Paper Trail

I have been in more of an observation than doing mode lately, but that is the ebb to the creative flow I relish and think we never get enough time for it. The concept of being productive, creatively and intellectually, by doing nothing (or simply observing and contemplating) has been lost in our "bottom-line-time-is-money" society and that is pretty sad and very unfortunate for our culture.

And in full-on observation mode, I've been seeing some great examples of one of the most fascinating art forms: simply the manipulation of paper itself.

A few recent paper sculptors I have seen online made me recall seeing Amy Eisenfeld Genser's work at an open studio, I think about 6 years ago. I have never forgotten it and she was delightful to talk to about it, too. She had some amazing layered folding pieces back then and there is something so natural and soothing about these rolled paper barnacles undulating across the canvas.

I wonder if she was inspired by the same kind of coast and landscapes as Angela Adams' rugs (which for her, were inspired by growing up on a small island off the coast of Maine.)

This next artist's work made the e-rounds so I can only guess it was on all of the design blogs. Isn't Jen Stark's work mesmerizing? And from a technical perspective-wow! That is some crazy x-acto/laser/knifing going on. It's like origami on acid. Be sure to check out her paper animations on her site, too. Amazing.

I especially love how her work is mounted on the wall. They remind me of these great wall textures for the home. While they are not these little wonders she has done, they seem to fill that craving for clean yet textural, organic walls. I have to declare that I really hate decorating with wallpaper, it always looks so dated. We only paint our walls, but these are a fine, fine alternative to wallpaper in my book and I can see these potentially on a wall in our bedroom, which I am still working on.

Available at

An artist creating e-buzz for sure is Peter Callesen. Notice everything is from one sheet of paper. His work reminds me of intricate pop-up books.

Speaking of pop-up books, who hasn't always loved pop-up books since childhood?! My husband bought me Robert Sabuda's pop-up version of The Night before Christmas last year. It is a really beautiful book and the engineering is pretty amazing since the artist is now contending with movement and opening/closing. I think modern pop-up books (like the Holiday cards form MoMA NY) are equally great paper sculpture. These images are from another of his books, A Winter's Tale.

Speaking of pop-up, let's get back to the home. A long time fave, Bludot, has been engineering pop-up furniture for years. I don't own anything of theirs, but their ideas are pretty intriguing. In this case, they use perforated metal that arrives flat that you bend into place along the perfed edges. Hope it's sturdy.