Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pop-up Paper Sundial

I'm working on this project for Hand Papermaking Magazine's Paper in Motion portfolio. Betsy Cluff is my collaborator and she will letterpress print on the sheet. The image you see here is a watermark. We had fun getting inspriration from Robert Adzema's The Great Sundial Cutout Book, which is full of great designs. It is a bit of a challenge for me to make 160+ sheets of paper – I have to beat 6 loads of pulp, try to match the color each time and my drying box can only dry 40 sheets at a time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Human Powered Hollander Beater

Last week I attended the annual meeting of The Friends of Dard Hunter in Atlanta, GA. I missed this demonstration because I was doing one of my own, but it is definitely worth checking out!

Follow the link at the end of the video - these guys are working with veterans and having them turn their old army uniforms into handmade paper.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ceiling Lamp Complete

I finished my ceiling lamp at long last, just in time for Portland Open Studios. It is hard to tell the scale here, and I was going to include another photo but I Photo is not cooperating. It measures 3' in diameter and is about 12" in height.

It was fun to tidy up the studio and house for Open Studios. One woman brought a skein of yarn for The Mother Tree Project, another stayed to crochet and many people came through the house and studio throughout the weekend.

I attended the Friends of Dard Hunter annual papermaking meeting in Atlanta last week. While there, I gave a lecture at Emory University (a student of mine from Penland teaches there). I also had a chance to meet with the rare book librarian.

The conference was a reunion as always. Lots of old friends and some new ones. Sukey Hughes was the keynote speaker. Her book was the first papermaking book that I bought - $100 back in 1990 - that was a fortune then!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The Way It Is"

My first edition is hot off the press! Sandy Tilcock of lone goose press in Eugene printed an edition of 50 of a William Stafford poem on a handmade piece of translucent abaca with an embedded thread drawing. This project was quite involved, from making a jig to tie the knots and embedding them between the sheets; to 3 press runs with special taping to prevent the ends of the strings from getting inked. I'm delighted with the results.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

From Farm to Paper

Hats off to Rogue Brewery for being creative and thinking that Hop Bines could be turned into paper (yes, that is the correct spelling, and they are just like vines). The flowers, which are used in beer making, are harvested in the summer and the rest of the plant is basically waste material. I received a delivery of bines straight from the farm in Independence, Oregon.

Now, I'll have to admit that stripping the plant material from the bines was a chore, and I'm guessing that is why I'd never heard of paper made from hops. Still, it was possible, and after cooking and beating, the patrons of Rogue Ale House in Portland had a chance to make their own paper coaster while they sipped a new brew last Wednesday night.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A New Lamp!

People who take lampmaking classes with me tell me all the time, "your house must be FULL of lamps that you make." I am embarrassed to say that this is NOT the case, but soon that will change. The lamp over our dining room table broke recently, and I'd made a makeshift replacement which looked nice, but didn't work in the space. Then the fixture broke and my husband replaced it and took the shade off. Now THAT was the incentive I needed. We couldn't have bare bulbs in the dining room! Well, we do at the moment, but not for long. I'm working on an octopus-like tentically wire and paper sculpture that will hang below the ceiling fixture and splay out onto the ceiling. Picture is coming in a few days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sitka Center for Art & Ecology

I just taught a 2-day workshop at Sitka, a wonderful art community on the Oregon Coast.


We are on a family working vacation. Sunset Magazine asked Ted to write a little piece about Pacific City, which is just a short drive from Sitka. So far, the kids have tried fishing (caught a newt, no fish yet) and horseback riding on the beach. There is a huge dune in Pacific City, where we will try sandboarding tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Custom Lampshade

I don't usually do this type of project, but this one sort of fell in my lap, and my intern Ainsley helped out. My client had an old Japanese-style lampshade that needed to be re-covered. She couldn't just go to Ikea and get a new one, because this particular shade had a special cylinder in the middle of it where it connects to the lamp. So there really was a need for someone who could recreate the shade. Hooray for handmade!

