Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Revisiting Benja Harney of Paperform

Benja Harney is an Australian talent whose creative paper sculptures were featured way back in the early days of this blog. Look at what he's been up to lately!

A 'blush’ of flamingos created for the Animal Collective Nouns exhibition at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney

Benja studied graphic design at university and while taking a paper construction course, rediscovered a childhood love of paper. Recently he left the work-a-day world to devote all of his time to paper engineering - not a bit surprising considering the success he's had creating for companies such as Hermes, Smirnoff, Telstra, McDonalds, and Yahoo, along with designing magazine covers and store window displays.


Last year Benja collaborated on a Warner Music limited edition pop-up book titled The Goddess Edition, as a celebration of singer Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite World Tour. He flew to Hong Kong to present the finished prototype in person to Kylie before one of her concerts. See some lovely photos of that meeting on Benja's site, Paperform. Pegasus and The Lotus are two of the elaborate pop-ups created for the book; The Lotus was designed to hold Kylie's CD.

The Lotus

Finally, I know you'll enjoy this Slashies article and video in which Benja is interviewed in his studio, which happens to be unsurprisingly chock-full of colorful paper creations!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Design and Make: Paper Jewellery - Book Giveaway

***This giveaway has ended. Scroll down to see who won!***

Another giveaway so soon? Crazy, but true!

Sarah Kelly's paper jewellery caught my eye when I first began blogging... I posted about the striking laser cut necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings she creates for her company, Saloukee. Since then I've been following Sarah's career with interest and was delighted to learn she was working on a collaborative book, Design and Make - Paper Jewellery. (Note: I'll be using the alternative spelling of jewelry throughout this post in deference to British Sarah :)

At last the book is available in the U.S. and having had the opportunity to thumb through it, Sarah definitely doesn't disappoint! I've enjoyed poring over the inspiring photos of avant-garde jewellery pieces created by paper artists from the UK, U.S., Spain, Thailand, Japan, Israel, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Finland, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Belgium, and Australia.

Laser-cut Necklace by Sarah Kelly
Photographer: Gemma Dewson

Besides featuring a huge collection of feast-for-the-eyes images, the 128 page, softcover book presents techniques such as paper sculpting, molding, cutting and binding, crocheting, and encasing. Each chapter begins with step-by step instructions and accompanying photos as presented by one artist. The chapter's content is then followed by a gallery where high fashion, runway jewellery is shown alongside more modest, yet unique and completely wearable items.

Sugar Flower Brooch by Eiko Yoshida
Photographer: Lasse Johansson

For example, Sarah shows how to create geometric folds utilized in her origami jewellery designs and Paula Tew explains the art of stitching an exposed-spine binding using repurposed paper. There is also a helpful glossary of paper terms and a brief interview with each chapter artist at the conclusion of the book.

Obverse Bracelet
Obverse Bracelet, Saloukee (designed by Sarah Kelly)
Photographers: Jennifer Peel and Lucas Brodowicz
Model: Claire Pardoe

I was sent a copy of Design and Make - Paper Jewellery from publisher, A&C Black, for review purposes. The company has offered to send a copy to one lucky person worldwide.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post by Sunday, March 4. The winner will be selected by a random number generator, notified, and announced here, as well as on the All Things Paper Facebook page. Good luck!

Congratulations to Prachi Bora. Her number was selected by random. org and she's delighted to have won. Many thanks to all who took the time to enter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Artichoke Favor - Imeon Design

When I was a kid, a favorite food of mine was artichokes... no kidding!... and no doubt because of how much fun they are to eat. My sister and I would have the best time pulling off the leaves and dipping them in lemon butter. (hmm, maybe it was the lemon butter we liked most of all?)

When I first saw the stylish paper artichokes created by Noemi Hicks of Imeon Design, the memory of eating one came back in a pleasant rush.


Perhaps you've seen similarly constructed pinecone ornaments at holiday time. Noemi has literally turned the design upside down, transforming it into a place setting marker that doubles as a unique party favor. A guest can display it as is or switch the pin to the other end, add a ribbon, and hang the artichoke as a Christmas tree decoration.

Noemi credits a sister-in-law who believed she had talent and an eye for design as the reason for opening her shop, Imeon Design. She's drawn to clean lines and simplicity, no doubt influenced by her architect dad.

Have a lovely weekend everyone... btw, the I ♥ Stationery giveaway ends on Sunday. I hope you'll win!

