The author of the recently published book, Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking, will appear on November 14th at the Pawtucket Public Library for an artist talk, paper making demonstration, and book signing. Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker and author who recently spent a Fulbright fellowship in Korea studying the traditional paper art of Hanji. Hanji Unfurled is the first English-language book ever published on the subject. Drawing on her experiences from meeting artisans and scholars from all areas of the country, Lee weaves personal anecdotes of her own discoveries with a detailed and enlightening description of the long papermaking process. The story of the high-quality paper begins in the forests of the Korean countryside, where the inner bark of the dak (mulberry tree) is harvested for its fine, strong fibers. After the fiber is processed and cured, the paper is formed through the traditional sheet formation style, which involves intricate bamboo screens that leave behind no discernible grain formation.
While in Korea, Ms. Lee also observed and studied the craft of noyeokgae, the weaving of paper baskets made from finely spun cords of hanji. This practice has been influential in Lee’s own art, samples of which can be viewed at her website, aimeelee.net. Upon her return to the United States Lee established the first Korean paper studio in North America, where she facilitates workshops and lectures spreading the knowledge and popularity of this fascinating art form.
The November 14th event, titled “Sustaining a Life in Paper,” will run from 6:00 pm to 8:00 at the Pawtucket Public Library at 13 Summer Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860. The event is cosponsored by “The Artists Loop,” a Providence-area monthly program for artists and art enthusiasts, and by Paper Connection, a specialty paper company located in Providence.