Eric and Martin Demaine

Eric and Martin Demaine

Papermaking was one The Berkshire’s earliest industries.  As early as 1799, Zenas Crane, third generation paper maker, opened the Crane Paper Company along the banks of the Housatonic River in Dalton MA.  It is still there today, making paper for the US mint among other products.

Berkshire MuseumIn 1903, The Cranes founded The Berkshire Museum www.berkshiremuseum.org in nearby Pittsfield MA. 110 years later, the Museum is celebrating with a delightful show called “PaperWorks: The Art and Science of an Extraordinary Material”.  The show traces the history of many traditions of paper from many countries.  The best part of the show is a look at present day artistry in this expressive medium.

Erik and Martin Demaine

Erik and Martin Demaine

Called ”Earthtone”, this work is the product of the father and son team of Martin Demaine and Erik Demaine.   Eric is professor at MIT and a MacArthur Grant recipient for his work with paper.  This is one of several sculptures made out of Mie-tientes paper.  If you have ever used it, you’ll recognize it isn’t the most receptive of surfaces for such intricate folding and bending, making these sculptures genius too.

Erik and Martin Demaine

Erik and Martin Demaine

“Blue Ocean Series” is another work by the same artists.  These are found in a section of the exhibit devoted to problem solving.  “Researchers with an eye of an engineer, a mathematician or a biomedical engineer can translate paper techniques into other fields to eventually solve real world problems.”

Andrea Dezso

Andrea Dezso

This is one of a series of box-like books that have been created from cut paper and thread to make a series of shadow boxes, a world within a world.  The artist, Andrea Dezso from Romania, describes these as “tunnel books”, like looking into the lighted window of a house.

Guy Laramee

Guy Laramee

Guy Laramee, Canada, “Jade”, 2010.  This intriguing set of books have been carved and painted right through their covers and pages.

Museum paper play tableSorry about the focus!  Mid-way through the show is a craft table with recycled books and a how-to chart (top, left).  Stop, sit and try to make your own artist book by folding the pages as shown.

Corrugated paper circlesIn another gallery, this inspirational play station.  Grab some circles and make your own sculpture – fun for any age.  What shapes would you make?

Samantha Huang

Samantha Huang

This shaggy book by Samantha Huang from Taiwan is called “Read Between the Lines”.  When you walk around to the other side, the title makes sense, the “Aha!” moment.

Samantha Huang

Samantha Huang

Reading Between the Lines” is my favorite because of the wit, the delicacy of the project and its’ intricacy – I can’t imagine the infinite patience to cut each page and pull out the lines keeping everything smooth and tidy.  It achieves great movement and intriguing texture.

Cheers!

About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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