Here are some Facebook Finds from the past week:

Josh Ritter's music video involves lots of construction paper
CocoDelay's clever new line of word pendants
Can a papermaker help to save civilization?
Quilling Texas-style
Make a book page rose to decorate a medallion

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quilling Inspiration - Rennie Mackintosh

Recently I mentioned how much I admire the work of Scottish artist and architect Rennie Mackintosh and promised to share a little project I did that was inspired by him. Truth be told, this card is a representation of another person's work who was also inspired by Rennie. I'll explain...


A friend I met via an online cardmaking group visited from Scotland a few summers ago and brought me this glass clock that someone designed using Rennie's popular rose motif. I couldn't wait to recreate the strong lines with paper I had on hand... thus the colors aren't quite right and I should have made the quilled coils more angular, but still, I had fun making it. (Created only for my own personal enjoyment by the way - I would never-ever sell the design of another.)


It seems I'm far from alone in finding Mackintosh designs intriguing... a quick search will bring up any number of stained glass and even window and door companies that take inspiration from his influence on the Arts and Crafts movement. The spare elegance of Japanese design prompted Rennie to join this aesthetic with the Art Nouveau movement in the latter half of the 1800s - early 1900s. He was a master at effectively combining strong angles with floral curves.

Here's a Rennie Mackintosh-inspired Valentine with tips for doing on-edge quilled cursive lettering.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Heart Stationery - Book Giveaway

The giveaway has ended. Scroll down to see who won!

If you're the type of person who enjoys perusing photos of beautiful paper goods while learning about the artistic techniques of designers around the world, I can pretty much guarantee the brand new book, I ♥ Stationery, will be right up your creative alley.

Block printing, letterpress, calligraphy, paper cutting, hand and digital illustration, and screen printing are introduced by author Charlotte Rivers in the compact, hardback book.

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block printing

By Belinda - Los Angeles California

Terms and tools of each technique or process accompany inspiring examples of contemporary invitations, cards, notepaper, wrapping paper, calendars, journals, notebooks, and gift tags.

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Tuesday Designs - Melbourne, Australia

Despite our living in the midst of the digital age - or perhaps because of it - more and more attention is being paid to unique stationery items that make it possible to communicate with a personal touch.

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Field Guide Design - Kingston, New York

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Campbell Raw Press - New York, New York

I was sent a copy of I ♥ Stationery from Universe/Rizzoli for review purposes and the company has offered to send a copy to two lucky commenters with a U.S. or Canada mailing address.

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Ruby Wren Designs - Kettering, UK

To enter, just leave a comment on this post by Sunday, February 26. Winners will be selected by a random number generator, notified, and announced here, as well as on the All Things Paper Facebook page.

Credit: © I Heart Stationery by Charlotte Rivers, Universe, 2012.

Congratulations to the winners!

DellaLuna and LindaSonia were selected by and they have been notified.
Many thanks to all who took the time to enter. It's great to see so much enthusiasm for stationery - definite proof that communication isn't entirely digital at this point!

Stay tuned for another giveaway (worldwide) coming up very soon.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Clam Shell Book Sculpture

Erica Ekrem binds beautiful journals using traditional hand tools and time-honored stitching methods. She studied graphic design in college and fell in love with bookbinding while taking it as a required course.

Clamshell Book Sculpture

Erica matches pairs of butter clam shells she finds on the beaches of Orcas Island, Washington to use as journal covers. Pages of recycled, speckled paper are hand cut to fit the shape of the shells and linen thread coated with bees' wax is used for the stitching.

I might have a difficult time convincing myself to make marks on the pages, but can easily picture a clam shell sculpture gracing a bookshelf as an objet d'art.

Erica's shop, Odelae, is also on Facebook. Perhaps take a moment to see the variety of journals she makes from reclaimed materials... each one is unique and her photography is nothing short of stunning.

Facebook Finds this past week included:

Fresh life from wilted roses - mosaic paper
Huge paper-craft horse sculptures
A backdrop of paper rosettes

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Brad Litwin of Philadelphia creates miniature, hand-operated sculptures composed of paperboard that he calls MechaniCards. In addition to the paperboard, each card has wood, plastic, or metal elements that are integral to the movement.

MechaniCard - Mandala

Brad says he's always been fascinated by wheels, screws, and the relationships of moving parts... definitely evident in his well-engineered designs.

MechaniCard - Yike-a-cycle

MechaniCard Dragonfly

Brad's constructed models require little assembly, but for the diy enthusiast, each model is also available as a kit. You can see several of his sculptures in action...

