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Peaceful Grin Studios
Becky Chadwick Genge
All my life I have loved the fiber arts - paper, paper crafts, crocheting, cross-stitch, sewing - and so much more! I have made paper for years but took it to the next level in 2019 when I signed up for a class through the Kansas City Arts Institute (KCAI). My teacher (and now my mentor), Kelsey Pike, hosted the class in her personal studio space at the Cherry Pit Collective - an artist and maker studio in Kansas City, Missouri. I discovered a seemingly endless amount of possibilities for making paper for everyday use as well as for artistic endeavors. I WAS HOOKED! It was never really the plan to sell my wares but the more I learn, the more I make, the more I wanted to share my new passion with everyone.
Some of my items are traditional and can be duplicated for large orders but I also have a lot of experimental items that are one of a kind. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!
The type of fibers used for the majority of my creations is a blend of cotton and abaca (aka 'Mixed Media') which makes it great for stationary but also for fine art work. The surface is soft but sturdy and is internally sized allowing for the application of paint (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, ink) as well as pencil, charcoal and pastels. No two pieces are the same and it has the gorgeous deckled edges which makes hand made paper so desirable.
I have also been experimenting with recycling cotton fabric scraps and mixing it with abaca to form a groovy, fibrous sheet with great colors and textures. I am calling it 'Faper' until I find a more creative name.
Some of the plants in my gardens have obliged me with great paper making ingredients so look for those too! Please note that because I am experimenting a lot, many of products are in limited quantities so if you see something you like, grab it!
As part of my paper journey I have discovered the artist lying dormant within - and it was monumentally liberating!! I dabbled a little in my KCAI class and did a few things on my own but with a little urging from Kelsey, I pushed my creative process into high gear. A local art show was looking for contributors so I set out to create 5 to 7 pieces to sell. I ended up with double that amount! Pulp painting, pulp pouring, collaging and a unique method of air sculpting (still in development) were my main methods of creation. I sold two of my air sculpted pieces at the show and from that point really felt like I could call myself 'artist'.