Papillon Press is Madeleine and Vernon Wiering, a father/daughter printmaking team. The duo call themselves “design archaeologists” as they dig through the past to find designs and decorated papers to resurrect, reproducing and reimagining these often hidden examples of beauty.
Vernon was a bookbinder for over 20 years before starting Papillon with Madeleine, and during that time, he built up a collection of antiquarian endpapers. During her childhood, Madeleine worked in the bindery, and accumulated a knowledge of and love for the art of the endpaper. Many of the ones that they have collected over the years fall into the category of “domino papers”; a version of historical decorative papers, generally made with a pattern printed by woodblock. When they teamed up in 2017 to create Papillon, they did so with the goal of making these designs accessible to the public by reproducing them using historical methods like letterpress and block-printing.
“We have found that patterns are universally loved. They are versatile, and often thematically ambiguous, making them attractive to a diverse audience,” say the printmakers. Papillon’s historical pattern collection now includes 11 printed designs which they print using various methods from hand-block-printing, to large cylinder press and letterpress. Each method has a different purpose, as they create a range of items including greeting cards, notebooks, and large art prints. Some of their blocks are hand-carved from wood, “these are beautiful and rustic, but also are more fragile and require more maintenance”, and others are magnesium dies, made to last for thousands of prints without chipping or deteriorating.
“Our main goal is to bring beauty into the world,” describe Madeleine and Vernon. Besides printmaking, they do this through making sure they use materials from businesses which pay their employees a fair and living wage, as well as materials which are kind to the environment. The duo also donate a percentage of their online sales to a different organisation each month, putting their money where their mouths are. “This is part of the reason we’re thrilled to be part of People of Print, as we strive to further our relationships with our communities each and every day,” they conclude.
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June 10, 2021 at 06:03AM