It's funny how things turned out. Karen Kelsky of Paper Demon Jewelry's passion for Japanese washi paper began with a trip to Japan 25 years ago as an anthropologist. There, she learned to make 3D paper dolls from Japanese friends, a traditional paper maker and his wife. That eventually led her to collect paper and making her wearable paper art.

Her earlier efforts include tiny folded pieces but she is now into large sculptural pieces amongst other things. The paper she uses comes not only from Japan but other places such as Thailand, India and Italy. The paper is specially treated and sealed with polymer and heat to make it durable. Her supply of paper comes from decades of paper collecting so she is able to do special orders as there are hundreds of colors and patterns available. Above are her new collection of beautiful pins.

I especially like the details she puts into her work as she sometimes incorporates  kimono fabric, vintage bamboo, vintage French and Japanese embroidery threads and even Japanese mizuhiki paper cord as she did for the sculptural riveted cuff bracelet below.

Her Party in a Box necklace below left uses sparkly mizuhiki cord which does play up the design name!

But my all time favorites are her new line of wire and washi paper jewelry. They look like sculptured stained glass work, don't they?

For the outstanding Mist and Mountains bib necklace design below, she fiber-wrapped the wire so it resembled bark. The washi paper is " handmade chirimen washi (mulberry) paper from Japan, an artisans paper that is gathered into a kind of fabric-like crepe paper. Chirimen is the paper usually used for Japanese dolls."

Find out more and catch up with Karen on her blog. She has a "blended" family. Her two young children go to Japanese immersion school in Oregon.

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