Itty Bitty Paper Art July 03 2023

Charrita Teague's miniature plants
We've written about this amazing area of miniature paper crafting. The national convention is coming to the NorthEast next month. "NAME" or National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts will host its conference from August 17 to 20 in Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA. We will finally get to meet a couple of these mini sculptors, like Charrita Teague, an artisan in plants and flowers, who plans on stopping by our showroom in Providence.
Charrita writes "I have been involved in miniatures since 1986. I really enjoy the camaraderie with fellow miniaturist. Miniatures fulfill a significant part of my life. It allows me to travel, experience various art forms, and meet great people."

Wind Up to Wind Down February 23 2021

Creative Break

Wind up chicken originally found on Etsy
Take a reprieve from the world. Each day - to un-stick. Encourage others. In fact, set the example and make a "Zoom" field trip to a gallery during lunch. Bring your friends along. See what others have done/are doing. It will yield wonderful results as you take a break and get out of your head. Guaranteed! You'll be doing "the sushi" from plastic nico before you know it!

PCI Yuzen Paper in Kit Davey's Books! October 02 2020

Check out Kit Davey's new video using our yuzen paper. And while you're there take a walk around Kit's Found • Object • Art site. Way too much fun is being had thanks to intricately pattened yuzen paper. If you haven't had the pleasure, yuzen paper, sometimes called chiyogami, are multi-color screen printed mulberry papers using patterns directly from the Japanese textile world. We carry 100+ colorful patterns of these hand-crafted papers decorated with Japanese motifs and designs, using several screens to hand print each sheet. This heavily inked paper has a thousands of uses, excellent strength, and is fade resistance. Thanks for sharing Kit! Below is Kit's Instragram post of a pocket accordion book with our silkscreened yuzen and cotton papers.

Kit Davey: Visual Bookworm September 23 2020

Kit amongst her tools Kit amongst her tools
Paper Connection was thrilled to catch up with true paper lover, Kit Davey from Found • Object • Art

Circuitous and Non-linear

Kit loves paper and saves every scrap. "I am constantly thinking about making books. I usually get the germ of an idea while walking, or by being inspired by other artists on Instagram or Pinterest. I jot down or sketch the idea, put it in a clear plastic sleeve and then add it to my project box. When I find papers, ephemera or other bits the might work with the idea, I slip them into the sleeve. I work in my studio every day and I make about a book a day. I look through my project box and pick out the idea that calls me. Each book unfolds through trial and error. Selecting the perfect paper is crucial. I use my “gut-o-meter” to tell me when something works or not."