I removed the old shade, made a foam core armature in the same size and shape, wrapped it with rings of reed, figured out the pattern for the paper panels, and recovered the shade. After applying the paper panels, the foam core armature gets removed -- you just lift off the top and bottom rings and the spokes collapse and fall through the holes.

I'm assuming the client was pleased because she hasn't called to say otherwise (her assistant picked up the shade). It looks quite different than the original -- the reed is spaced differently, the paper is thicker, etc. but all in all, I was pleased with the results.

Papermaking with Plants

Last weekend, I taught papermaking with plants for the first time in MANY years, and it was really fun. We processed kozo from cooking all the way through drying the sheets. I brought wheat straw, which I'd cooked and beaten in my blender, and we compared those sheets with pulp we processed in a blender and beat by hand. One student brought cattails, which we cooked, hand beat and made into sheets.

We also made vegetable papyrus from daikon, carrots, peppers and onions.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Books Rock!

I'm teaching at the Focus on Book Arts Conference in Forest Grove, OR next weekend and had a lot of fun designing this little pop-up. It is 100% cotton handmade paper, ink jet printed and it really rocks (literally)! I'll have them at the trade fair on Friday evening and all-day on Saturday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Paper from Hops

I had someone from Rogue Brewing call me up and ask if paper could be made from Hop Bines. She came to the studio yesterday and we processed a couple of bines (yes Bines) and made some lovely brown sheets. Extracting the fiber was a daunting task, so I doubt that she'll be able to process her 42 acres into handmade sheets of paper, but what a great idea!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knot Drawings

It has been awhile, but I'm going to try to be a more consistent blogger. It occurs to me that I could blog about other people doing wonders with paper, so if anyone like that is reading, let me know what you are doing, or if you have something you would like to read about, leave a comment.

I am in the process of working on my first edition project. Here I am embedding an untied knot in between two sheets of translucent abaca paper. I'm making 6 different editioned pieces, and an additional piece which will become a broadside with a poem by William Stafford letterpress printed on it. I am also producing a suite of the knot drawings which will be housed with the broadside in a handmade box (ed. 10).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lost Harmonies

My friend and sister artist (sounds better than fellow artist, right?) has a lovely installation up for another week at Disjecta here in Portland. She did these giant papercuts based on the four cycles of creating using Tyvek, which she suspended from the ceiling like banners. They are painted on both sides by 4th graders at her daughter's school. These same kids visited my studio last fall and made paper. Anne put together a sweet little book that you can look at (and buy) through There are pictures of the kids and me in the studio on pages 7 & 8. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Papermaking on Sesame Street

I just discovered that the Sesame Street video I was in many years ago is on Youtube. I worked with filmmaker Josh Selig to script and create this video, which was produced at Dieu Donne Papermill. I love the lyrics he wrote. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacific University Residency

This week I did a residency at Pacific University. I visited the papermaking class, introduced them to overbeaten abaca, and had each student do a shrinkage experiment. I also lectured, screened my film and did critiques with a handful of seniors. I was impressed with their work and felt it was much more professional than way back when I received my BA at the University of the South. My exhibition, "Line Dried", which is pictured here, was on display in the library. 

Here is my statement about this body of work:

I work in collaboration with my medium -- handmade paper. This installation was made by draping wet sheets of paper over a clothes line. As the sheets dried, they contracted and twisted into these forms. I then stitched the washers onto one side of each form, creating thread patterns on the other side. The images resemble constellations, plant forms, fireworks, the big bang, etc. – metaphors for conception, growth, birth, life. I see all of these things as magical and mysterious, and this ties into my fascination with paper and the magical and invisible occurrences which take place throughout the papermaking process.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I made paper today for the first time in a LONG time. It felt good. I'm working on the design for a sheet that will be used in a collaborative project with my art group. The design is supposed to be a dinner plate, but I like how it also reads as a flower and even a sundial.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Tasmania was the true destination on this trip -- where I attended the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists congress.

