Reversible Paper

Reversible Paper

‘klause 1’ (2006) © thomas demand

The Sunday Paper #245

February 3, 2019

Paper of the Week: Reversible Unryu

I love momigami (crumpled paper, traditionally used to make clothing and other items in Japan). This is an affordable commercial variety that is double-sided and cloth-like. It comes in black/red, which you see here, and is also available in four other colorways (sienna/cherry, brown/chiri, white/cream and blue/lime).

I folded a strip of the reversible unryu multiple times and stitched it to create this book object that unwraps to reveal pockets, envelopes, a pamphlet of pages for writing and a velcro closure.


In the Studio
I’m delighted to share this video of my new artist’s book Prism, which is making a debut at the Codex Book Fair in Richmond, CA starting today. The book features 48 translucent colored sheets of abaca paper that gradually change from red to orange, yellow to green, blue to indigo and finally violet and then back again. There’s a watermark and hand stitching, both elements I often use in my books. Vamp & Tramp Booksellers have it at their table (I am not attending this year).


My friend and colleague Jillian Bruschera was at the Penland School of Craft recently, working in the new papermaking studio. I asked her to take a video for us, and here it is! I can’t wait to see it for myself. Thanks Jillian!

The 45th Art on Paper exhibition opens this weekend at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This article details how the exhibition began with a $10,000 from Stark Dillard which enabled the museum to acquire works to start the Dillard Collection of Art on Paper there. The exhibition gives the Weatherspoon the opportunity to buy more for its collection, and it also enables the community to buy contemporary works from up-and-coming artists. Win win!

Sun Won Yun’s Invisible Traces, 2018, graphite and colored pencil on layered transparent paper. Courtesy of Garvey Simon Art, New York, NY. Photo courtesy of Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Thomas Demand fabricates paper scenes, which he photographs and then destroys – what an interesting relationship between the physical object he creates, the sculpture, and the photograph.

‘klause 1’ (2006) © thomas demand

I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Dahmen last fall. He recently released this video, which addresses his customers’ wish for pop-up cards that show off specific buildings. This is a great promotional piece that shows off seven paper engineering concepts for real estate advertising.

Check this out: In 1978, during the relatively early days of the personal computer, a man named Frederick Lancaster predicted a “paperless society,”. We still aren’t paperless, are we? Since that prediction, worldwide consumption of paper has actually risen by 400% according to Green America. This is an interesting article about the rise in the use of security paper, which is used for everything from checks, stock certificates and sensitive government-issued documents to coupons, event tickets, and more.


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  1. Stephen M Zumbo says:

    Professor Lancaster was my library computing course professor at University of Illinois school of Library science Circa 1979. I remember him making the same prediction that our society would soon be a paperless one. I remember being startled by that assertion. Computers have eliminated some uses of paper, but they’ve also generated and perpetuated other uses of paper.

  2. Linda Greiss says:

    Loved seeing video of Penland Papermaking Studio!

  3. Lou says:

    Hey helen. I visited the weatherspoon when they had their last paper exhibit and it was incredible. I think I sent you some pics.
    Interesting about the security envelopes. They, as you probably know, are very popular in the art/crafting world. In fact, in the paper show at the weatherspoon there was a display from a woman who had stitched along those tiny designs! I was fascinated!

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