If I had to pick a favorite, it's The Ambigulator (1:30 mark). With Valentine's Day still fresh in my mind, I'm thinking it would be a unique way to propose. :) By the way, Brad is also an avid musician and that's him providing the background music - quite a creative guy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tiny Fawn Collages

I came across a few images of Darrah Dean Gooden's work via Creature Comforts (edit: gone, but not forgotten), one of the prettiest blogs out there. Perhaps you read it too, but if not, I didn't want you to miss out on Darrah's captivating tissue paper collages that are reminiscent of origami.

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Darrah, who has a BFA with an emphasis in painting, says the animals are inspired by colorful children's book illustrations. What I especially love is that as light and ethereal the images appear, each creature is grounded with the hint of a shadow, subtle perch, or touch of landscape.

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Darrah first creates a collage on canvas which gives the colored tissue a nice texture, and then makes prints of the design on acid-free, ultra-bright white paper.

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I can picture a little collection of Darrah's whimsical animals as nursery decor. That reminds me... remember the baby shower? I'm happy to report Emmy arrived safely and is oh-so-dear!

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See more of Darrah's art at Etsy shop, Tiny Fawn, and her website.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ticket Roll Teapot - Brian Jewett

Artist Brian Jewett is drawn to alternative uses of ordinary materials. He created this whimsical teapot by shaping and sealing multiple rolls of tickets.

Ticket Roll Teapot

See additional beautifully sculpted pieces in Brian's Admit One repurposed ticket series here... there are interesting jars, bowls, and vases. He has also created lamps and baskets using unique items...cable ties, garden hoses, and vinyl tubes for example, along with a series of very cool film bowls. As you might have guessed, Brian has a manufacturing background - machinist, tool maker, and mechanical designer.

Ticket Roll Teapot - detail

Brian was commissioned to create the Admit One teapot by Sonny & Gloria Kamm who have amassed an extraordinary collection of teapots since 1985. You might enjoy this Los Angeles Times article that describes the origin of the collection.

Ticket Roll Teapot - detail

I was struck by Brian's creative process explanation: Even when I spend months working out a design I am happy with, I want the results to be simple and obvious. When someone sees my work for the first time I hope their reaction will be one of surprise and an instant understanding of the materials and process, something along the lines of: “Wow, of course, why didn’t I think of that?”

Facebook Finds from this past week:

Mini-eco's pixelated popup card
Carved Complexities: Works Cut From Paper exhibition
Printable Valentine fortune tellers
Paper cutter Mikito Ozeki in action - Pretty Neat
A gorgeous quilled (fondant) birthday cake

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quilled Valentine Card - Hearts and Flowers

Just a very quick post today to share another Valentine idea. If you've been thinking of giving quilling a try, the design would be a good way to test the waters, so to speak, because it features just three different coils - the shaped heart, teardrop, and marquise.

Quilled Valentine

You'll find the step-by-step tutorial on Craftzine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Quilled Designs from Natasha Molotkova

You might recall that just last month we were introduced to the work of Natasha Molotkova. Recently she sent me images of her newest designs... each one is nothing short of fantastic.

quilled beetle

quilled matryoshka doll

quilled gymnast

quilled grapes

This last design isn't brand new, but after Monday's post on cursive lettering, I can't help but feature the double-edged script Natasha used to create the word morning. Perfectly lovely!

quilled coffee cup

I can picture a print of this piece as wall decor in coffee shops and kitchens, and I bet the inspirational gymnast would appeal to young athletes in the form of a bedroom or dorm room poster. By the way, all of Natasha's quilling is done by hand, not digitally.

quilled lettering

See more of her designs at PaperGraphic.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quilled Valentine - Cursive Lettering Tips

We've been seeing a good bit of on-edge paper lettering in recent months and it's refreshing to watch this new trend develop. Box-style printing is popular, but I began wondering if cursive script would be easier.

Love Card with On-Edge Paper Lettering

Because there are no sharply angled corners, a word can be divided into sections instead of shaping each letter individually. I made the loops of the l and o as one unit, and the v and e are another. Lastly, I added a tail to the l and a flourish on the e.

Quilled Lettering Tutorial

Here are some thoughts I jotted down while in the lettering zone - hope you'll find them useful:

1. Lightweight cardstock is ideal for on-edge letters, but because I have more colors of quilling paper than card, I usually use that. Any brand will do provided two strips are glued together to double the strength. The extra thickness, plus glue, makes the paper strong enough to stand on edge.

