Saturday, October 20, 2012

"The Art of Handmade Paper" at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

Some of the Population Dynamics series is currently part of the exhibition, The Art of Handmade Paper, at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, in Sonoma, CA. The exhibition is up till the end of December, and last Friday I went up for the opening reception.

The show is predominately focused on the history of handmade paper, featuring a few contemporary artists like myself, as well as one of my teachers, Lynn Sures:

Also featuring a tiny little hand-crank beater. This made me think of all the discussions I've had with fellow papermakers about a bicycle-powered beater (which was finally developed by Lee Scott Mcdonald), although several people found pedaling while grinding rag pretty onerous (and could you imagine trying to make something like high-shrinkage? Hours and hours of pedaling!) Anyway, made me wonder if this would be better or worse.

Two other intriguing historic objects included were these fusan bakudan, or Japanese fire balloons. For those unfamiliar with the history, during World War II, these were washi balloons that were used to carry bombs across the Pacific towards the United States, floating along Jet Stream air currents. I gather that most did not make it, but some did. It brings to mind a conversation I had with Mary years ago in which she said something to the affect of," I don't know whether to be horrified or like, YAY PAPER!"

The show is up to December 30, and there is talk with the curator on October 28 at the museum.

On a related note, I was recently interviewed by Discover Paper. Check it out here.

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