Tissue Paper Plumes

Tissue Paper Plumes

The Sunday Paper #438

December 4, 2022

Happy December everyone! I’m working on a series of how-to videos about the steps in the papermaking process. Gosh, there are a lot of them! Here I am, getting ready to give you some tips about how to keep your workspace dry, which is no small feat! Stay tuned for the series in the new year.


Paper on Skin invites Australian and international artists to embrace the challenge of designing a wearable garment made from at least 80% paper. This competition has been going on for 10 years, and in 2022 they created a Paper on Skin Film documenting all 34 finalists’ garments.

Fun fact: The original film score by Alluvium (presented by Eastside Studios) includes paper and papermaking embedded in the songs. The musicians visited Pam Thorne while she was making paper – recording the sounds of the various processes involved. They also received recordings from the Awagami papermaking Factory in Japan, and have even created melodies for some of the songs using the words PAPER, WASHI and AWAGAMI, amongst others.

Red Waratah Girl, designed and created by Lissa-Jane de Sailles


Here’s a trip you might be interested in for next summer: Travel to Northern Italy to work in traditional printing and letterpress studios and tour historic libraries and museums. Book Arts in Venice, led by Kalamazoo Book Arts Center’s Executive Director Jeff Abshear, will take place June 20 – July 1, 2023. Create drypoint etchings at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, a design school and studio which for over 50 years has focused on printmaking and artist’s books. Tour historic sites including St. Mark’s Square, the Accademia Gallery, and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Learn to set movable type by hand and print a letterpress book at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, one of the largest typography museums in Europe, located in the town of Cornuda at the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains. Participants will stay in shared apartments in the heart of Venice and a restored 16th century villa surrounded by a prosecco vineyard in Cornuda. All travel will be via public transport including trains, boats, and buses. The program welcomes all levels of experience, with introductory instruction in the studio. Click here for more details.


My publisher, Storey Books, is hosting a fun giveaway: Give the gift of joy this holiday season with books that encourage readers to create, explore, and learn something new. From the ultimate guide to baking the perfect pie to an empowering collection of joyful verses for kids to sing out loud, these books offer meaningful inspiration and lifelong skills for all ages. Enter the GIVE JOY Gift Guide & Giveaway for a chance to win a bundle of books from your favorite gift guide category—Books for Makers, Books for Kids, or Books for Nature Lovers. My book, The Art of Papercraft, is included in the Books for Makers Bundle. Good luck!


This is a fascinating story about the chocolate Hershey Kiss. The last line involves paper: “Hershey added the tissue paper plume, which he trademarked in 1924″.


Paper Tidbits


In the Studio

We’re wrapping up the second year of monthly projects in The Paper Year, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this adventure and seeing how this amazing group responds to the monthly projects and techniques. I’ll be kicking off registration for year three on December 15th with a Winter Solstice Zoom Workshop. Sign up to make this Cube Light with me and learn a bit about my membership program. Let’s illuminate our spirits and our homes! (The title of this blog post is part of a poem by Rumi – I’ll share the whole poem at the workshop).


Featured this week in my Studio shop:

The Art of Papercraft, Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds, Water Paper Time, a film download, and The Papermaker’s Companion.

The Art of Papercraft


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  1. Barb McLean says:

    Helen … will you be running your paper weaving class in 2023? I’m interested in registering,
    . Thank you.

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