I just came back from my first visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and participated in in the Surface Design Association Conference for the very first time.  The conference normally takes place in Kansas City, but this year it was in Minneapolis within the University of Minnesota East Campus.  Within the massive University of Minnesota campus there is the Textile Center, art galleries, like the Regis and even a Frank Gehry building.

Delving into the world of fiber arts was a bit of a side step for both me and Paper Connection.  I thought :  What’s “in”  in the fiber world? ; what the latest craze?… Around here in little Rhody,  the Weaver’s Guild members’ interests have been peaked with making shifu…touched upon in a recent blog.   See below. And over the years Paper Connection has had various fiber artist customers, who work mainly with paper- like  paper quilters.  Check out Lucinda Carlstrom‘s work; she’s phenomenal.  Only in the last couple months I have acquired a lovely book called “Paper Textiles”, by Christina Leitner.  Reading Ms. Leitner’s book plus some other fiber art books from Japan, encouraged me to think deeper and attempt to round out my paper knowledge with the story of paper as a textile.  Stitched, sewn, stapled or glued, for centuries paper has been made into cloth or has been part of textile.

Just last week, while at the SDA conference, I learned about joomchi– the Korean art of paper felting.  I can’t get enough of Jiyoung Chung‘s joomchi pieces.  Jiyoung lives in my town, Providence!, and she happened to be teaching at the SDA conference, and had her work exhibited at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.  Too many coincidences.

MCBA Joomchi by Jiyoung Chung

Joomchi by Jiyoung Chung

Looking back to last week, I have to say the first day was truly the highlight of the trip to the Twin Cities.  Events planned for that first day was a staff meeting and evening presentation at Wet Paint: a very loyal, faithful, and consistent customer for years, located in St. Paul. Beth Bergman, the owner, and her wonderful staff was gracious to host me at the store, so I could introduce the techniques of hand-papermaking and paper textiles to a bunch of eager fiber artists via SDA conference, as well as to local, Wet Paint customers.  The Wet Paint staff was not only interested in my paper-preach, but they are all very interesting and talented artists, who I wish I could have spent more time with.   After the first day of my trip, I was quite fortunate to spend time with Ann Snowbeck, a buyer at Wet Paint, who is just a sweetie pie; most importantly… I realized she and I have the same (great) taste in accessories!

More Twin City tales coming soon.

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