I’ve always been a bit of a maker.
I think a lot of women my age can relate to a childhood of destroying textas by aggressively attempting to keep in the lines of a colouring-in book, or absolutely destroying the serenity of the kitchen by covering the dining table in crepe paper to make an Easter bonnet.
I have a very fond memory of being baby-sat by one of my parent’s older friends, I would have been about 12, my sister 10. This friend was a very proper woman, elegant, well spoken, with a beautiful rambling rural home and gardens to match. On welcoming us to her home she asked if we’d be interested in making some paper. We blinked rather vaguely having no idea what the process would entail. To our delight, she collected three aprons for us, turned on the garden hose and filled a huge bucket with water, and the rest of that day was spent with our arms up to our elbows in a paper/water sludge that reaped sheet after sheet of bumpy, erratic, BEAUTIFUL paper.
Far out it was fun. And something in me clicked and I became somewhat of a paper hoarder.
So much so, that some of those sheets of paper I still had with me in my mid 30’s, snuggled safely in a shoe box that moved with me over two states and through countless share houses as I rambled through my corporate career.
These treasures over time were accompanied by all sorts of scraps of beautiful paper, some purchased, some found. I haunted “Books Kinokuniya”, an amazing book store in Sydney, and collected all manner of amazing Japanese paper from there. Friends learnt about my obsession and gifted me all manner of pretty pieces they had found or thoughtfully collected for me.
Most of these pieces eventually became the body for extravagantly long letters to friends or loved ones all over the country. Back when letter writing was a thing and the world was a bit slower than it is today.
Others still, turned into origami paper cranes that I then turned into elaborate mobiles, gifted to friends or family (and one, which I’m very pleased to say, has survived many twists and turns of my life and hangs above our kitchen table)
Now, my chosen form of expression with paper is ‘Quilling’. It’s a slow artform, involving patience (like, a lot of patience). My body of work started accumulating in earnest from late 2017 and I’m looking forward to developing my style further and further, with the old and new paper I’ve collected.
Time to raid that Shoebox again. 😊
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