PCI: Kit, talk about your interests and why this is your form of expression as opposed to a straight up “printer-ly” technique? KD: What I love about paper/collage in my bookmaking is the spontaneity, making changes as I go along. I don’t need special aptitudes, other than the ability to combine. I have choices of dozens of bindings, most of which don’t require skill with a needle and thread. I sometimes print out words or a story, digitally, because my handwriting is bad. I do admire the books made by printers, but don’t like the process for my own work. Printing a book requires planning which interrupts my spontaneity. PCI: How have your life experiences brought you to create Found • Object • Art ? KD: When I was a little girl I loved found objects and using them to create something new. I made houses for field mice with shoeboxes, matchboxes and bottle caps. I made books like “Love is…” with paper bits and crayons. I took art classes along the way but felt constrained by two dimensions and needing ‘skills’ like drawing or painting. I started to find my “inner gleam” by experimenting with collage and assemblage on my own. I was introduced to a collage class and began to learn the endless possibilities of working with paper and found images, often making books. One of my classmates suggested I join the Bay Area Book Artists. There, I found my tribe, learning a myriad of book structures and bindings from my fellow bookmakers. I continue to hone my skills by taking classes and learning from others.
The Flag Book has an accordion spine, using 18 small strips of paper that flap past each other when you open the book. The Flag Book has an accordion spine, using 18 small strips of paper that flap past each other when you open the book.
PCI: What happened next and bring us up to the present? KD: I began selling at art fairs and bookmaking events then started teaching about 15 years ago. I decided to widen my reach by adding Found • Object • Art to share a variety of my work (artist books, matchbox art, greeting cards, etc.) and promote learning opportunities for folks around the world. During this pandemic, I created five live, on-line Zoom classes. Each bookmaking class has a non-standard structure and a no-stitch binding, making it doable for all levels and capabilities. Anyone with curiosity and interest can delve into my classes. I am so impressed by the creativity. Two more classes were requested by my students so number six is up and running with one more in the works. I added Instagram, posting new work almost daily. I receive so much wonderful feedback from my followers (I have over 32,000!). The Instagram community has been so supportive, I attribute a lot of my success to this social network. PCI: Tell us about your 'Button Books!'
Kit Davey Button Book Bird Button Book by Kit Davey
KD: Several years back I saw a book made with tiny buttons on Pinterest. I jumped out of my chair, immediately searched through my stash of antique buttons for a matching pair. I experimented with different ways of making pages, binding them together and finding content to embellish. Over time I created a foolproof process which I teach. PCI: Would you share your insights and process regarding projects that have set you on a new path?
Sea Glass Journal 1 by Kit Davey Sea Glass Journal by Kit Davey
Kit Davey Sea Glass Journal pg.2 Sea Glass Journal pg.2
KD: I am continually inspired by things I find on the ground. I know I can use it in a book or art piece! Recently I discovered a weathered wooden stake on the ground in my local park. I cut it into sections to be used as ‘pages.’ Coincidentally, Instagram’s #areyoubookenough monthly challenge was “Sea” and an idea for a book popped into my mind - I could attach sea glass and shells to the pages to create a book. I drilled holes through the wood so I could strap on the found objects. Holes on the edges of the wood allowed me to use copper wire loops as a binding. PCI: Which artist/people in your life most influenced/inspired you and in what way? KD: I honestly don’t have any particular influencers or inspirers. Creations by unknown artists and bookmakers have led me to learn processes and to experiment. Trial and error is my greatest teacher. My own “voice” comes forth as I follow my experiments and make choices. I know that by making lots of art I get better and better as an artist. PCI: Can you describe the importance of paper in your work and what type of paper do you use?
Pop Up Buildings & Accordion Map by Kit Davey Pop Up Buildings & Accordion Map by Kit Davey
KD: Paper is my foundation. Each page has carefully selected papers culled from my substantial stash of dictionary pages, images from vintage books, music scores, letters, ephemera, card stock, rice papers, scrap booking paper, maps, wrapping paper, craft paper, grocery bags, used envelops, magazine pages, textbooks, tissue papers, printed napkins, calendars, posters. When I finish a book I save all the little pieces in a bag called “Bits.” Even the tiniest piece of paper has potential to become part of my art. PCI: Are there particular questions no one has asked you with regards to your creative process, philosophy or recent experiences you’d like to share? KD: Yes. One question is “What is your mission as an artist?” My answer: “To spread delight across the planet.” PCI: So, If you could have a conversation with any artist present or past, who would it be? KD: I would have wanted to be a fly on Joseph Cornell’s work room ceiling. I'd love to have seen his work surface, the ingredients of his boxes strewn about, and his many image files. I’d silently cling to the ceiling and watch as he created one of his magical boxes. PCI: Anything else you like to add? KD: Every piece of paper has potential! All images thanks to Kit Davey.

fricka - artist in residence - our papers help tell your story.

