Monday, March 5, 2012

Cave: Handmade Paper & the Artful Book

Left to right, Amanda Degener and Bridget O'Malley (both facing camera) speak with visitors after the lecture.

Books and paper samples were on display to be handled after the lecture.

This past Saturday, Amanda Degener and Bridget O’Malley of Cave Paper presented a lecture at the MIA. Cave: Handmade Paper & the Artful Book showcased Artists’ Books created using cave paper as well as the personal work of Degener and O’Malley. Friends since 1985 and business partners since 1994, Degener explains, “We are two very different people but what we have in common is that working with paper is our life’s work”. This common goal has continued to serve them as they work side by side to create one of a kind paper in high demand among book artists around the world.

At this point in the lecture, a video showed the physical and monotonous process of making paper. “It’s nice to do the same thing over and over and have that connection with the earth.” Degener continues, “Call it meditation if you will…” This process starting with raw materials and ending with sometimes five layers of dye is nothing short of a labor of love.

After showing a series of images of Artists’ Books using Cave Paper, Degener and O’Malley go on to explain that the thing they are most proud of is their internship program. They have hosted more than 80 interns accomplished in a variety of different media. They feel it is there responsibility to pass on their knowledge to a younger generation so that they may continue the craft of papermaking.

Degener closed by reading Essence by Stuart Kestenbaum, she explains, “as artists, you boil things down to their essence”. That is what Cave Paper is all about.

For more information on Cave Paper, visit:

For information on Art-a-Whirl, a papermaking event mentioned during the lecture, visit:

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