As a papermaker myself, it may seem a bit odd to have not featured a fellow papermaker yet in my Artist Spotlight series. Well, the time has come! I'd like to introduce you to Jan Moulder. I've known of Jan for years through the Papermaking group on Yahoo. This wonderful group discusses problems, ideas, solutions pertainant to the world of handmade paper. We each then do different things with the paper. Jan makes the most amazing lamps from paper. Yes, lamps! Her jewelry is pretty cool, too. So, sit back and enjoy this look into her artistic world and please visit her site/blog when you're ready to see more.
Where do you live?
I started with a handful of twigs and a handful of hickory bark. The bark was cooked in lye for a couple hours and then rinsed and beaten in my Hollander beater to make a pulp. After I created the framework using the twigs and Apoxie Sculpt I made fresh sheets of paper that were wrapped around the frame while wet. As the paper dries it shrinks creating a very taut and firm surface. Then the fun begins! After stamping it with a resist in a scroll pattern, this piece was dyed with fiber reactive dyes and then embellished with leaves and lichens.
Naming the lamps is always a special time. I meditate on each lamp letting it tell me its name and the message it brings. Elfin Song’s message is:
Join in the dance.
It’s all just about movement and flow.
Each step originates from the one that comes before.
You don’t need to know where you’re going.
You just need to take the next step.
What is it about this piece that makes it so special to you?
This was the first piece I’d done with the stamping process. But, what makes it particularly special is that I made the stamp from one of my grandfather’s woodcarvings. It’s such an honor to bring our works together.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes mostly from the natural world, but I’m also influenced by fantasy and fairy tales and history. Also, I love Celtic music…Loreena McKennitt, Blackmore’s Night. And I also listen to jazz and classical. Love Pink Martini and Secret Garden!
What is your studio or work space like?
My studio takes up half of our basement. The back room is my wet studio where I make paper and other messes and the front room, which is carpeted has a fireplace, is my dry studio. This is where I make my jewelry and other dry works and have my computer and printers. The other half of the basement is my husband’s photography studio. He does photography for other artists.
Do you have any special art tips for others?
Just go for it! Plunge in and take some risks. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are your best teachers.
What is the best creative advice you have been given?
Elaine Koretsky, a well known papermaker, once said that a ‘good’ piece of paper is a piece of paper that serves the purpose for which it was made. That was such a freeing statement for me. I had created all sorts of rules for my work which had put me in a box creatively. That statement made it okay for me to get out of the box.
How can you be contacted about your work?
Well, there are lots of options: