Helen HIebert

Paper Talk
Paper Talk
Episode 100: Helen Hiebert

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I turned the tables in celebration of Episode #100. Barb Tetenbaum interviewed me!

Here’s the bio that Barb read about me on the episode (from the North American Hand Papermaker’s Hall of Champions nominees page – I was recently inducted with a handful of paper luminaries): Helen Hiebert is the author of six instructional books on papermaking and papercrafts and is widely respected as a generous teacher and mentor. Working from her studio in Colorado, Helen hosts classes and retreats, and extends her outreach by teaching online. Her weekly Sunday Paper Blog keeps the field up-to-date regarding a wide range of paper artists and paper-related news. Her monthly Paper Talk podcast series features recorded interviews with papermakers, paper artists, paper engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs. Helen’s contributions as an artist, author, and teacher have had a significant and important impact on the papermaking community.

We talked a little bit about my senior thesis work at The University of the South, where I got a BA in Art. Here are some images of those pieces,  which were created in 1987 and influenced by origamic architecture.

When I went out on my own in the mid-1990’s, I created paper products, but ultimately decided that I didn’t enjoy the production process. Here are a few: The Potted Lamp and another abaca paper/wire lamp.

Some of my early artist’s books and broadsides involved embedding untied knots between sheets of translucent abaca. Here are String Theory and The Way it Is.

We chat about several of my installations: The Hydrogen Bond, Mother Tree and Step Into the Light.

You can find out more about my classes at these links:

I’ve had many, many mentors over the years, in varying capacities (artists, coaches, business owners). Here are the two we discussed: Susan Joy Share and Hedi Kyle.


Visit Helen’s website to learn more about her, and you can also find her on Instagram.


Music featuring excerpts of Makin’ Paper folk song by Peter Thomas. Listen to the full song and find out about other paper and book arts folk songs.

Gary A. Hanson did the sound editing for this episode. He practices and refines his skills in audio production while making his own podcast I’ll Have a Beer and Talk, a show about tech news, culture, weird animal stories and of course, beer. Gary is also the Deckle in Pulp & Deckle, a Portland-based community hand papermaking studio.


December 8, 2017

An Age Old Craft

25 Days of Paper – Day 9

December 9, 2017
Today I’d like to pay tribute to making paper by hand. It’s an age-old technique that has changed little since it was first invented around 105AD. Aside from being a …

August 31, 2012

The Pop-Up Hand Shadow Book


This project took 16 years to complete (although there was a long hiatus in the middle) and touches on many facets of my career (collaboration and inspiration, to name two). My initial interest in paper came from pop-up books …