The Art of Papercraft by Helen Hiebert | Book Review

“Paper is a magical and diverse material… . Paper can be both a surface (used in practical and artistic ways) and a work of art in and of itself. This book is printed on paper, and paper can also be folded, twisted, torn, and transformed into new shapes and creations. You can even make your own paper by recycling sheets of paper or from plant leaves, stalks, and seeds.”

Paper artist and teacher, Helen Hiebert compiles a one-of-kind collection of 40 unique projects, each using just one sheet of paper. Combining decorative paper techniques like marbling, stamping, and stenciling with dimensional techniques like origami, cutting, folding, quilling, stretching, weaving, and pop-ups, The Art of Papercraft offers a rich variety of projects that will delight crafters, artists, and designers alike.

45. The Art of Papercraft

If you’ve been following my social media channels it shouldn’t be a surprise why I read this book. Always on the hunt for new crafting techniques, I loved how the author presents the art of crafting with paper to the reader.

Hiebert begins by introducing the history of paper, its properties, and its evolving use. Every country developed its own technique of creating paper with unique characteristics inherent to its origins. Traditional handmade papers continue to be a specialised artform and crafts people are working hard to keep this industry alive. There are many non-profits across the world that support and develop handmade papermaking as an artistic medium.

Next, the author describes the different techniques of papercraft such as folding, cutting, quilling, stitching. She lists various tools available to crafters, including speciality tools and materials to help create a refined product. The book introduces their purpose and explains the pros and cons of using one vs. the other. She also shares DIY recipes for glues and adhesives.

Created by various designers, the one-sheet projects shown in the book are broadly categorised under folding, cutting and construction. Each project is visually explained with step-by-step illustrations and includes materials and tools required, paper sizes to work with, and ideal paper weights to use. She wraps up with a brief lesson in papermaking techniques as well as surface treatments. The project templates are available at the end of the book with sizing information.

The author has showcased profiles of contributing paper artists in this book and I was fascinated by the artistry that goes into their creations. Each of them has taken papercraft to a unique level and is working passionately to develop it further.

The USP of this book is that each of the projects are simple enough for a beginner while being sophisticated for the seasoned crafter. And for this reason I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys working with paper. Whether you take up a papercraft project alone, as a group of friends, with kids, or in a community, this will feed all your creative cravings and leave you with a stunning piece of art at the end.

The Art of Papercraft by Helen Hiebert. Due to be published on 15th February 2022 by Storey Publishing. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Storey Publishing.

Book 45 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: I wanted to try a project from this book for the bookish craft pairing and this pop up alphabet seemed interesting. I’ve done a fair amount of pop-up and kirigami but not one involving alphabets.
I used the template from the book as designed by the author herself and put them together to form words. This is cut on 220gsm cardstock – not an ideal weight but having limited colour and weight combinations, I make do with what’s available.

45. The Art of Papercraftb

About the Author: Helen Hiebert is a papermaker, artist, and author of books on papermaking and paper crafts, including The Papermaker’s Companion and Papermaking with Garden Plants and Common Weeds. She teaches papermaking classes and workshops, writes a weekly blog, and is the Paper Talk podcast host. She lives near Vail, Colorado.
You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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