The word “paper” derives from the ancient Greek word for the papyrus plant, “papyros”. Papyrus was indeed one of the first materials used for writing and art, along with parchment and palm leaves, but paper has come a long way since then!
Invented in China around 200 B.C., paper as we know it spread slowly, first through Asia, and then finally arriving in Europe around the year 1400. Paper fibers were originally ground by hand using a mortar and pestle, but the process evolved through several phases including production in mills powered by animals, humans, and water.
As paper became more prevalent, artists around the world began using paper not just to create works of amazing works of art ON, but also WITH. Chinese paper folding, or zhezhi, arose around the same time as the Chinese invented paper as we know it. The Japanese art of origami dates back to 600 A.D. As history progressed, artists continued to use the medium for art forms including Kirigami, which is like origami, but with cut paper rather than folded; quilling, or rolled paper art; and many others. Modern artists continue to use paper to create incredible sculptures and other 3-D works of art.
Your students can create works of paper art, too, with our Corobuff® Designer Necklaces project. Students will choose a shape and cut various sizes of the shape from several sheets of Corobuff® and other textured art papers, layering them to form a dimensional structure. They’ll then embellish their structures to design truly one-of-a-kind masterpieces in paper.
Download a complete lesson plan for this project, including images, step-by-step directions, and a materials list, today!
For Grades 8-12.