Paper

Diana Beltran Herrera Paper Birds.

The new bird feeder in the backyard has made me a little obsessed this summer with my new feathered friends. Anyone that follows me on Instagram is probably aware of this do to the number of images I have been posting.

This afternoon at lunch I came across the paper sculptures of birds by Diana Beltran Herrera. There are 20 images are below, and the link will take you to her website which is currently down thanks to a traffic overload.

I love the fact that so many of these capture the birds in flight, and I love she has captured the life essence with in them, freezing the movements and interactions perfectly. Amazing stuff.

Please Sit On My FlexibleLove.

When I was in art school, one of the assignments I had to do in an industrial design class was to construct a chair out of corrugated cardboard and paper. When it was first assigned to the class I thought it was a daunting task, but as we worked through it I came to realize that corrugated board and paper are extremely strong, durable and versatile materials to work with.

FlexibleLove designed by Chishen Chiu, and manufactured by Pinzaan Company Limited makes use of an ‘accordion-like, honeycomb’ structure to create durable furniture pieces produced from widely-available recycled materials including recycled paper and recycled wood waste.

FlexibleLove seating can hold from one to as many as sixteen individuals; changing length and shape by simply pulling each end to expand or compress the size. The honeycomb structure, used throughout the entire FlexibleLove line, produces an accordion-like result that allows each piece to be extended and collapsed with ease while maintaining durability across the structural length of the surface.

1000 Paper Cuts.

I am always impressed when I see artwork that requires meticulous amounts of detail work. I’m probably impressed because I tend to be the kind of artist/designer that gets “Attention to detail”, but would have a hard time spending hours cutting out paper sculptures by hand. This is even worse now that I have spent the last 20 years working primarily with computer generated stuff.

American artist Jill Sylvia creates intensely detailed paper sculptures, cutting sections of paper by hand with a xacto knife. The works are absolutely amazing and range from buildings, to meticulously cut balance sheets from accounting books. Each cut is a precision movement that is executed with the accuracy of a laser. I have no idea how long these take to produce, but I can guarantee they are time-consuming, and the end result is just wonderful.

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Wasara Paper Goods. Elegant Green Design.

A few months ago, my friend Regina gave me a set of Wasara paper coffee cups as part of a birthday gift. I hate to say it but I have never used them. As a matter of fact, I put them in the cupboard and forgot they were there until today when I was looking for something else and found them. The fact that I haven’t used them, is a shame, because they were designed to be used now, in the present moment, and unlike traditional cups and other dinnerwares, they are disposable and their purpose is temporary.

Wasara believes that the experience of an object is determined by the form, texture, the way something fits in your hand, the ease of use, the way an object makes you smile. They also believe that this kind of experience shouldn’t be relegated to expensive dinnerware and can be applied to something as simple as a paper plate.

The plates, cups and bowls, have a sensuous organic feel to them. They are not only pleasant to look at but the feel great in your hand. Rigid and light, they don’t feel like traditional paper plates, there is a specific sense of elegance to the simple shapes and forms that heightens the experience of using them. Wasara uses a Japanese design principle known as “Shakkei”, which aims to integrate the landscape as seen through a window, and transformed into part of the interior. This represents the spirit of living in harmony with nature.

The underlying spirit of Wasara products is the legacy of aesthetic values that stems from Japan’s time-honored traditions of craft and skill in design and manufacturing. In addition Wasara feels it is important to create objects in an Earth conscious way, so as to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Because of this all Wasara products are produced with 100% renewable tree-free materials, using bamboo, and bagasse (a by-product of the sugar cane industry). By replacing wood pulp with these rapidly renewable non wood materials, Wasara is creating a well designed green product.

Papercraft from Gestalten

Papercraft is the fourth book from Gestalten that documents the growing trend in hand crafted creations. Papercraft Follows on the heels of Gestalten’s Hidden Track, and Tactile and Tangible. The book Papercraft focuses exclusively on paper as a means of creation and the expression of ideas and creativity through this common medium.

This book Highlights the importance of paper historically, by discussing how paper once symbolized a means of democratizing and distributing information. Papercraft also shows how the advent of digital technology over the last 30 years has given birth to the copy & paste culture of infinite permutations, and how a framework was born to rebel against this. Papercraft presents works in the form of the DIY hand-crafted creations that in many ways feel more real because of their tangible qualities. The book is split into five sections that cover work from publications and posters to 3D objects such as paper toys and installations, fashion and costume design, as well as typography and environments showing the rich diversity of objects.

At first, I felt as though I’d seen a good portion of this work before. This isn’t surprising though considering the coverage many of these people have received for their work over the past 12 months. As I spent more time with the book, and despite the familiarity I was sucked in by the labor of love that is evident in all this work.

The book is well put together with the usual high quality design and production value expected from Gestalten. The book’s designer Birg Meyer has detailed the content sympathetically, using a flexible grid that offers a variety of images big enough to really illustrate the work displayed. Complemented by a simple layout this allows the intensely detailed work to speak for itself. The inclusion of DVD content is also a nice surprise. A collection of animation work featured in the book alongside printable nets of some paper toys help bring life to boring studio desks and are a cheerful addition.

My one  complaint about the book is an overall lack of organization. There are small sections populated through out the book that give brief descriptions of the artist and the production process, but all of them fall a bit short. In a book where the way you make something is as important as the end result, you would think that the publisher would have focused a bit more attention the process that goes into each piece.

Overall Papercraft does solid job of showcasing a diverse collection of work created using paper, and it is more concentrated than its predecessors allowing it to hold its own. If you have seen Tactile  and liked it, you’re probably going to like this fourth edition. The companion DVD makes the title stand out from many ordinary art books and helps to justify the price. This is a good reference book and one that I found quite inspiring. More over it is just really nice to look at. There is such great photography for each of the pieces, and it really helps you to get a sense of how they looked in real life.