Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Paper Studio Featured in Wavelength Magazine!

We love NPR (national public radio) and we felt honored when our local station wanted to do a story on us based on recommendations from their listeners. We were really surprised when we saw we would be in their new magazine Wavelength. It is so wonderfully photographed and written. I guess we wouldn't expect less from the folks at NPR. But the really groovy thing about being in the magazine is all the new people who are finding out about us! And these folks are way cool! Lots of interesting people stopping by the Studio to see us and one woman called me to let me know she just removed a lot of bamboo from her yard and asked if we could use it. Boy o' boy that is like getting birthday presents! I cajoled Adam, who was working on the web in comfy cool air conditioning, into helping me during the hottest part of the day and off we went to retrieve a truck load of bamboo from the alley. I was so excited even though it was 108 degrees outside! Adam was not quite as thrilled...bamboo paper will be forthcoming!

The Complex Beauty of Japanese Papers

Japanese papers are so exquisite and we are adding new styles every week. You can check out our ever expanding Japanese paper section! I love the way Japanese papers look, feel and cooperate when making books, boxes and invites. But I find it totally mind boggling that it takes six silkscreen runs to print the designs on a sheet of paper. SIX--can you believe it??? SIX print runs and perfect registration to boot! (Now, we no longer have room to grouse when we have to do three colors in letterpress or silk screening!).

The red flowers are the first print run on a light off-white mulberry base.

The 2nd run is adding pink flowers and pink dots.

The third run is adding the grey branches and dots.

The 4th run is adding ochre colors dots.

The 5th print run is adding the beige background color. Now this surprised me. I thought that layer would have been an earlier color run. The sheet no longer feels like the raw mulberry on the top surface--it is fully filled in by the silkscreen inks.

The 6th and final layer is the delicate metallic gold accents that encircles the dots and flowers and runs along the grey branches. It really does give you a whole new appreciation of the beauty and complexity of these papers!

Going Round in Circles

Our lives at The Paper Studio really do go in warp speed and I usually forget to show you the outcomes of the projects we do. I'll grab my camera only when I think of it so you end up getting teeny bits and blabs of what we work on (the stuff besides running a physical store & web shop!)

I showed you the buckets upon buckets of the chocolate and oatmeal color pulp we beat for a recycled invite project. Once the paper was made, more work began! We cut about a bazillion circles--well it seemed like that--and printed and glued like maniacs. 10 printing plates later (only 9 survived--we had a "N" casualty on one plate) and probably 25oo print passes, the final project looked like this. We didn't even get to oooh and ahhh over them too long, they left the nest the day they got assembled.

Paper Studio Artists Work Featured on Tempe's 2008 Call For Entry

Tempe Cultural Services has their 2008 call for entry out and we were totally thrilled to see our exhibition work on their postcard! How fun is that? Yay! Those junkmail birds live on and on! We had such fun doing that show--it's at the post office right in the heart of downtown Tempe right by Arizona State University. Such a great & funky space and the arts staff are super great to work with.

Well, here's your chance to get your work seen by the thousands who traverse through Tempe Arizona.
Applications for the 2008 shows are due at 5:00 pm on October 12th so don't dilly dally around. See

Wanna Go To Italy and Make Art?

Our very talented artist/professor friends, Carol Panaro Smith and Jim Hajicek along with 3 other artists are taking their 2nd trip to Italy in June 2008 for nine days of art making!

Art Intersection is series of workshops in northern Tuscany that will cover multi-disciplines of bookmaking, photography, writing, drawing, performance and even yoga.
2008 Workshop Dates are June 4 - 13. Each day will consist of an intersection of interdisciplinary arts: yoga, drawing, poetry, photography, bookmaking, performance, and writing.
Gary and I stopped over to their studio--Alchemy Studios on Sunday where they were showing slides of the trip, talking about the workshops and sampling bruschetta.
I was delirious just seeing the images of the region. So beautiful and no tourists! They stay in the most beautiful countryside towns--one area that has no commerce (although there are nearby towns).

What would that be like to have no cellphones, no interruptions, gorgeous surroundings, fabulous food and the luxury of time to contemplate and make art for 9 days?
I just want to go there and wander around for days and days inhaling and touching everything from the beautiful stone buildings, lush meadows and freshly picked cherries from the nearby orchard.

It really looks like an experience of a lifetime...hmmmm....9 months to figure out how to leave a very demanding paper studio for 9+ days...think, think, think...

Dard Hunter Papermaking Keepsakes

Life really is a series of deja vu's, you know? I'm always the last minute creative with my personal artwork around here. It's the way I always work and it's maddening not only for me but it usually impinges on everyone within a 5 mile radius. This type of last minute creative rush was a killer in grad school when you had to create on demand! So anyhow, the Dard Hunter Papermaking Conference is approaching and while I can't attend this year, I wanted to participate by sending in a keepsake which is 200 of something delicious with handmade paper. Our papermaker, Donna had her paper made--banana, banana and it was beautiful--printed and mailed off before I even got started with mine. She was great at gently reminding me to get busy!

