When I was a schoolgirl I remembered a fun craft project we did in art class where we made paste paper for book covers.  It was a lot of fun making patterns in the paste.  Check out Lili's Bookbinding blog for a great introduction to the history of paste paper and for the tutorial. Who knew paste paper could be made into jewelry?  Stunning jewelry at that.

Meet Karen Krieger of Paper Julep.  She is a Pennsylvanian artisan who creates beautiful paste paper jewelry using Japanese chiyogami paper as well as her own hand painted paste papers.  These are mounted on archival museum board and sealed with acrylic lacquer.

While any paper will work, Karen prefers Arches text wove or Canson Mi-teints colored paper.  She also favors paste mixed from Pillsbury Softasilk cake flour which is then colored using acrylic paint.

She said in an interview on Ann Martin's blog, All Things Paper, "I tend to make elaborate paste paper which starts with an under-drawing of pastel, followed by multiple layers of acrylic tinted paste. I will also add pigment powders, primarily metallic, and occasionally go back to add more pastel once I've finished the desired composition or effect."

Karen actually started out as a metal smith.  But when her adopted daughter, Janet, arrived from China, it became increasingly difficult for her to work at her bench. Up until that point, she worked only with metal so the decision to transfer from a monochromatic area to one infused with color was a bold move for her.  The chiyogami paper especially reminded her of the etched metal patterns she used in her metal jewelry work.  Being light, portable, environmentally friendly were pluses!

Karen has also developed one of a kind 3D wearable art pieces made by cutting, shaping, piercing and hand sewing paste paper. Simply amazing!

Karen sells her earrings and pendants to small boutiques, museum gift stores and galleries in the US. Karen also has an Etsy store which stocks both her paper and metal jewelry.

Karen also teaches how to make her awesome paste paper work!

Hat tip to Ann Martin on All Things Paper  for this find!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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