My handmade paper constructions are works of art inspired while working in Japan with a “National Treasure” papermaker, Minoru Figimori. This ancient process of papermaking has nurtured my creativity to explore Japanese aesthetics and culture in-depth. It has become a major force in my creative life and has inspired me to take this process to another conceptual level.
The drama created by this unique process of manipulating wet Mulberry pulp into sculptural dimensional forms speaks to the viewer of our contemporary world. I pinch, tear and gouge the saturated pulp creating torn dimensional shapes and deep open jagged areas. The pulp is then left to dry. Selected spaces are hand-sewn and carefully assembled. I then draw onto the surface of the paper with charcoal, pencil and pastels using strong gestural strokes in rich blacks and color. Found objects of rope, wood, pins and metal are applied to complete the work. These strong varied abstract shapes reveal uncomfortable feelings of anxiety as the viewer examines and scrutinizes these beautiful forms.
The process of making handmade paper is beautiful, as I lift the screen from the vat which carries the wet pulp, turn, and place the screen onto a flat bed, it releases the shaped pulp. This is like a beautiful dance as a papermaker continues to stir, lift, turn to place pulp onto a flat surface. I then take wet pulp, manipulate it into shapes and dimensional forms and allow it to dry.