I stayed with paper artist Jan Marinos in Sisters Beach, a little community right on the water. I had a nice run each morning on the beach, but I don't jog with my camera and we were so busy that we were never there when it was daylight! This picture of me is in Burnie, where the congress was held. It would be a bit more interesting if the penguins had waddled up on the shore while I was standing there... oh well.

Burnie is home of Creative Paper Tasmania, an inspiring papermaking facility which is home to these paper people and Wombat Poo Paper, which you might have heard about on NPR last month ago. During my stay in Tasmania, everyone kept telling me about the wildlife they'd been seeing. I didn't see a thing (including the penguins) until the last couple of days when I finally saw wombat and two wallabys. 

I was honored to have my film, The Secret Life of Paper in a Tasmania-wide art festival called 10 Days on the Island. Here I am sitting next to the artist Ruth Faerber, a printmaker who uses handmade paper in her relief prints who also had a show opening that evening.

 As part of the festival, I was asked to speak at the opening of this installation of cardboard tubes by the artist Tracy Luff, which was at city hall. I spoke after the mayor of Burnie.

At the Congress, I presented my film, Water Paper Time, gave a talk, and also had a table at the paper market. I met a lot of interesting Australian papermakers and paper artists, and I attended a field trip to Cradle Mountain where I did a workshop with the artist John Wolesley. He's a charming fellow who takes paper (not handmade) out into the Australian bush, where he rubs it over plants, puts it in puddles and even buries it to add markings to the sheets. He responds by drawing and painting on the marred sheets. We had a good time talking about the nature of paper. 

I got to hang out with some of my American paper pals in Tasmania, too. Paper artist Lynn Sures did a pulp painting demonstration on this huge sheet of poured paper.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


It was quite a journey from Portland to Sydney. The trans-Pacific flight was 14 hours from Los Angeles and the time change is 18 hours ahead. When I arrived, my host, Jean Riley from Primrose Paperworks picked me up and took me and took me to visit Primrose before we went she dropped me off at Cremorne Manor, the lovely guest house where I stayed the first two nights and caught up on some sleep.

Just to prove that I was really there, a picture of the Sydney Opera House which I took from a ferry.

I taught a weekend workshop on lampmaking at Primrose over the weekend. This is Marta's little shadow lantern. I had a lively group of students who all made wonderful objects. And by the way, Helen is a very common name in Australia. I met at least five Helen's :).

Holding Space Photos

I had the installation photographed by Dan Kvitka. The colors at dusk were amazing. Dan had a little fun with his panoramic camera.

Here is an image to give you a sense of scale.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Holding Space installed

The installation is up and the opening was fun. I got a little write-up in the paper and several people stopped by the opening as a result. My favorite comments were a comparison to Fred Sandback (a minimalist hero of mine) who did amazing string pieces, much simpler than Holding Space but quite incredible. I saw a piece of his in person at the Dia Beacon a few years ago. 

My friend and fellow paper artist Uta was looking at this model and exclaimed that it would look really great in a two-level building. I agree!

Several people commented on my dress, which has pleats which are reminiscent of paper. A lucky find two days before the opening...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Installing Holding Space

I began installing my installation at Ogle, Inc. in Portland today, with the help of three lovely women (Diane, Terri & Claire). I got there attach the strings to the perimeter of the skylight (after realizing last night that I'd had them cut to the wrong size - fortunately it took only an hour or so to correct). 

We placed the wooden platform and begun stringing, alternating who got to be the spider (the one who "dropped" the threads from the sky). 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quest Center Workshop

I had a delightful weekend teaching a great group of women how to make paper lanterns at the Quest Center here in Portland. The women are all in various stages of cancer recovery and I was honored to spend time with each and every one of them. The Quest Center provides this amazing resource (monthly free art workshops) for members of the community.

This weekend, everyone completed three projects: a shadow lantern, a collapsible reed lantern and a woven shade. All are meant to be covers for small tea lights or votive candles. Here are images of some of their creations.