Paper, like cloth, is fiber: paper can be stitched, fused, glued, torn or collaged; and paper can serve as the substrate for all manners of surface design.
I first combined fabric and paper together in 2006. After a meeting of my art quilt group in Belgium, I cleaned up the kitchen and removed the damp, grounds-filled paper filter from the coffee maker, rinsed it and set it aside to dry. Later, I looked at the soft brownish patterning and found the marks intriguing; I remembered the good friends and fellow artists I’d shared that pot of coffee with and the lively discussions we had that day.
Finding the coffee-mottled paper pretty in the way that the image of an old woman expresses the beauty of achievements, experience and wisdom, I collaged that filter, plus a few more, on an art quilt, Iron Lace, about a strong elderly woman. I found that particular woman beautiful for the history I imagined she had lived.
Years later, I revisited used coffee filters and started making installations and collages from the filters, which in turn has led to experiments with collaging other papers, including hanji hand-made mulberry papers I dyed 30 years ago when I studied paper arts in Seoul, Korea.