Mini Pretty June 30 2020

Nature in miniature - flowers and plants created with painstaking attention to detail, scale, and accuracy - shrunken to half a penny in size. Take a mini look at the artists who supply hands-on techniques with insight to an art form that deserves a second look. Fascinating, yes . . . Hard to turn away as you gaze at the precision and wonder how long it took to make these mini-creations. Mentioned numerously, one key to good flower making is paper and Mary Kinloch uses our specialty crepe paper from Japan that holds shape, texture, and visual authenticity. Check here for the more than 4500-member Facebook Group managed by Mary Kinloch called Making Dolls House Flowers in all Scales.
devils trumpet Mary Kinloch image Devil's Trumpet Image-courtesy of Mary Kinloch
miniature paper flowers, Angels trumpet ,Mary Kinloch image 2 Angel's Trumpet Image-courtesy of Mary Kinloch
Mary also designs and sells laser cut petals and plant parts through eBay and has numerous YouTube videos on making flowers and plants using her laser cuts and our crepe paper. Check out SDK Miniatures, Susan Karatjas’ site which offers a wide selection of miniature plants from peonies to cacti. She features fellow artists, including Mary Kinloch. And take a peek at Julia Tollafield's piece (below), also made from hand-painted crepe paper for the flowers, and handmade paper for the leaves.
hydrangea, Julia Tollafield Blue Hydrangea
Image-courtesy of Julia Tollafield of Tolly's Treasures.
Beautiful mini pretties. Delicate and resilient over time in capable hands. From aster to zinnia we can all play and imagine a tiny world embellished with these Lilliputian-sized botanicals.

