paper companion
paper companion

Andrea stitches papers solely by hands. A blank page that invites for further creating, her notebooks offer many possibilities, both in making and its use.

Hi Andrea, could you tell us a bit more about who you are and how are you currently feeling/living/creating?

I am 23 year old with a six months old baby. I am currently in a phase where I am trying to find a balance between creating and being a mom. Last year I took a step back from photography and towards a paper. It is a way of cleansing after completing my studies. I have always needed to do something with my hands. This time I just changed the medium.

How did you start creating notebooks?

Most of my classmates left lectures with notes on their hard drives, for me that was always a notebook and a pen. I like to write things down and plan in a calendar that I sketch for myself. Most of the notepads did not fulfil my expectations. The diaries and calendars limited me with their grids and lines. So I have tried it myself. I made my first notebook, not really knowing what I was doing, but somehow it worked! My friend filled one up and asked for another. And that is when I started thinking about the notebooks more.

What is the process of making one of your notebooks?

I go from choosing the paper to preparing the paper for sewing, to the actual sewing, glueing and then the finalization. I am still not sure which part I enjoy the most. If I prepare the paper one day, I can either prepare another one the next day or start sewing. I still don’t think of it as something monotonous. Since I don’t always feel like doing the same I work intuitively. 

How do you perceive the paper itself? Why is it important?

I became really fascinated, once I learned about the diversity of paper and how differently they can work with each other. Since there are so many types, it would be boring to use just one. Of course, there is only a certain amount of papers that one notebook can hold, but I can always mix enough to avoid making a notebook that is dull or plain. For me, a paper has both practical and aesthetic quality. It is a base for a reflection of a personality and it invites to an activity that is completely natural for us – to write, scribble or draw.

What else matters in its creation?

I would say being very thorough throughout the whole process but maybe that is just my case. For sure time and certain continuity matter. All the phases in creating such notebook have their reason and certain time of “ageing”. You cannot fool that. And that is why it becomes precious when the process slows down, the value of the product rises. 

What do your notebooks mean to you, for whom and for what are they made?

It is a companion that can be used for anything. Its white pages do not predestine it for something specific, they broaden its use. I see the notebook as a reflection of a person who uses it. The design is made to be simple, to highlight the paper itself and therefore to let the individual decide what to do with it. 

Every day, week or a month can take a different form for each person, and so the notebook is filled less or more. I was never keen on the way the commonly used notebooks are designed. They seem to define how much space a person should get for a realization in a certain period of time. I have always found that very limiting. To sketch a calendar in my own rhythm, that suits just me is something very freeing. In between those calendar pages, I also fill my notebook with stuff that I am currently working on.

Can your notebook be used as a base for craft? Do you know for what are the people using it?

The notebook is only in diapers. I would compare it to my six months old daughter. People I know of use it for notes, for glueing in stuff, marking, sketching. And what is not now can still happen.

Where do you see the future of your notebooks? Are you planning to continue working with paper?

I like when a person stays consistent in his style. For now, I am doing the notebooks in my own style. Sometimes I find myself on the edge of making them more accessible for the market. But people tend to be similar to each other and I believe there are those who are similar to me and they will like the notebook in a way I like it – in a way I create it.

How do you perceive crafts? Does their meaning change in today’s world?

Many things today are produced fast and massively – without any difference. I tend to tell people with a smile that not one of my notebooks would meet the same one along the way. Each of them you get your hands on is specific and original. By mixing different types of papers to individual blocks, with various colour combinations and formats, every one of them is unlike any other. Handcraft has its magic and flaws, which after all make it the craft and simply human.

Photos: Andrea K

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