Zhen Xian Bao

Zhen Xian Bao

The Sunday Paper #398

January 30, 2022

My poplular online class, Weave Through Winter starts on Tuesday, and we’ve got a great group of paper weavers who are committing to a daily practice that lasts through the month of February (it’s not too late to sign up).

Each week, participants receive a new lesson and each day, they’re given a structural challenge. Last year, we created a daily thematic prompt and invited paper weaving enthusiasts on Instagram to join in the fun. Click through for details if you’re curious, and we hope you’ll join us (if you’re on instagram) and share your weavings there.


Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper just opened at the Longmont Museum here in Colorado, and I hope to get over to see it soon. The exhibit spotlights the works of nine contemporary Japanese artists: Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida. All of these artists use washi to create works that are unusual in size, unexpected in texture, and do not fit our expectations of paper art. Their art shows the endless contemporary uses of this ancient material.


I had a lovely interview on Paper Talk with Maro Vandorou, a visual artist of Greek origin, who lives and works in California. Her work explores the process of transformation through installations of original photographic material, writings, and artists’ books. Her tools of choice are film cameras, gampi – a rare Japanese handmade paper – and platinum–palladium printing. The setting of images and the visual vocabulary of abstract concepts [grief, surrender, purification of intent, transformation] reference symbols and archetypes from her Hellenic roots.


Paula Beardell Krieg and Susan Joy Share are teaming up to teach a 12-week Zoom class with the NY Center for Book Arts on Wednesdays, 1-3PM Eastern, February 16- May 4, 2022. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Zhen Xian Bao, (meaning needle, thread, pockets), a traditional folk art practiced in a few Chinese provinces. These exquisite objects, comprised of layer upon layer of collapsible paper boxes in a simple cover, were originally used to house sewing supplies and treasured items. In this course, Krieg and Share will show historical folded constructions and guide you in how they may evolve and mesh with contemporary art concepts.


BBC Radio has a show called Free Thinking, and recently there was an episode about paper. The riddle at the beginning is fantastic! The host, Laurence Scott, explores the cultural and social history of paper, from the Chinese Han Dynasty in 105 AD to the 20th-century workplace with several guests with an expertise in paper.


Paper Tidbits:

  • The virtual book launch for The Art of Papercraft takes place on February 15th. Please register for this free event where we’ll make a project together; I’ll have a conversation with book artist Susan Joy Share; and you’ll discover some behind-the-scenes of the book making process.
  • Focus On Book Arts is taking applications to the Colleen Cavin Fellowship. The deadline is tomorrow.


In the Studio:

Last week I wrote about my impatience about receiving a copy of my new book, The Art of Papercraft. Well this week, I received my advance copy along with 13 boxes of books to fulfill pre-orders!

I hope you’re planning to attend the book launch event on 2/15, where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour through the book, you’ll get to meet some special guests, and I’ll teach you how to make a Hexagonal Hat. You have to register for this free event on Zoom.

I’m going to be sharing images of some of the contents of the book starting tomorrow on Instagram, where I’ll begin with an unboxing video.

If you pre-ordered a copy (from me or anywhere else), we cannot ship these books until Valentine’s Day because the official release date is 2/15 – that’s when The Art of Papercraft will be in bookstores worldwide. I still have copies available if you wish to place an order. And I got some sweet news this week: Amazon placed an order for 1000 copies of the book, which means that your pre-orders (through Amazon) indicate that they need that many in their inventory. Thank you so much!!


Featured this week in my Studio shop:

The Art of Papercraft, Water Paper Time, a film you can download, Weave Through Winter online class, and The Papermaker’s Companion.

The Art of Papercraft


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