If you have ever had the pleasure or the opportunity to work with handmade papers then this short documentary on the papermaker Gangolf Ulbricht will hit right at home. There is nothing like it. In contrast to so much around us that is easily disposable, the experience of handmade paper is transformative. It brings back memories of hours spent at the paper store, combing through hundreds of paper samples to find the right combinations of papers that evoked the experience I was hoping to create went felt in hand.
Mary Merkel-Hess grew up in the farmlands of Iowa, where she still lives and works. Studying both metalsmithing and fiber for her undergraduate degrees, Merkel-Hess received an MFA in metalsmithing from the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Professor Chunghi Choo.
Merkel-Hess creates what she calls “landscape reports.” Working with reeds, paper cords, and a mixture similar to papier-mâché, Merkel-Hess creates sculptural basket-like forms inspired by the natural surroundings in Iowa.
– Craft In America, Nature
Focusing her work on two materials – tracing paper and wheat paste – Mary Button Durell produces surreal and organic paper works that can range from 6 inches to 10 feet. She takes her inspiration out of the desire to simplify and explore the challenges of working with limited materials. Tracing paper also allows her to explore the properties of light and translucency – a distinctive and dynamic aspect of her work. The excitement and curiosity comes with pushing the limits with one medium and the continuous process of reconfiguring and reshaping the paper in new directions. Themes of contrasting forces also carry through her work – fragility and >strength, opacity and translucence, heaviness and lightness.