Paper is sensuous. Think of the love letters of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Henri Matisse's Jazz cutouts, William Morris wallpaper, Samuel Pepys's journal....With its many textures, weights, weaves, colors, and designs, paper adds dimension to our lives. Paperie: The Art of Writing and Wrapping with Paper, written by Bo Niles in conjunction with Kate's Paperie, explores that dimension and widens our understanding of the role of paper throughout history and its importance in communicating with books, letters, cards, currency, wrapping paper, room decoration, and anything else you can imagine.
Paper is a gracious and hospitable medium; while it can easily be transformed through folding, cutting, printing, or tearing, it also has the power to transform through wrapping and decorating. Paperie documents our relationship with paper, describing its creation from wood fibers and cotton rags, the use of it in packaging and printing, and the way in which a simple sheet can inspire the imagination to artistic creativity. The first section of the book, "Transforming Paper," describes the ways in which societies have adapted paper to their uses throughout history, most notably through writing, printing, and the creation of stationery, envelopes, greeting cards, books, and journals. The second section, "Transformed by Paper," deals with the more artistic uses of paper and the ways in which it affects each surface to which it is applied, whether that surface is a box, lamp, wall, floor, kite, or banner. One of the most stylish ways paper can be used is in wrapping, and Paperie describes different folds and presentations, as well as how the Japanese tradition of gift-giving places more importance on the wrapping than the gift itself.
Like Holly Golightly's Tiffany's, Kate's Paperie has a remarkable atmosphere. Everything in the store is made from or used with paper, and the moment you enter you can tell something unique is happening there. It is a complete paper experience, from the corrugated cardboard walls all the way up to its paper accordion drop-ceiling -- rough sheets of multicolored papers line the walls, brightly designed handmade greeting cards await selection in circular carousels, handmade photo albums and journals lie in stacks, all begging to be caressed, fondled, and chosen for a special use. Paperie is the distillation of years of paper craft knowledge, creativity, and flair. It not only provides information on the best paper choices for each project, but it teaches new techniques for wrapping and decorating, and inspires the letter-writer, journal-keeper, and would-be artist in all of us.