The Paper Assembly

The Paper Assembly

© Debra Sadler 2020, Goose Cakes, 12" x 8" x 3"

The Sunday Paper #338

November 15, 2020

Friends, if you create unique paper items suitable for gift giving and would like me to feature it during the holiday season, please reach out! As more events get cancelled and we are forced to sell online, I am happy to help spread the word and connect you with paper lovers.

Papermaker of the Week: Don Widmer

House of Glass no. 1 (Farnsworth House), flax pulp painting on paper made from cotton, abaca, denim, and eucalyptus with metallic foil inclusions, 24 x 36 inches.

Don Widmer is a book and paper artist working in Chicago. In addition to making artist books and letterpress prints, Don creates detailed pulp paintings using hand-cut stencils. His subject matter features birds and bats, as well as architecture and industrial landscapes. Recently, a bat researcher commissioned him to create a pulp painting of an Australian fruit bat using eucalyptus fiber (part of the bat’s diet) within the sheet. When creating his architectural pieces, Don enjoys the dichotomy of depicting the manufactured materials of steel, concrete and glass within the soft, organic medium of handmade paper. His stencils for the architectural pieces could take him several weeks to design and cut, although the pulp painting itself is created in a single day.

In the Studio: 

I’m excited to have Susan Joy Share on Paper Talk! Susan was an early mentor of mine, and is an Alaska based visual artist, bookbinder and performer. Her passion for the book form, its structural variations, materials and potential for movement blends with her interest in sculpture, painting, sewing and collage. Susan creates an array of wearable books, figures and architectural forms. Her innovative, early performances with foldout sculpture connected the book with the human body. Enjoy our conversation!


Papery Tidbits:

  • Join me for a 3-hour virtual workshop through the Maine Media Workshop on December 6th. The Shadow Lantern is one of my favorite projects to teach, and the structure is incredibly versatile. It can be displayed as a book, a lantern or a folding screen, and the paper cutting possibilities are endless. Come explore light with me as we wind our way towards the darkest day of the year.
Debra Glanz creates handmade books and boxes (some with letterpress titling), decorative papers (Debra’s own line of Reminiscence Papers and papers collected from other sources), and home decor items (from paper, of course). Readers of The Sunday Paper enjoy 20% off through 1/1/21. Enter coupon code BYEBYE2020 at checkout.
Check out these amazing portraits on amate by Gaal Cohen, on view at the Museo de las Americas in Denver through March 20, 2021. Cohen travelled across Mexico to photograph the Otomi people, whose ancestry goes back thousands of years. Like other indigenous Mexicans, the Otomi have witnessed generations of conquest and catastrophe at the hands of various oppressors who have come into power. Their production of amate was banned by Spanish colonialists who saw it as an expression of indigenous independence, but it survived and is still produced today. Cohen printed his close-ups of Otomi faces directly onto the amate, allowing the paper’s natural shades and fibrous markings to shine.

© Gaal Cohen portrait of 105-year-old “Doña Maria Paula.” At the Museo de las Americas in Denver. (Provided by Gaal Cohen)

Deborah Sadler’s sculptures are made with kraft paper, hot glue and a cocktail stick or two. They depict a world of whimsical imaginings often involving interactions with feathered or furry friends. The sculptures are small vignettes, illustrating a story moment. Sadler finds manipulating paper to be immensely therapeutic, like fidgeting with a purpose! Click through to find out about purchasing her work and to watch a video of her exhibition Paper World.

© Debra Sadler 2020, Goose Cakes, 12″ x 8″ x 3″

I am so excited to share the new Paper Year program with you! This will be a monthly or annual subscription program, and I’ll be opening registration in late December. For now, I’m asking you to fill out a short form that indicates which program you’re interested in. Thank you to those of you who have already done this. Click here to read more, watch my video and fill out the form.
This looks fun! A Q&Art All About Paper delivered by Sketch Book Skool.


Featured this week in my Studio shop:

Playing With Pop-Ups, Package of Three Films, Panel Shade Workshop, & Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds.

How-To Books


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Thanks to everyone who has already pledged your support!

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  1. beth reik says:

    we LOVE don widmer’s amazing work <3 thank you for featuring this!!

  2. Kim Grummer says:

    Helen, thanks for continuing to share your thoughtful and broad review of paper artists, news and inspiring works. Not a week goes by that I’m not amazed – again! – to see what’s being done in paper by people all over the world. We wouldn’t have this paper window without you.

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