So of course, there I was with the deadline so close I could feel it breathing down my neck when I finally got my idea. Then I had to cut a bazillion circles, letterpress print them, bag them and ship them under extreme pressure. So Gary and Anne got sucked into the whirlwind and we found ourselves stuffing packages and fighting the clock before either Fedex or the post office closed. The post office won since it is open 15 minutes later! Anne was a hoot, she said she felt energized when we just made it under the finish line and that it wouldn't have been the same if I had finished early. Oh yes Anne, that would have been LESS STRESSFUL, oh what a concept.

I had to take of photo of my red press with red ink. I love this little sigwalt press. It is such a happy and cooperative little press!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seeing Double

This has nothing to do with Paper, Papermaking, Books or Book Art. But I thought I was seeing double the other night. Mattie Matterson our cat was laying at our front door which is totally glass. When I looked over my shoulder I thought to myself--"aw, look at his mirror image."
Then I realized that wasn't possible and saw that there was another cat laying on the other side of the door. Mattie is so funny. He actually likes this old cat who seems to be from somewhere in the neighborhood (he has a collar). I am not a fan of kitties who wander around outside--it's too dangerous for them!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Gorey Details Exhibition in Somerset Magazine

Okay, if you are in our area, this is your last week to see our current exhibition at The Paper Studio entitled "The Gorey Details". This twisted yet humorous collage exhibit inspired by Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies™ features the clever wicked rhymes and artworks of 26 artists from the United States, Canada, France, and Germany. Gorey's illustrated and sometimes wordless books had a vaguely ominous air and ostensibly Victorian and Edwardian settings, have long had a huge following. Gorey's work is difficult to classify. He was typically described as an illustrator, but this isn't the full story. His combination of words and pictures has led some to classify him as having been a cartoonist, while others regard him primarily as a writer who drew, or an artist who wrote. Come and see the 26 letters of the alphabet in this Gorey inspired show!

If you don't get a chance to catch the show in person, you can see the 5-page spread about the exhibition in Somerset Studio Magazine's Sept/Oct 2007 edition. They did a nice interview with Sylvia Luna who came up with the idea to get 26 artists to do a Gorey inspired piece. The exhibition will continue to travel to different venues when it leaves The Paper Studio on Sept 15th.

Binge Blogging & The Paper Studio Gals

I always think of lots of things to blog about but I typically run out of hours in the day to get everything done--if I only have 4-6 more hours in the day! So I've decided I'm a binge blogger--ie., someone to blog heavily or excessively over certain periods of time (like when I have some time to actually sit down and write!)

I posted on The Paper Studio Guys that keep things humming at the studio, so now here's the post on the gals at the studio keeps things hopping!

Kesley's favorite work days is when the new products arrive! She is so funny--like a kid at Christmas! She is the one you'll see floating effortlessly around the shop--she gets all that grace from being a dancer. Aside from helping us out, Kelsey is the Assistant Director of Gravity Jazz Dance Theater--a professional AZ dance company, a dance instructor at a local studio, a college student and last but not least--she was the flower girl in our (Gary and my) wedding--but that was a loooooooong time ago!

Anne is probably one of the first person you will probably see or talk to when you contact The Paper Studio. Anne has a passion for paper, an eye for detail and has exquisite organizing talents. Anne and I have known each other for a bazillion years and most likely she rues the day when she told me to call if I needed any help on projects just as I finished grad school. I took her up on the offer and the next thing she knew, we were furiously creating 200 handmade paper pieces with a wax resist (which involved ironing the wax out of the 200 pieces!) and driving through Tempe like manics to make it to Fed Ex before the 6:00 pm closing to get the project in the mail. That was in 2004 and we haven't slowed down yet!

Donna is our amazing paper maker--a godsend really, Paper Thursday--Donna. Not only is Donna an accomplished papermaker and bookbinder, she is also a ceramic artist who helps coordinate the empty bowls project in Phoenix and for years has assisted in coordinating the VNSA booksale. You should see the ginormous 2-ton reader's digest chair she made--it had to be moved on a semi-truck! Donna never ceases to amaze us with her never-ending interest and enthusiasm for papermaking. You couldn't ask for a better papermaking partner!
EmmaMoo is MattiMatterson's sister even though they are completely different colors and sizes. She comes to work with me a couple times a week as well. She complains a lot during the drive over (backseat driver!) Some of you have seen her pop out in the shop but she always scurries to letterpress area if approached. She is a little more brave than her brother but they are both pretty shy. Mostly she sleeps in my desk chair at the studio so I get to sit in a spindly folding chair when she's there.

Here's me (making a book)--the binge blogger, traffic coordinator et al at The Paper Studio.


This is a really fun use a pop-up book combined with a music video. A lot of work too! Maybe The Paper Studio should do a pop-up music video...hmmmm...