The Woman Who Printed the Declaration of Indepence

The Sunday Paper #319
July 5, 2020

Papermaker of the Week: Ray Tomasso

Ray Tomasso at the Hong Kong Open Printshop in 2018. Photo by Wong Lik-wan / Courtesy of Diane Wray Tomasso


It is with great sadness that I share the news that Ray Tomasso passed away on June 25th. Ray was papermaker and artist who welcomed me into his Denver, CO studio a few times. It was always stuffed to the gills with projects, an amazing library, his artwork, tools and materials, and Ray was always happy to show me around and talk about papermaking, techniques and projects. Among other things, Ray devised unique methods for creating his monumental sculptural wall pieces, and he was instrumental in bringing the Davis Hodges beater to life (20-30 were produced, I owned one for many years, and I hear about them often). RIP Ray. Here’s a lovely obituary by Denver arts writer Michael Paglia. I also had Ray on Paper Talk in 2017.

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Inside the Studio: The Trip to Red Cliff


I have always wanted to make a video of the last bit of my drive to my studio in Red Cliff, Colorado, but I’m always driving! I took this video on a recent trip when I was a passenger. We drove into town on the high road and then out of town under the Green Bridge. We did not go by the studio and I should have been filming horizontally, but oh well! Enjoy the views. If you’ve come to Red Cliff, look for the Green Bridge Inn and Mangos.

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Papery Tidbits

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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.

Imre van Buuren creates handmade books in boxes in her studio in The Hague, the Netherlands. These unique books serve as guest books, remembrance books and more. Imre works with many types of paper – Italian, French, Japanese, wallpaper and silk paper – and creates book pages with them by folding, sewing, embroidering, painting or stamping with Indonesian textile stamps. The boxes that encase each book have “collaged” covers, featuring small objects found in nature, folded bundles of silk, embroidered French poems, calligraphed fragments on paper and origami animals. (Click on How to Buy on her site if you’d like to make a purchase).

© 2020 Imre van Buuren, Reception Book #6


Wowza! Ed Fairburn repurposes old maps by transforming them into beautiful, highly-detailed portraits.

As seen on My Modern Met

The Jaffe Center for Book Arts is featuring book artists on their youtube channel every week. I enjoyed this one featuring Shawn Sheehy, a paper engineer based in Chicago who has contributed to several of my how-to books. Shawn creates a pop-up as he talks!
I recently discovered Design&Paper, an online magazine filled with interesting content about paper. In a recent issue, they featured Europapier, a company that is adding coffee and grass into their commercial paper.
As we celebrate our country this weekend, here is a fascinating story from the Declarations Research Project at Harvard (shared on the book arts listserv) about the only “official” version of the Declaration of Independence to be printed by a woman, Mary Katharine Goddard. Goddard also served as the first female US Postmaster, but after the ratification of the constitution, she was removed. The reasons were likely political, but were interpreted by Goddard and the public as patronizing and sexist (the only reason given was that the position would require more travel and time on the road than a woman would presumably be able to handle). Backed by over 200 prominent citizens of Baltimore, Goddard took her complaint to President George Washington. Though unsuccessful, her petition is preserved in the National Archives as a testament to her tenacity and devotion to the city of Baltimore (and of course, it was hand written on paper).
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Featured this week in my Studio shop:
Paper + Light Online Class, The Papermaker’s Package, Water Paper Time, Tangential, an artist’s book, and Playing With Paper.

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Welcome!

I’m Helen Hiebert!

THE SUNDAY PAPER brings you stories and examples of people doing exciting, innovative, and beautiful things with paper, as well as link to interesting paperfacts from around the globe. Read all about it here!

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