Monday, September 16, 2019

A Collaboration: Pandey and Nash "Eclipse"

front and back cover of Hand Papermaking magazine/summer 2019 issue
(with Robert Rauschenberg and Ken Tyler collaborating in France in 1973  on the back cover)
Catherine Nash and Radha Pandey
Eclipse, 2016
10" x 8"
edition of 150 for
Hand Papermaking magazine portfolio 12
"Intergenerationality: Collaborations in Handmade Paper"

Exciting!  On the front cover of the summer 2019 issue of "Hand Papermaking" is the collaborative effort of myself and the talented Radha Pandey: we created an edition of over 150 for the "Intergenerational" portfolio for Hand Papermaking magazine in 2016. Fifteen teams of collaborators worked on the portfolio. 

15 teams of collaborators created editions for 
"Intergenerationality: Collaborations in handmade Paper" portfolio
Hand Papermaking magazine

Collaboration:  Aesthetic Considerations

As a starting point, we shared our personal art, studio practice, and philosophical interests with each other. 

spiritual/science in tandem
geometrical diagrams/sacred geometry superimposed on landscape
experiences of nature
the metaphysics of place and memory

natural processes of erosion, sedimentation how one affects the other.  
water to soil to water
ownership of land - borders/mapping - 
      how changed over time vs. physically as a natural landscape
under the surface

Discussing the possibilities for collaboration, we discovered common ground in our artistic content as it relates to earth, water, and air, both scientifically and poetically. Eclipse explores a blended interpretation of the concepts we are engaged with in our own work as individual artists and papermakers.

The tangible dialogues of the elements of space and sky, water and soil, together in tandem with human interactions with our planet conjured up ideas of:
  • boundaries
  • land ownership
  • a human experience of nature and in nature
  • the metaphysics of place and memory
  • the natural processes of erosion, sedimentation
  • the physical landscape and its relationship to the mental landscape.

These ideas became the focus of our collaborative piece. Whittling down these concepts to their essence, we utilized our materials as the way to carry metaphor. Our collaborative work unfolded in a unique way: as we spoke together about our individual interests in materials and processes, the piece evolved to embody our shared concerns, materializing differently from how we would create individually.  

Radha and Catherine hand pounding cooked/rinsed gampi bark fiber in prep for our edition. 
The Morgan Conservatory of Paper in Cleveland graciously let us use their facilities! Thank you, Morgan!

Collaboration:  Technical Details

We undertook our collaborative portfolio project at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio in June of 2016, using hand and naginata beaten gampi bark as a paper fiber, internal colorants of filtered and ground earth samples from Sedona, AZ, as well as wax and a watercolor paint derived from earth minerals. Our processes included nagashizuki (Japanese-style) sheet-forming, pulp painting, external dyeing, paper cutting, and stitching to create a cohesive artwork that expresses our shared vision.

Our collaborative three days working together in Ohio came to an end and we divided up the remaining surface tasks between the two of us.  Back in my studio, I (Catherine) printed two wax circles on each sheet. With a very wide Oriental hake brush, I painted a bokashi [gradation] wash onto each sheet using a special watercolor paint made of dark blue sodalite. When all were dry, I carefully ironed out the excess wax out of the sheets leaving a wonderful resultant darker circle. I mailed the edition in process back to Radha in Cleveland. 

Edition of "Eclipse" in progress

The satisfaction of a complete edition!

Radha cut a smaller circle out from within the waxed circle below the horizon to bring part of the “earth” up into the “sky”. Painting them with several coats of the same blue sodalite paint, she brought forth a rich contrast so that the “earth moon” stood out in the “sky.” PVA glue was used to adhere the circles to the sheets using a template to help place the circles in the same spot on each sheet. 

 It was a great honor to work with my friend and colleague, the talented artist and papermaker Radha Pandey.  We are so grateful to Hand Papermaking magazine for this wonderful opportunity!  Thank you!

Catherine Nash and Radha Pandey
Eclipse, 2016
10" x 8"
edition of 150 for
Hand Papermaking magazine portfolio 12
"Intergenerationality: Collaborations in Handmade Paper" 


Radha Pandey is a papermaker and letterpress printer. She earned her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book where she was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She has Western, Eastern and Islamic-world Papermaking techniques with Timothy Barrett and teaches book arts classes in India, Europe and the US.

Her graduate thesis work- a hand-printed book of botanical anatomies titled Anatomia Botanica won the MICA Book Award at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair in 2014, and received an Honorable Mention at the 15th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design.

In 2018, her book Deep Time won the Joshua Heller Memorial Award at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair.  
Her artists books are held in over 40 public and private collections internationally, including the Library of Congress and Yale University.

Currently, Radha is working on an artist book inspired by Mughal miniature paintings of botanicals from the 17th century, for which all the paper will be hand made in the traditional Indo-Islamic style.

Radha will be leading an exciting arts tour in India of "behind the scenes of various working artists and craftspeople" from Dec. 19, 2020 - Jan. 2nd, 2021.   Please visit her blog at  Rice - Paper - Tree  for more information and to get on her mailing list.

View her art at

Catherine Nash is an artist who freely mixes media in her work to express her ideas.  Specializing in Japanese and Western hand papermaking, encaustic painting and mixed media drawing, Nash is a teaching artist who balances her studio work with artist-in-resident teaching, lectures and workshops across the United States, as well as in professional studios and universities in eight European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan.  She has published 4 educational DVDs on the art of papermaking and has just self published a book that surveys international artists entitled “Authentic Visual Voices” that includes her interviews with 28 international artists about their creative ideas.   Her work has been included by invitation into numerous national and international exhibitions, most recently in Brazil, Chile, Tasmania, England, and France.  Her love of travel and different cultures has inspired her to live, exhibit, research and teach on four continents.

After receiving a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Drawing from the University of New Hampshire in 1980, Nash spent a year and a half creating prints and drawings in Paris.  In 1987, she graduated from the University of Arizona with a Masters of Fine Arts in Mixed Media. Two independently designed research trips to Japan enabled Nash to study the techniques of Japanese woodblock printing and papermaking in depth. From 1996-2002, her extensive research in Italy and Scandinavia increased her knowledge of historical and contemporary Western papermaking and paper arts.  Nash has combined encaustic waxes and filtered earth pigments with her handmade paper works since 1994.
The landscape, aesthetics and cultures of Japan, the rich gradations and spaciousness of Scandinavian summer night skies, experiences with Native American friends and her explorations into the wilderness of the southwestern deserts have deeply influenced and informed her work.