The other day in Anthropologie, I stumbled upon a life-size ostrich crafted mainly with coarse rolls and rough strips of paper. Intrigued, I began researching paper crafts and paper sculpture. A vast subject, no question. But there is one intricate piece I have to single out: a George III rolled paper tea caddy, circa 1780, from William Word in Atlanta. Doesn't it look a bit like it could be contemporary?
Actually, paper filigree crafts were immensely popular two and three hundred years ago. In 1988 the New York Times ran a story explaining that during the 18th century shops across Britain sold women how-to instructions along with the myriad multi-color papers needed to complete a project. The example above is exceptional with painted and gilt hand-rolled scrolls.
One of the V & A's latest titles, Chinese Ceramics by Stacey Pierson, looks like a good essential for the design library. In addition to the iconic pieces we expect to see such as Ming vases, celadons, and famille rose, this book also covers 20th and 21st century ceramics including propaganda ware and studio pottery.
Related past post: Mary Delany.