Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Temptation of Handmade Paper

Last week I went to see the atelier of Razvan Supuran, Romanian artist who makes paper by  hand. Or better yet, craftsman, as he considers himself. It was a fascinating experience. From the moment you enter the door of his atelier time seems to slow down. In a world of technology, there it's an island of peace and imagination that gives a different quality to life.

At the Romanian Peasant Museum, Razvan and his team make more than paper. They make art from it. They do printing, bookbinding, book art and much more. The best part is, you can just take your ideas and go there. For sure you will find a way to make them come real.

"Craft is learned and carried on. You give to others.

This is how the Book Atelier started. An idea continued with another, a hand came to help the other and the first papers started to show up: born from vegetables or reborn from their  recycled sisters. With respect, patience, joy. Through the practice of handmade paper."

 I confess, sticking my hands into the paper pulp felt utterly delicious.

I got home that evening with a pile of delicious handmade paper. I wanted to keep it for something special. But then I wanted to see how it folds. Then how it tears. Then how it is sewed. And in that same evening it turned into a book :)


Bolg Feature

Robyn from ArtPropelled wrote a wonderful post on journals and inspiring quotations and she selected for it some of the most beautiful journals I've seen in a long while. She was so kind to include some of mine.

I literary had to take out my journal and copy some of the quotes people left in their comments. My favorite for today - 

"I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie."

I Am Too Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke

I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough
to make every minute holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action,
and in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your old and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
And I want my grasp of things
true before you.  I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day, like the face of my mother,
like a ship that took me safely
through the wildest storm of all.

~ from Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke,
translated by Robert Bly (Harper & Row, 1981)

Go over to Robyn's blog for some quality reading and to her website if you want to see the works of an incredibly talented artist who carves totems in wood.