Inspiration: White paper treasure

Last year I was doing an art-workshop in a school here in Amsterdam. The kids (aged 8 to 11) were both excited and a little reserved about what I would ask them to do.
They had no idea what to expect. Would I have them paint or maybe do clay modelling?

When I took out the material we were going to work with, several children could not constrain an outcry of disappointment.

White paper.

Honestly? The paper they would use to draw upon and print on and that was basically worthless?

Luckily almost every classroom has one of those digital black boards nowadays, so I could show them a few examples of what can be made out of 'ordinary' white paper.

Pretty soon the pictures I showed of Danish artist Peter Callesen's work got the room completely silent, except for some audible gasps of admiration.
Here are some projects I showed them:

Peter Callesen - Distant Wish
Photograph courtesy of

Peter Callesen - Impenetrable Castle
Photograph courtesy of

Peter Callesen - Looking Back
Photograph courtesy of

Peter Callesen - White Window Web
Photograph courtesy of

To have the kids start working on their own projects as soon as possible, I focussed on this one artist for the workshop. But boy, there's a lot of white paper treasure out there!
Look at this:

Jeff Nishinaka - Brooklyn Bridge
Photograph courtesy of

Brian Chan - Hissing Roach
Photograph by Brian Chan

Calvin Nicholls - Lion (Follet Collection)
Photograph courtesy of

Stephanie Beck - Harbor
Photograph courtesy of

Elsa Mora - Bee
Photograph by Elsa Mora

What I love the most about artists working with white paper, is that they show that to make art you do not need a whole lot of expensive materials. A sheet of paper, pair of scissors and some glue, that's all you need.
Well... and the ability to see the opportunity in a material as ordinary as white paper.

If you love paper art as much as I do, you will surely enjoy regularly checking the following Blogs:

Strictly Paper: "Highlighting the many creative uses of paper" - curated by Jasmine Wilson and Daniel Scheibel. (the Strictly paper Webshop sells great books about paper art)

Upon a Fold: "A little peek into the world of paper artistry" - based in Australia and curated by Justine and Matt. (also GREAT goodies for sale in the Upon a Fold Webshop)


My name is Jana, this is where i collect things