Saturday, October 3, 2009

More circles!!!

Well, surprise, surprise. Here I go creating a design that features circles! I made these designs from scraps of really beautiful papers that I just couldn’t part with even though they are very small and rather useless for many purposes. Are they flowers? Lollipops? A family? Balloons? I have my own idea but I hope people will inject their own meaning into these happy little creations. I tried to compose in ways that highlight the colors and textures of the various paper. These papers have a history to them, made over many years in many different places. I hoep you feel their age and wisdom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A paper sculpture

This colorful paper sculpture was commissioned for a customer, and made out of a shadow box frame that is almost three feet high. Many different colors, thicknesses and textures of my handmade paper were rolled and then adhered into a shadow box to make this piece. I used different diameters of paper to give the piece interest and movement.

The papers include a collection from many years of my papermaking adventures and include papers using plant fibers, shredded money, recycled junk mail, grasses, leaves, flowers, potpourri, seeds, herbs, spices and so much more. I also added a few pages from books here and there because I love words and fonts and the look of the type-written page. I hope you find it as interesting to look at as I do. I could stare at it for hours!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paper People

This is Carol. She is a middle-aged housewife and mother of two girls. Her days are filled with carting the kids to and fro, cooking and shopping, as well as volunteer work with her older daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She loves her life but could really use a day at the spa and a good colorist for the grey hairs that are suddenly popping up! Her husband is in the doghouse this week (maybe you can tell from Carol's expression) because he just told her that he is going golfing all day on Saturday with the guys. Carol had other plans. It is her birthday, afterall. (Roger is kind of a dope.)

Carol and her family are made out of recycled junk mail, which is combined with water to make paper pulp. The pulp is cast in a mold and allowed to air dry for several days. Their faces are hand-painted and embellished with seed beads and yarn and other things that almost got thrown away.

I love making these little faces. There was one time that I made a little old lady with lipstick on the outside of her lips. She had blue hair and it was tightly curled, as if she had just taken her rollers out but didn't brush out her hair. I was selling at a craft show when I saw the very embodiment of what I had made show up - complete with lipstick outside of the lips and blue hair!!! She truly looked exactly like the paper person I made. I was actually thinking of giving it to her for free but then I didn't want to insult her or hurt her feelings...

I made another one that turned out to look incredibly familiar. It took me a while until I realized it was the father of one of my good friends. I don't think I could look at a person and intentionally make their face in paper, but it really tickles me when I make a face that I know. I hope they make you giggle.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The sacred circle

I realized this week how many circles are on my blog and I was struck. I hadn’t really seen it until now. I chose my blog background based on the one that had circles. My favorite paper sculpture creation is made out of rolls of stacked handmade paper, forming circles. The avatar for my web shop is a shot taken above looking down on plastic cups full of pulp: circles! I guess I like them because they are really soothing to look at. Maybe all humans are fascinated by the circle. It certainly is a useful shape, like the tire on your car. The earth and the sun are all circles. When a bird builds a nest, it is a circle. The iris of my eye, every cell in my body, for that matter. The mandala, a scared circle, is the symbol of wholeness. The rock formation of the American Indian medicine wheel is a circle.

So, I am intrigued by the sphere. We’ll see where it takes me. I'll let you know.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Plantable paper tags

I am really excited about these little paper tags. They are so sweet and playful. And they are LOADED with perennial seeds! The seeds include baby blue eyes, baby’s breath, candytuft, larkspur, five spot (nemopila), clarkia, coreopsis, blue flax, forget-me-not, purple cone flower, shasta daisy, siberian wallflower and sweet william.

The tags began their life as a tree, then spent their second life as bills, junk mail and other forms of paper. I sorted through the paper and chose the highest-quality pieces to shred, make into a pulp and reform into a new piece of paper. (You have to start with high quality paper to end with high quality paper!)

Because I recycled previously manufactured paper, I have created new paper that already has sizing in it. This means that you can write on the tags and the ink won't feather or bleed. (One side of the tag is smooth for writing on; the other side is the bumpy side with all the seeds.) After this paper has been used as gift tags or product hang tags, it can be planted and begin its fourth life as bed of gorgeous flowers. I love how it just keeps recycling itself.

I was so enthralled with these little guys, I even wrote a poem about how to plant them:

In this paper, little seeds lay asleep,
Waiting to be planted in soil 1/4 inch deep.
Water well then keep moist for 4 to 6 weeks.
Until little plants come out of the soil for a peek.
Many flowers will share their colors to the max.
Like baby blue eyes, purple cone flower and
blue flax!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rolled paper art


I have always loved artwork that uses multiples of the same material over and over. There is something innately soothing to me when looking at this kind of work. I combined my love of multiples, my love of circles and, of course, my love of handmade paper, to create a new line of paper sculpture. (To see an example, go to

To make this new line, I used ,any different colors, thicknesses and textures of my handmade paper, then rolled them up as if you were rolling a piece of sushi. I adhered each one into a shadow box so that the end was sticking out and you can see the sprial of the paper inside. There's a lot of texture to the papers and it all shows when you look at its end. The paper was made with all types of "ingredients." There's one piece that I made using shredded money. You can see little pieces of a greenback sticking out here and there, like a flyaway bit of hair. I also used herbs and spices to color the paper. But most of the colors I derived from whatever scraps of paper I used — I don't use any bleaches or dyes in my papers. The color comes from whatever paper I have chosen to use.

I hope you are as intrigued, relaxed and joyous as I am when I look at artwork made with multiples.