favorite tools and papers, how she helps break down the barrier of facing a blank page and her belief that everyone has a book inside of them. Enjoy our conversation!

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Laurence Barker

Laurence Barker is an influencer in the field of Hand Papermaking. Born in 1930, Barker went to Principia College and got his MFA from Cranbrook, where he also ended up teaching from 1960 – 1970 and ran the first classes in hand papermaking at the college level in the US. Several students (and others who visited that studio) went on to become luminaries in the field of hand papermaking. A theme that came up time and again during our conversation was the way Barker followed his intuition. After college, he wrote to Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris about the potential of studying with him. He never heard back, but he went to Paris, looked up Hayter, and he was able to study with him! Later, he wrote a letter to Dard Hunter asking whether he knew of a beater he might use to set up a papermaking studio at Cranbrook, and Dard Hunter found one for him! And after reading James Michener’s book Iberia, which describes Spain as a place centered around the book, Barker surmised that printing would follow the book, so he moved overseas and started a papermaking studio in Spain. And he was right! Enjoy our conversation.

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Hedi Kyle & Ulla Warchol

In this episode, I talk with Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol about their new book called The Art of the Fold. We talk about Hedi’s childhood in postwar Germany, when she made paper dolls and paper chains, among other things and how she ended up in the US after her studies in Germany. Ulla is Hedi’s daughter and grew up in and around Hedi’s studios in the Bay Area and New York City, where she went to the Cooper Union to study architecture. We talk about how this book came about, the process of creating the book – Ulla rendered the illustrations from Hedi’s hand drawn diagrams; her husband Paul Warchol did the photography; and there was a lot of discussion about the belly band – a term I hadn’t heard before! Hedi tells me about a paper made in the Netherlands from the sails of old windmills, and I ask her about the storage system for all of her models. And we talk about some of the clever inventions that are found within the pages of the book.

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Paper For Water

Paper For Water is a non-profit organization that raises money to build wells around the world so that everyone will have access to clean water. Listen to Isabelle and Katherine describe how they started the organization with a goal of raising $500 by folding origami ornaments and accepting donations for them when they were 5 and 8 years old. They ended up raising $10,000 and never looked back. Paper for Water has now raised more than $1.3M and has helped fund over 150 water projects in fourteen countries. Trinity talks about how she invented the Candy Dish, which is featured in the 2019 Twelve Months of Paper Calendar. Their father Ken taught the girls origami, which he learned as a child from his Japanese mother and then from the books of Tomoko Fuse, whose modular origami led to the ornaments his girls now create. And their mother Deborah tells us about some of the projects, the volunteers and just how much of a difference kids can make in changing the world.

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