Tuesday loves ...paper

Yesterday was a rain day. The equivalent of a snow day but not as much fun. So apologies for the lack of content.

So back to today... paper.
Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese courtier is generally credited with the invention of paper. There is evidence that his paper may not have been the first but clever man that he was he got noticed enough that he is the first recorded papermaker. I could go on about the whole paper making process all day but I'll stop myself here. Suffice is to say that when he first came up with the idea over 2000 years ago I doubt he foresaw the lengths to which it would be stretched in the name of art. 



The backdrop of this Bergdorf Goodman window display is a piece of art in itself. Of course that's the entire point of the exercise. To draw in and entice the customer, to lift the shopping experience above the mundane.  Its also a feat of engineering or a lot of superglue.

The giant telephone in the background is made entirely from paper
 
As is the film themed display below and the giant lobster



Molo, a Canadian design company, is one company with paper very much at its core. Its an offshoot of Forsythe and McAllen a small architecture firm in Vancouver. They design a range of products made entirely from paper, but strong enough to be used as seating



 
Softseating (above)


Urchin softlight. You can see a video on youtube here of how it works. Its an incredibly simple but very clever design.


 The softwall, again made from paper, comes in a few different forms.Above is the natural undyed paper wall.
 
 Here an integrated flexible LED lighting strip turns the wall into a luminous object.


You can see the honeycomb structure of the softwall  above. From what I can see there are some limitations, for one, you would never have straight walls in your house. The softwall appears to always need to be curved. Not that I'm saying that is necessarily a bad thing.

But all in all Molo have created not only functional products but beautiful pieces of art too. And they even manage to be environmentally friendly along the way. 50% of the raw material is from recycled fibre and the end product is 100% recyclable.

Of course Molo aren't the first designers to make furniture from something other than timber.


Frank Gehry created the Wiggle Chair in the 1970's, made entirely from corrugated cardboard. And since then there have been copious copies both good and bad.

Peter Calleson is another paper fan who I just recently discovered. Frankly I found it really hard to select just a few images to show you. So here are some of my favourites from his A4 papercuts (all made using one sheet of A4 paper).

Angel 2006



The short distance between time and shadow






Cradle (above)

Do not enter


He also does works on a larger scale, some are replicates of his smaller works.


Alive but Dead (above)

White Diary - made from an A5 notebook

A detail from White Diary

For me the most beautiful parts of these sculptures are the details, when you look closely the things that are suddenly revealed to you. How he uses the details to comment on the whole. To tell a story beyond just a pretty paper cut out

We've come a long way from beating mulberry bark and bamboo fibres into pulp, but I like to think that along the way we havn't lost our wonder at a simple thing called paper.


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