2. To glue two strips together, spread glue down the length of one strip with your fingertips. When the strip is thoroughly coated, place the second strip on top. Gently wipe away any glue that seeps out along the edges by running a damp cloth down the strip a few times. Set the strip aside and don't even think about rolling it until the glue has dried completely. Trust me on that; the paper will just buckle if it's damp. Major frustration ensues!

3. If cutting your own strips from a sheet of paper or cardstock, it's important to slice with the grain so the coils roll smoothly. You may need to roll a strip cut from each direction of the sheet to determine which way the grain runs; usually it's the length. (hmm, that doesn't sound clear; try it and I think you'll see what I mean.)

4. Sketch the design of your letters, or find a font online and print out the word in whatever size you like. You can shape your letters right on top of the pattern.

5. To curve the letters, run the strip along the side of your needle tool (or round toothpick, paper piercing tool, stiff wire - whatever you have on hand) as if you were curling paper ribbon.

6. When the letters are ready to be placed on the background paper, spread a thin layer of glue on a non-stick surface. I use a Styrofoam tray or the lid of a plastic container. Holding the letter(s) with tweezers, touch the underside to the glue and place the letters directly on the paper. Try not to slide them into place, as this will leave a snail trail of glue. Even though glue dries clear, the shine will be obvious.

Quilled Lettering Tutorial

I'll have another quilled Rennie Mackintosh-inspired card coming up soon... am a bit obsessed with his work at the moment. There will be more on-edge script examples later in the week too, so stay tuned.

If you'd like to receive my occasional All Things Paper newsletter that features posts like this one, sign up here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Paper Maché Wavy Bowl

Paper maché wears a variety of faces depending on whose hands have done the creating. Yamarilet Pacheco of etco shapes vessels that are obviously handmade, yet beautifully refined - not an easy look to achieve.

Paper maché wavy bowl

Born and raised in Venezuela, Yamarilet lives in New Orleans. She began working with paper maché a few years ago, and soon became passionate about the technique. Her process requires the layering of thin strips of recycled paper to give the bowls a lightly textured surface; each one takes many hours to complete.

Always the fan of a metallic glow, I like the way Yamarilet brings elegant sophistication to her designs by hand leafing the interiors with copper, silver, or gold. She's also a talented jewelry designer.

etco is on Facebook.

All Things Paper Facebook links:

Try your hand at book folding
The brand new Scissor Mouse sounds fantastic for cutting paper strips accurately
Cardboard fashions from Christian Tagliavini
Jeremy Kool's digital origami animals are pretty sensational
Framed word art you create yourself could be the perfect Valentine's Day gift
Beautiful origami architecture by Yee
MooDoo's laminated paper lamp features a folded heart. I can't imagine how the curved lines are created.

As always, thanks for all of the insightful comments this past week. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome February Advertisers

Am I the only one who thinks January flew by especially quickly? Here it is a brand new month and time to introduce you to three beautiful shops!

Paper straws

Garnish has gathered a stylish collection of packaging items that come in handy for so many occasions - Valentine's Day school treats and Super Bowl parties, just to get you started.

Corrugated cup

Garnish is where you'll find those pretty paper straws, corrugated cups, clear acetate boxes, and bamboo paper cones we see on gorgeous food blogs, but wonder where on earth to buy them.

Boxes and cones

Find lots of clever and affordable ideas on the Garnish blog. The company is also on Facebook.

Wedding invitation

Sara Tejada's passion for her business, Inkprint Letterpress, had me at hello... and that was even before I read this most interesting article that describes her introduction and attraction to letterpress printing.

Birth announcement

Sara, a graphic designer, loves the antique press she's nicknamed Bertha. She uses it to create sophisticated, but approachable designs for wedding invitations, birth announcements, party invitations... any special occasion. In her shop, Sara sells cards and tags that have been pressed in her classy and colorful style.

Gift cards

Sara blogs and is on Facebook.

Heart necklace

Melina Szapiro of Etsy shop Palomaria uses cold porcelain and paper clay to make lovely medallions, charms, and beads. She embosses each eco-friendly piece by hand using letterpress metal plates, paints it with acrylics, and finally adds water-based sealant as a durable coating.

Name necklace

Melina welcomes custom orders, whether you are looking for a personalized name necklace or very special gifts for bridesmaids.

Initial necklaces

Keep up-to-date with Melina's latest creations via her enjoyable blog.

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