Dear Mr. Jenkins,
My picture-book sharing circle started with your books this morning.
The topic was brought up because our book club talked about David Wisniewsky last week.
We are a group of picture book lovers and readers, gather some college teachers, moms, English tutors, and book shop owner at the SilexBooks <http://www.silexbooks.com.tw/
I have few questions:
* Do you make certain kind of the paper by yourself? The wings of
dragonfly confused us.(Prehistoric Actual Size)
* How do you find your material (I mean paper)?
* Do you use X-acto knifes?
There's a paper culture museum <http://www.suhopaper.org.tw/
Last, your books are amazing. Do you keep all the original manuscripts? Is there any exhibition?
I'm glad you're sharing the books -- thanks!
Here are a few answers:
Those dragonfly wings are actually maple tree seeds. I'm not sure if those trees grow where you are. I don't usually use things that aren't paper, but in the US every kid is familiar with maple tree seeds -- they call them 'helicopter seeds', because if they are dropped from a height they spin around as they fall. It's sort of a visual joke...
I use mostly handmade papers, many of which come from Asia. I do make a few paste papers - basically painting the surface of the paper.
Most of my paper comes from a single art store in New York City. They have a big handmade paper section, and I travel there twice a year or so to shop for paper (New York Central).
I do use X-acto knives. The only time I don't is when I want a rough edge, and tear the paper. It takes several hundred knife blades to illustrate a book, because the blade's points snap off and I have to replace them so they cut cleanly.
If you know of a good art supply store that sells paper (on the internet) in Taipei, let me know, and I'll check them out. I'd love to see the pictures of the museum store.
I keep most of the original art. Perhaps someday there will be an big exhibit... There is an exhibit that includes some of my work in Korea right now -- that's the only one I know of.
Thanks for writing,