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Calligraphy and Handmade Paper


Calligraphy and Handmade Paper

Twenty-eight artists collaborated to produce fifteen works featuring calligraphic marks, words, and short passages interacting with custom handmade paper. The essayist is Rose Folsom of 'Letter Arts Review'.

This outstanding collection showcases the talent of twenty-eight artists who created fifteen distinctive handmade paper works incorporating calligraphy. The imagery and processes used in these exceptional pieces focus on the inherent artistry and meaning of the calligraphic mark as it interacts with the handmade paper.

Remarkably, given the size of this edition, many of the pieces are hand lettered. There is elegant pen work and brush calligraphy, but also unusual methods of inscribing such as writing with pulp. Lettering methods are sometimes enhanced with techniques such as letterpress, dye resist, photo intaglio, debossing, and suminagashi. Paper rises from its traditional supporting role to offer equal partnership in the realization of the image. For some images, the paper speaks quietly carrying fibers that have cultural, historical, or geographical connections with the written mark. In other works, the paper calls more attention to itself with curious inclusions, bold colors, or a highly burnished surface. Whatever the method, the finished pieces demonstrate the shared importance of calligraphic image and well-made paper.

The calligraphic content ranges from haiku to short phrases to single letters. Some characters are typographically playful, some harshly rendered, some immediately legible, while others require sleuthing by the viewer. Themes range from epic to intimate, from disquieting to uplifting. The expressions are as personal as a proper name, as ponderous as the nature of truth, or as global as social commentary on war and peace.

A custom-made clamshell box houses the artworks, each in a protective folder imprinted with the artists’ names. A handbound booklet contains statements from each artist and a commissioned essay by Rose Folsom, editor of Letter Arts Review and a widely exhibited calligraphic artist.

The participating artists, both juried and invited, are Timothy Barrett & Thomas Ingmire; Neal Bonham & Suzanne Moore; Annie Cicale & Claudia K. Lee; Rona Conti; Nancy Culmone & Tom Leech; Tatiana Ginsberg & Shibata Reiho; Karen Gorst & Mina Takahashi; Katie MacGregor & Nancy Leavitt; Miriam Londoño; Pamela Paulsrud & Andrea Peterson; Gretchen Schermerhorn & Marina Soria; Susan Skarsgard, Wesley Tanner & Kathryn Clark; Cynthia Thompson & David Charles Chioffi; Jessica White & Cheryl Jacobsen; Ann Alaia Woods.

Of the four jurors, two are known for paper: Timothy Barrett and Katie MacGregor have some sixty years combined experience in the field. And two are well known and respected in the world of calligraphy: Thomas Ingmire and Nancy Leavitt. The jury was also invited to produce work for the collection. The portfolio designer is Steve Miller, and the editor is Mina Takahashi.

All proceeds from sales of the Calligraphy and Handmade Paper portfolio benefit Hand Papermaking, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing traditional and contemporary ideas in the art of hand papermaking.

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This portfolio was printed by Todd Allan Printing, Beltsville, Maryland, on Cougar Opaque Text paper in Garamond types. The Canson wrappers were letterpress printed by Steve Miller. The image on the wrapper and title page was pulled from the work entitled Movement, by Katie MacGregor and Nancy Leavitt. Deborah Selk completed the binding and made the boxes. The edition is limited to one hundred and fifty, and two Hand Papermaking archive proofs.

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