Vamp and Tramp Bookseller, LLC logo Home New Arrivals Broadsides Fine Press & Artists' Books Resource Books Search Instagram Contact Us/Order/Inquiry


Amanda Degener ~ Minneapolis

Share this page:

Artist’ statement: “Art made in handmade paper inspired by the artist’s daily practice of Tai Chi as meditation and her study of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Degener, co-owner of Cave Paper Inc. has been making handmade paper for over thirty years and likes that it is a basic technology with deep cultural roots. The ancient matrix of handmade paper fits well with the spiritual, wholelistic, historic, and natural ideas that inspire this art. The artist’s intention is to create a visual example of the inter-relationship between environment in both the material and spiritual world.

“Amanda Degener graduated from Bennington College and then received an MFA from Yale School of Art. In 1984 she moved her paper studio to the not-yet-opened Minnesota Center for Book Arts where she was a Founder, their first Artist in Residence and later, their first Artistic Director.”


Handmade Path
ByAmanda Degener, Lu Jingren, Peng Wu
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Cave Paper Editions & Jingren Paperlogue, 2021.
Edition of 350.

254 pages. Offset printed by Bolger. Handmade paper scans by Imageworks. Bound by Campbell Logan Bindery. Of the edition 150 in clamshell box (Deluxe), 200 in wrappers (standard).

Cave Paper Editions: "Lu Jingren, world renown book designer in Beijing China teamed up with Amanda in Minneapolis to create Handmade Path. Their idea was to invite people to answer the same six questions using their handwriting because it connects the hand the mind and the heart in an intimate way . The questions included how did you begin your practice? Why do you still make paper/books? What is the difference between reading on a digital device or in a book? In what way do you understand the five senses of paper/book: vision, touch, hearing, smelling, and tasting? Share with us some moments, either breakthroughs or break downs in your work? What is your next dream project?

"Fifty-seven responded with handwritten letters, images of their work, images of their hands working, and their portraits. Their letters came from Korea, Canada, Taiwan, France, Japan, Norway, but mostly the collaborators had intersected paths with artists in the United States and China. Jack Mader photographed their letters and Peng Wu helped with the early design. Handmade Path is a well-designed grouping of photos and letters from 57 artists; parts of which have been translated from Chinese to English and vice versa.” “For centuries text printed on paper in the form of a book has been a vehicle for human thought. In our generation a book can be electronic, an installation, something edible, or perhaps anything related to the activity of reading. Book designers and artists are making choices today; paper, design, images, movement, structure, sequencing, type style and size. Most often the major ingredient is words, making it possible to get into each other's places. Although reading is a private activity we are not alone; we are cooperating with the book, bringing it into ourselves.

“Reading is not only about transplanting ourselves to the beyond, but we modify ourselves to see the world differently. Our vision or purpose for Handmade Path is for you to participate in this collaboration. As we worked on this book many things around the globe have been changing including a pandemic which has forced isolation. The represented artists in Handmade Path provide insight into how they got started, their breakthroughs and breakdowns, why they still make paper and books, and their future dream projects. We also asked them in what way do they understand the five senses of paper/book and what they felt the difference was from reading on a digital device and reading a book? We invited artists to provide images of both their work and of their hands. We asked artists to answer with handwriting because it connects the hand, the mind, and the heart in an intimate way.

“Multiple languages and the different ways people write on different kinds of paper conveys textural warmth. As the book progressed, we decided to highlight excerpts of the artist's text and include language translations. Some artists sent portraits and biographies, allowing Handmade Path to mature in textures, ideas, and page numbers. The cover is letterpress printed on custom made handmade paper by Amanda Degener using a calligraphy stroke created by Lu Jingren. The calligraphy combines ancient Chinese characters to communicate a hand growing out of the heart. We invite you to bring your own heart towards a beyond that is right here inside this book.”

Participants: Jimi AN, Shelia Asato, Timothy Barrett, Julie Baugnet, Becky Beamer, Helmut Becker, Dr. Yuan Bo, Carol Brighton, Colin Browne, Michele Burgess, Georgia Lynn Deal, Donald S. Farnsworth, Era Farnsworth, Richard Flavin, Ruthann Godollei, Mary Heebner, Robert Hersey, Helen Hiebert, Kamiyama Hisafuru, Deborah Howe, Antonio Ichikawa, Kim Su Jin, Bill Kelly, Karen Kinoshita, Jean Michel Letellier, Sue Huggins Leopard, Jill Littlewood, Winifred Lutz, Jack Mader, Susan Mackin Dolan, Catherine Malmanche, Sin Sin Man, Nora McGillivray, Paulette Myers-Rich, Nobuo Nakagaki, Miki Nakamura, Rhee Nami, Paul Nylander, Jan Owen, Radha Pandey, George Roberts, Regula Russelle, Wilber H. Schilling, C. B. Sherlock, Steven Sorman, Ioana Stoian, Jaing Su, Taixi Su, Peter Thomas, Donna Sue Thomas, Tom Virgin, Xiongjong Wang, Liu Xiaoxiang, Huang Yongsong, Zhong Yu, Matsuda Yukimasa.

Handmade Path authors: “Amanda Degener, educates through writing, publishing and traveling to teach and exhibit her work … Amanda Degener worked at Hand Papermaking, a biannual magazine which she co-founded/co-published (1985-1992). She began Cave Paper casually in the 1980's then co-ran it with Bridget O'Malley as an S Corporation from 1994 until 2017. In 2020 Degener trained Cave Paper's new owner and helped it move to Tucson AZ. … Degener is now a full-time artist.

“Master of contemporary Chinese Book Design. Master book artist Lu Jingren has designed thousands of books, his work provides a modern response to the centuries-long traditions of both Chinese and Japanese book making. Jingren studied under the tutelage of Professor Kohei Sufiura of Kobe Design University, Japan in 1989 and 1992. He has garnered numerous awards for book design in Hong Kong, Germany, USA, and China.

“Peng Wu is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture and public art, interactive and social practice, to create powerful narratives. He believes every project shall be built on a single solid concept. Therefore, consistent level of conceptual output is more concerned rather than cohesive visuals among all his projects. He received his MFA in visual art at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) Class of 2013. He also holds a MFA degree in industrial design and BS in Atmospheric Physics.”

$325 standard in wrappers
$475 deluxe in clamshell box

Handmade Path book
Click image for more





















Page last update: 04.10.2023


Home | About Us | Contact Us | New Arrivals | Fine Press & Artists' Books | Broadsides |Resource Books | Order/Inquiry

                                                          Copyright © 2021 Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. All rights reserved.