A Paper Trail

Rappville resident Cathy Cook has always been a maker, even building her own small home as a young woman, extending it with walls of bottles after marrying and having a family. Her focus these days is on creating functional and decorative woven paper works, Hence her label: Paper Paper Australia.

It started with making pinatas, a home schooling activity for her three children. Making papier mache was inexpensive and the ingredients on hand. In a troubled time Cathy prayed for guidance and was led to focus on paper arts. She added quilling and paper weaving (or paper basketry) to her repertoire.

Cathy says ‘If you can make it with cane, you can make it with paper.’ The difference is the look and feel of her baskets – colourful with a sort of tie dye effect. She’s best known for her egg baskets, but weaves bowls, handbags, baskets, toilet roll holders and more.

She and others save newspapers that Cathy cuts into 10cm strips, dyes, then rolls into tubes around a welding rod. She rolls 50 tubes per hour and has a dedicated room with shelving burgeoning with tubes. She joins the tubes as she weaves.

The studio is also replete with cardboard. Her handbags have a covered double cardboard base which houses the vertical weft ribs and soft rope handles. There are even cute paper tube feet on each bottom corner; delightful attention to detail.

Cathy’s quilling-decorated mirrors are bold and bright, and a popular item both at her Etsy online shop (search for egg baskets) and at the Rotary Kyogle Bazaar.

Cathy now wants to develop items that move. She makes mobiles but would like to develop products with moving parts. She’s thinking perhaps puppets. You can follow Cathy’s Paper Paper trail on Facebook.