Artist of the Month: Joan Son March 11 2014

Her name evokes light, bright, warm light to me, and when you see her AMAZING works, (yes, that is all in CAPS for a reason), you will feel the same light too: paper transformed into creatures and works that come alive, and feel like they can float away, tempting you to put your fingers on them, feel the fiber that encases them, and even wear them. Meet the one and only Joan Son. I have had the privilege of giving 2 presentations with Joan Son and have been to her studio/residence several times in Houston, TX. Joan is a most gracious host. I cherish her warmth, kindness and years of friendship. Joan's glowing personality is truly manifested in her incredible talent of transforming paper into life-like sculptures. I hope you enjoy reading her perspective on paper as much as I did. PCI: What kind of artwork do you do? What or who has influenced and inspired you? JS: I am an artist working in the medium of paper based in the discipline of origami. For the past 21, years since my debut in the windows of Tiffany & Co. (Houston Galleria), I have devoted my career to the exploration of contemporary origami as fine art. My art has developed into finely crafted gift items for museum shops beginning at the Smithsonian in 1995; larger commissioned works for public and private venues and origami instruction nationally at Origami Conventions and in Houston at numerous educational facilities.
Bamboo Bamboo
PCI: What attracts you to working with paper? JS: I have always loved paper. My first love was designing paper doll dresses when I was 9 years old. So even my mother’s typing paper, lined school papers and tissue paper were attractive to me from very early on. I was totally intrigued making carnation like flowers with tissue paper. Even now when paper towels or napkins are on my grocery list I get excited wondering what patterns will be available. The commercial stuff is always changing. zooslide PCI: What do you like best about working with paper? I'm so curious as you have such a literal hands-on approach. JS: I like to say that paper is sculptable and forgiving. I love that about paper. It works into to all of my art pieces. It is much more durable that most folks think. PCI: I love the choice of words "forgiving" and "durable", it's almost like you are describing an amazing person. Please share how we met. JS: Your wonderful papers were represented by a commercial paper company (Clampitt Paper in Houston, TX). Their representative gave me your contact information and I have been passionate about your papers through all your evolutions. Since 1993 when I was working in a design firm, creating brochures, annual reports… and dabbling in my own creative process, I've been using them for everything from butterfly pins, collage works, to 8-foot tall paper Kimonos. PCI: Hopefully I've been evolving in a progressive way! And our papers reflect that. We are so happy that we have such a long-term solid relationship. It's reliable artists like yourself that help small business keep going. Did you have much knowledge about Japanese papers before using our line? JS: Very, very little… only Origami papers. PCI: In what ways did Paper Connection help navigate and perhaps inform you about Japanese paper? JS: In every way. You and I did a presentation together for Texas Art Supply here in Houston a few years ago. It was fascinating to see and hear about your travels in Asia and all the details and nuances of these exquisite papers. PCI: What papers do you use of ours and for what process? What did you like about those papers that aided in your creative and/or technical process? JS: Japanese Yuzen and Katazome paper are delicious, the Laurelai design papers, (see the Yoga Garden Robe), are fun and add a distinct personality to my designs. Looking through the catalog now I see there are so many more I still have to work with. I can hardly wait! I use your papers for many of my collage pieces, origami pieces and display.
paper sculpture Yoga Garden Robe by Joan Son, using several of the Laurelai papers
The Robe Series by Joan Son The Robe Series by Joan Son
PCI: What are some of the differences between our papers and others you have worked with? JS: Paper Connection always has the highest quality papers. PCI: Thank you so much! We really try to represent the best in handmade papers for those like yourself who truly appreciate them. Word game for you: fill in the blank, if you had to recommend a Paper Connection paper for a particular application: JS: I like Daitoku papers for their simple gold touches and natural beauty. Plus they have saved my life on two projects where I needed a very large sheet. These measure 37 x 72 inches. Perfect!
bookmarks, Laurelai Designs Laurelai bookmarks by Joan Son
money holders, business card holders Joan loves the Laurelai papers for many things, including bookmarks and wallets.
PCI: That paper is an oldie but goodie. Our famous bonus question: If you could have a conversation with any artist present or past, who would it be? And would you talk about paper? JS: PATTI SMITH. As I strive to make my work more deeply meaningful first to myself and that it be illuminating for others… this veteran rock and roll artist transcends all levels for me. She continues to inform our world with her tenderness and fury. And that she continues to evolve her art into all the years of her life. I think the conversation of paper would come up easily with Patti. I’m sure we would be tearing it or making it into butterflies right away. PCI: Yes! A musician! To say the least. A poet. You surely would. Can I dance along? Thank you Joan, for all you do for Paper Connection and the paper world. Check out this BIG NEWS for Joan! She opens a new body of work in Houston at the Jung Center Gallery in April 2014. We have included the Press Release:
looking back to move forward
a retrospective
a coming full circle
a beginning
When: Opening night Saturday April 5, 2014 Where: Jung Center Gallery 5200 Montrose, Houston, Texas 77006 Time: 5:00 to 7:00 On view through April 29, 2014 If you are in the Houston we highly recommend you attend. We wish we could be there ourselves.
Joan Son is an American artist who has devoted her career to the exploration of contemporary origami as fine art.
Now, through an Individual Artist Grant from the city of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, she shows a side of herself that has been hiding for 50 years.
TIME TRAVELERS brings her art full circle with paper doll dress designs she created when she was 9 years old. From these early paintings (that luckily her mother saved!) Joan is constructing full size paper dresses that will be displayed on lighted 6 foot plexiglass cylinders suggesting portals of time. Her story is inspired by this quote from Carl Jung...
“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.” Joan raised additional funds through her Kickstarter campaign and may be best known for her origami art that debuted in the windows of Tiffany & Co. in 1993. During the past 21 years she has developed her art as gift pieces for museum shops around the country beginning with the Smithsonian in 1995, been commissioned for larger art works both public and private and worked as an instructor of origami nationally and locally.
Much more of the story here on Kickstarter...
paper dresses
paper sculpture
Time Travelers. These 2 dresses use very common onion skin paper and letterhead papers on which Joan Son painted.
For more information on Joan Son, please visit her website:
You may recognize her works:
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Menil Collection Artist Eye presentation
Neiman Marcus
Tiffany & Co. Houston Galleria
Ellen Noel Art Museum
Japan America Society Houston
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Grand Opera
C. G. Jung Center Houston
National Gallery of Art Museum Shop
Smithsonian Museum Shop
Dallas Museum of Art Museum Shop
Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop
St. Lukes Hospital
Memorial Hermann Hospital
Texas State University, through Art + Artisans Consultants
Veterans Administration Austin, through Art + Artisans Consultants

Mini Paper Notebook Tutorial November 03 2013

mini notebook tutorial

Learn how to make a handmade mini pocket notebook! The Paperwomen at Paper Connection wanted to share a DIY bookbinding demo for those of you who love books, beautiful paper and miniatures.


