Thursday, April 17, 2014

Handmade Boxes and Books - Debra Glanz Paper Arts

I don't know about you, but handmade boxes and books fascinate me. I'm pretty sure it's because they so neatly combine variety with orderliness... think about it, the number of shapes and paper options with which to work is staggering, yet the end result is a tidy, useful object. Add arty to that description and you have boxes and books as made by Debra Glanz.

 A square jewelry or ring box featuring papers from Hungary and Italy

The moment I was introduced to the Portland, Oregon artist's work, I wanted to learn more about it, but first I couldn't help but click around her two Etsy shops to choose images to share here. (I do love window shopping!) The Paper Assembly features her studio work and Reminiscence Papers is where Debra sells paper by the sheet, embellishments, charms, and a variety of ephemera.

 Handsome, concertina-style blank books covered with black on black botanical papers

What I find so interesting about Debra's books and boxes is not only her attention to detail (those perfectly folded corners!) but that the decorative papers she uses are so diverse. While many are imported from far away lands, others are Debra's designs. In fact, Debra used to wholesale her own line of artist papers, but now she sells them exclusively in Reminiscence  - all of the 11x17 or 18x24 sheets are Debra-originals.

A Bobble Box featuring papers from Germany, India, and the U.S.

Debra says in her About section (well worth a read) that she was drawn to paper even as a child. That love was rekindled years later when Debra took a bookbinding class and ever since, her paper collection has grown exponentially.

I asked how she chooses papers when making a book or box.

Choosing papers is generally not a problem for me as I have thousands of sheets collected from all over the world for the last 25 or so years. If the old saying is true - "whoever dies with the most paper (or fabric or yarn...) wins" - I think I'm a lock.'
 A set of three notebook/jotters featuring drawings by Edward Gorey

I was curious about her favorite part of the box making/book making process...

Favorite part, hmmmmmm. I like almost every part of the process with the exception of cutting book board. I LOVE cutting paper and my paper cutters are probably my favorite tools. Probably my greatest satisfaction comes from making books, but I learned a long time ago that while a lot of people don't want to or won't write in a blank book everyone can find a use for a lovely little box. 

 A tiny sunflower-inspired box for jewelry, coins, or keys

 A house-shaped box - perfect as a housewarming gift

You might recall a recent post about paper crafting kits... if only I'd known then to include Debra's. First up is a gift bag collection that contains a dozen patterned papers on which cutting and scoring lines are printed, as well as assembly instructions. Suggest a theme... colors, botanicals, bugs/animals, or geometrics, for example - odds are Debra will have what you need.


Her other kits contain decorative papers and instructions for making origami bowls and boxes like these geometric lovelies.


Use coupon code AMP15 for 15% off in either Etsy shop: The Paper Assembly or Reminiscence. Code expires June 30, 2014. 

Debra is on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

These are so clean and simple and elegant and beautiful - thanks so much for the post. I've shared it on Facebook - hope many others come to see the little treasures!

Debra Glanz (Reminiscence Papers) said...

Thanks so much Ann. I'm honored and a little amused to see so many of my divergent paths in one place......short attention span? As soon as I pry myself out of the studio I'll post to G+, FB, Twitter etc. Love your vision and your style.

Ann Martin said...

Thanks Tristan, I appreciate you and I'm glad you enjoyed seeing Debra's work.

Ann Martin said...

My pleasure! Looking forward to your future creations.

Ann Martin said...

And I should have said thanks so much for the compliment!

ema said...

so beautiful and so much work! it´s nice to see that there are still people who enjoy working with paper :)

Margie said...

I love the sunflower box and the house shaped box - thanks so much for sharing these. Any chance Debra would ever do a tutorial on either (or both) of these? I would love to have a go at making one. Thanks, Margie

Maureen said...

Such lovely work. I especially like the boxes.

Have a wonderful weekend, Ann.

Greenby Nature said...

Wonderful to see another paper person making interesting objects.

Pamela Haskin said...

Such wonderful pieces of art Debra has created! I just don't want to stop looking at them.

SUGANTHI said...

Her boxes look so special. Love all the bright and beautiful paper she has used.

Stephanie said...

What great papers and kits. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Those are some very pretty boxes and I love the toppers.

Anonymous said...

these are amazing......I want to learn this so please help me out

Ann Martin said...

Hi Anon, if you mean you want to learn box making, there's an excellent step-by-step tutorial in my book, All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers.

Anonymous said...

thank you ann martin!!

Anonymous said...

another question....!! is your book available in pakistan?? and how many tutorials are in your book!! (amber shakil)

Ann Martin said...

There are 20 projects in the All Things Paper book. It is available to any bookseller that chooses to stock it. If you can't find it locally, try The Book Depository in England which offers free shipping to many countries.

Anonymous said...

thank you....!! :)

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