Which Comes First: The Paper or the Project?

Which Comes First: The Paper or the Project?

The Sunday Paper #126, September 25, 2016
Paper of the Week: Tissue Paper
Does the paper choose the project or does the project choose the paper? It can happen both ways for me. I’ve had some papers laying around in the studio for what seems like forever and then finally, inspiration strikes. But in the case of tissue paper (aside from wrapping packages) I used it first to create a huge hot air balloon (it was perfect because it is light weight) and recently I’ve used printed tissue papers to make inflatable balls. How have you used tissue paper?
In the Studio:
Here’s the inflatable ball I made with tissue paper. My Text Ball is a five foot diameter sculpture with an Ezra Pound poem printed on it using rubber stamps that reads: The Book Should be a Ball of Light in One’s Hands. It is made from a slightly sturdier paper, a machine-made gampi.

Papery Tidbits

  • I’m picking up 1000 copies of the Twelve Months of Paper Calendar from the printer in Boulder this coming week. Do you need a 2017 Calendar … want to learn about new papers from around the world … hope to get your holiday shopping done early? Get your calendars here.
  • Join me for a Twelve Months of Paper Workshop in Edwards, CO on October 15th. The workshop fee includes a calendar, custom paper pack and you will leave with 4-5 completed projects + materials for making the rest!
  • Do you subscribe to Hand Papermaking Magazine? It is THE journal for our field! I’m delighted to be spending the weekend with 20 board members here in Colorado!

This was a treat to find the watermarked works of Barbara Beisinger who has an exhibition opening this weekend at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.

Barbara Beisinger during a performance at the Leipzig Museum. (Photo: Vassar College/Courtesy photo)

Barbara Beisinger during a performance at the Leipzig Museum. Photo: Vassar College/Courtesy photo

I had the opportunity to meet paper engineer Rosston Meyer a couple of years ago at a meeting of the Movable Book Society. He runs Poposition Press which is just releasing TRIAD, a new pop up book featuring the work of artist Junko Mizuno. In TRIAD, the world of Junko’s three favorite characters: the nurse, the witch and the wrestler comes alive. Junko’s surreal imagery opens up as paper sculptures in each spread of this adult themed pop up book. TRIAD is available for preorder at triadpopup.com
You don’t hear about paper conservation too often – it’s one of those invisible yet oh so important jobs. It was cool to read about conservator Jamye Jamison interacting with college students and sharing the details about her profession with them.
What do paper airplanes have to do with politics? Read this story about Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, a Washington, DC sculptor (and former U.S. Senate aide) who bought a year’s subscription to the Congressional Record, the official transcript of Congressional proceedings and debates and began folding each page into a paper airplane.
I’ve been reading about the $1 microscope for several years and was pleased to see that the Manu Prakash is the winner of a Macarthur award for his low cost scientific tool. Congratulations to him and all of the other winners, including jewelry maker and sculptor Joyce J. Scott!

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  1. Leticia says:

    I have and I feel I need to learn a lot from you Helen, I do research and get money support from an institution at my university, we do a lot but I enjoy so much the way you manage this blog that I am tempted to learn other ways to work with paper, where papermakers joins to work together for a project.
    I just love your blog, enjoy reading it and fascinate with the way you communicate with the world.
    Leticia, from Argentina

    • Helen says:

      Ah, Leticia. You brought a big smile to my face! I was sorry that I couldn’t come to Brasilia. Hope to see you soon!