4 sheets for inside paper- 4x6 in. 1 sheet for cover paper- 4x6 in.* *note: depending on the thickness of your paper, making the cover 4x6.25 inches is a good idea, so the pages don't extend past the cover! awl - pointy tool used in bookbinding. Also a great crossword word! bone folder scissors -or a utility knife linen thread-or any type of thread or twine book binder's needle

notebook supplies and paper


You can use almost any paper you have handy, however, you will need a thicker sheet for the cover, because it needs to be durable. The inside pages should be slightly thinner. For this demo we used a natural lightweight lokta paper (25g/m²) from Nepal for the inside paper, and copper metallic and momi lokta for the covers. We added a little brown asanoha patterned lace paper from Japan for decorative "end" sheets. To see more paper choices, browse Paper Connection's our online catalog.


Your first step is to fold each of the 4x6 in. sheets in half lengthwise, and crease or burnish with a bone folder.

DIY three hole pamphlet


Find the center at 2 in. and make a mark in the crease. Measure 1/4 in. from both outside edges for the second and third holes.

how to make a pocket pamphlet by hand sewing


Carefully poke a hole with the awl through the center of the crease at each mark, making sure that all of your paper is lined up

book binding tutorial


Start from the inside of the notebook at the middle hole and feed the needle and thread through all of the pages leaving two inches of thread to be tied off later. Next, feed the thread back through the outside of the notebook at one of the outer holes and come back through the center hole. Repeat this step with the opposite outside hole, but this time tie it off at the center instead of feeding it back through.

NOTE: We chose to place the knot on the inside of the book, but some people like to tie it off from the outside and leave a little extra thread or a bow. To try it this way, reverse these instructions and start your sewing from the outside of the book instead of the inside.

pamphlet stitch instructions

And you're done!

mini notebook pamphlet tutorial

My Visit To The RISD Library May 03 2012

Today, I was so very lucky to be invited to the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Library Special Collections archive in the Dale Reading Room. Professor Jan Baker, who has been teaching Book Arts in the Graphics Department for more than 30 years, pre-pulled some incredible "gems"(artists' books) especially for me and a young man from Japan studying at RISD on a one-year fellowship. Those that stood out for me most were: Karen Kunc's "Trace", Antonio Frasconi's "A Sunday in Monterey" and another book of his woodcut prints, Karli Frigge's "Alchemy & Marbling", Donna and Peter Thomas' "Paper from Plants "- a collection of US papermakers' sheets made from homegrown fibers, "Heisei no Shifu"- 3-volume boxed set of all washi; all of Japan's handmade papers- and I could go on and on... Needless to say, these special books are not to be circulated, and I can't show you...because no photographs allowed...(however, I will post photographs of "Heisei no Shifu" in another blog..since I own my own copy!) The encore or rather the 2nd and main reason for going to the RISD Library was to view the 30-year retrospective of Jan Baker's students' artists' books. Close to 1400 creative pieces in book form, all handmade, simply astounding. Something for everyone...I have to say being from Rhode Island, I related most to Suzzi Cozzens' (made when she was a student..she's now faculty) very large book about Rhode Island; made me LOL....(Don't worry....I did it quietly; this was a library...). Here's another blog written from a RISD insider.
The Potato Book

Zim and Zou-Wow! February 29 2012

Will you be in London in March? Check out this dazzling and most likely painstaking work done by Zim and Zou, who will be showing this (paper!) "Cabinet of Curiousities" at the Pick Me Up art fair in London this March. Check out the video below to see the hands on work of this dynamic design duo, who are the at the ripe age of 25. Best wishes to them next month! Zim and Zou's video

Delia the Dragon December 22 2011

My genius friend, Ms. Reiko Tanaka made me this incredible origami dragon. It took her close to 4 hours to make! She used a a piece of metallic, wrapping paper from a box a sweets measuring approximately 50cmx50cm. The pattern came from the book "Genuine Origami and instructions by Mr. Jun Maekawa. Reiko says Mr. Maekawa is a genius, but I say she is a genius for just figuring out how to fold this 9-inch long beast. I named her "Delia"- which I thought was a friendly-sounding name for a dragon who would reside near my paper "castle". If you're up for the challenge, try folding your own dragon for 2012: the Year of Dragon. Reiko recommends thin and strong washi. I'm sure there are at least a few choices at Paper Connection.