Paper / Artist’s books / China

-Greta Kuriger Suiter


The above materials are from a talk I went to on Tuesday April 23. I learned how to make a “magic book”  by folding one piece of paper!

This talk was a part of National Preservation Week (April 21-27) and was sponsored by the University Libraries. The talk was by Helen Frederick, Professor in the School of Art and Design and titled “Why Beat Pulp: Hand Papermaking As an Intersection of Cultural Values”. A quote from the flyer describes the event as

…a talk that will enable the viewing of hand papermaking, particularly two very different papermaking productions that Professor Frederick visited in 2011 in the Sichuan area of China, to briefly examine how hand papermaking provides an intersection of cultural values and economic development. Understanding the embodiment of a natural material and its prowess to be made into another transformed useful material by hand is a lesson in daily life, industry, art and science.

The talk was divided into two parts: first a slide show presentation about Professor Frederick’s visit to China, and then a hands on activity where we made our own books. The presentation was very interesting and included lots of information about the artists she met in China as well as the paper making factories. One artist that sounded particularly interesting was Lin Tianmiao, an artist creating sculptural work out of silk. She recently had a show at the Asia Society in New York.

There were a number of topics covered in the talk. Artistic practice, influence, and education were all mentioned. Professor Frederick also brought in artist’s books for us to look at and to get a sense of the different textures, formats, and designs. She mentioned a local exhibit of artists books that “is not to be missed” titled Codex Mexico: The Book as Art now on view at the Mexican Cultural Institute in DC. It is up until June 29th.

In conjunction with Preservation Week, Lene Palmer the Preservation Librarian, has installed an exhibit on the history of paper and different types of paper on the second floor of Fenwick Library outside of Special Collections & Archives. Here are some pics of the exhibit cases.


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