A Kleenex box is made of paper, and on that paper is a pattern. That pattern was made by a person, as was the paper, and it turns out that the paper and the pattern are inseparable, since the creation of the pattern lay in the craft of making the paper. As it turns out, the person is Faith Harrison, and when thinking about the legacy of paper and craft-as-art, the work of the paper craftspeople of the 20th Century must be taken into consideration. Here’s more from Yale University Press:
Because they are experimenters and accustomed to viewing their work as something to be used by others, humility and a pragmatic orientation are common attributes. Professional paper artists and artisans are found in all regions of the US. Many artists included in Pattern and Flow were aesthetically influenced by their home environments, whether natural or urban. They did not adopt the styles of contemporary art movements, apart from a few drawn to the graphic art of the American counterculture or mid-century abstract art. Rather, most found inspiration in their direct encounters with the decorative processes, materials, and methods. All were motivated by beauty and technical perfection. Some took a historical approach, creating traditionally patterned papers with paints made from traditional, often organic, ingredients; others preferred to create modern versions of patterns using modern materials. Each of these groups created both one-of-a-kind papers and multiple sheets with a similar design, or so-called production papers. Other artists took a highly experimental approach, making one-of-a-kind papers using nontraditional materials—such as industrial paints and cooking condiments—to create unusual visual effects. Many of the artists defy categorization and worked, or are still working, in a variety of techniques and styles. The techniques used to create the papers include marbling, paste paper, and other various painting and printmaking approaches. While these methods are grounded in the traditional decorated paper techniques practiced globally for centuries, this new generation both rediscovered and reinvented paper decoration and surface design with a fresh vitality and freedom of expression. The result has been an efflorescence of new and glorious designs which found their way into the daily fabric of our lives.
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