Paper Talk
Paper Talk
Episode #118: Julie McLaughlin

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Julie McGlaughlin has been making paper and exploring its sculptural possibilities since the early 90’s. She has been making large sheets from Kozo fibers for the last 14 years. Her interest in wearable paper garments subconsciously began over 50 years ago when she wore her first paper dress (popular in the 1960’s) and she continues to push the boundaries between paper and textiles today. Eastern fibers work well for this, as they are extremely strong allowing her to make thin, fluid sheets which easily adapt to wearable art. These non-woven sheets are referred to as kamikogami.  McGlaughlin shows her sculptural work and wearable paper garments nationally and internationally, and her work is in numerous private and corporate collections.

We talked about her early sculptural work with steel armatures, like this piece: Dancing the Grand Illusion, a wall relief created with flax and kozo handmade papers, wax, and welded steel rod, 65x18x8 inches (private collection).

McGlaughlin also creates oversized kimonos featuring bigass Kozo papers dyed with Indigo and fiber reactive dyes using Joomchi techniques.

She teaches Bigass Papermaking. Here are a few shots from various workshops.

At the end of our conversation, McGlaughlin told me about the kami-ito (paper) thread she is spinning.


Julie McGlaughlin’s recommendations:


Visit Julie McGlaughlin’s website to learn more about her work. 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.