Spaces Between

Spaces Between

“Painted Lady” by Kate Norris, Peninsula Gallery exhibitor.

The Sunday Paper #314
May 31, 2020

Paper of the Week: Kite Paper

Have you ever worked with kite paper – a translucent colored waxed paper that is the size of standard origami paper (6″ x 6″)? I know that many of you are looking for ideas for the kids, and I’m bringing back this kit that includes 10 assorted colors of kite paper, instructions for making window stars, and a copy of my book Playing With Paper, featuring 18 more fun projects you can make with paper.
Window stars are made with an origami fold, and you make small units and overlap them, which looks stunning when the light filters through them in a window. There are multiple ways to fold the units and connect them. Once you learn the basics, you can get creative and design your own!
Keep busy this summer with paper! I also have individual sets of the Kite Paper Kit if you’d like additional sets to send to friends and family. The kit comes with window star instructions and enough paper to create 10 stars!


In the Studio: Paper + Light

Registration is open for Paper + Light, my summer online class. Have you watched the 4-minute video? Paper + light are two of my favorite things, and I’m jazzed to show you a variety of ways they can work in tandem! I’m offering two sessions with different content – sign up for one or both (most people are signing up for all 8 weeks). Thanks to those of you who have already registered, and feel free to share the info about this class with your paper + light loving friends.


New On Paper Talk: Douglass Howell

I had a fascinating interview with Elisabeth Howell King, daughter of Douglass Howell, who is probably the first person to have used hand papermaking as an artistic medium as early as the 1940’s, creating what he called Papetries which were shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery in NYC. Howell mentored several people, who went on to establish papermaking studios and paper programs at the university level. Elisabeth tells me how she had her own vat in her father’s studio as a child, and how Howell had a childhood mentor in Italy who let him hold original drawings by Michelangelo and DaVinci – and how he told her about how those really old handmade papers still looked new. This is just the tip of the iceberg about the life of a fascinating man and his life with paper. Enjoy our conversation!


I’m promoting artists here on the blog to help them replace some of their income during the pandemic. Please reach out if you have a paper product to sell that you think my readers will enjoy.

I met Leigh Suggs at Penland in 2009 (listen to our 2019 podcast interview). We have kept in touch, and she is a full-time artist who works with paper in Richmond, VA. Jaydan Moore has a studio adjacent to hers and the two artists are grateful to be able to still have studios, time, and opportunities ahead. Leigh and Jaydan are currently doing a joint project that began with sketches and ideas they have been curious about for some time; they passed the pieces back and forth to see what the other person gained from them and how they responded. Take a look at the work here, where you’ll find instructions for purchase. Each sale will be split in thirds – one third going to each artist, and the other third will be donated to Cerf Plus, an organization that provides emergency relief funds to artists. Sounds like a win-win-win to me, not to mention you get a work of art too!

This is a fantastic article about the history of Jewish paper cuts. I love the anecdote about Rabbi Shem-Tov ben Yitzhak ben Ardutiel, who composed a witty treatise in Hebrew entitled The War of the Pen Against the Scissors when the ink in his inkwell froze on a cold winter’s evening and he resorted to cutting the letters out of the paper.

Jewish papercut by Agata Szepe. Gliwice, Poland 2011. (Wikimedia)

Kate Norris works primarily with wallpaper to create spectacular images of flora and fauna. Her current exhibition is called Symbiosis: Art and Nature. As Norris states: “Symbiosis is the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both… I give homage to the wonders found in nature.”

“Painted Lady” by Kate Norris.

If you know me, you know I have used abaca for years. Also known as manila hemp, some call abaca the strongest fiber in the world. I use it to make art, but it is also used in mobile phones, coffee filters, tea bags and more. And now it is being made into protective filters that are supposedly seven times more efficient than regular face masks.

I love this headline: Over 400 Years of Wisdom All in One Page! Read about Two Rivers Paper in the UK and watch the lovely video.


The News from Here:
My mother’s facility is clear from covid! Those who had it have recovered, and everyone at the facility (residents and employees) tested negative again. Hooray! They are still in lockdown, so I continue to talk to my mom on the phone while looking at her through the window.
On top of Safer at Home orders, now we have curfews in many American cities. I wish we could figure out how to live as equal citizens on this planet! I was looking through the children’s books on my shelves and found these, among others. I want to credit my mother for seeking out books that showed diversity to me in the late 60’s. I looked up Ezra Jack Keats because his illustrations intrigued me, and guess what? From wikipedia: “Keats is best known for introducing multiculturalism into mainstream American children’s literature. He was one of the first children’s book authors to use an urban setting for his stories and he developed the use of collage as a medium for illustration.”

The realtor who sold our Portland house called me this week to check in. I’ve received a few pieces of mail from him over the past 8 years when we relocated to Colorado, but a phone call? Wow. A sign of the times. We had a nice conversation, and he claimed to be calling old clients since he isn’t going out as much. Not a bad strategy actually (calling once every 10 years or so) based on how often people buy and sell homes.
Be kind, stay well, and promote peace my friends!


Featured this week in my Studio shop:
Window Star Kit, The Paper Year (now 1/2 price), The Papermaker’s Companion and a Kite Paper Kit.
The Paper Year


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