An assortment of stacked Hanabi.

 In the latest 2011 annual juried issue of Letter Arts Review, 25:2, my work was pictured on page 37. The work, Hanabi, in Black and White, was a collaborative effort with an origami artist, Kathy Schilmoeller.

The Hanabi stretches slightly to fit around a wrist or in this case Mr. Bix’s neck. 

The Japanese word ‘hanabi’ means flower fire.  These structures measure 3 by 6 inches (h x w). Kathy learned this structure at a workshop taught by origami artist, Yami Yamauchi. The structure is made from 12 individual 6 inch square, identically folded pieces of paper, which are held together by linking the folds of each paper. The structure sits comfortably in the hand and works like an interactive toy. Even though made of paper the hanabi is flexible and strong enough to turn inside out. A new design is revealed at every pause in the movement of the ring.


A career as an artist/craftsman can be a solitary endeavor. Working with others or collaboratively gives one an opportunity to share ideas, goals, and problem solve collectively. The definition of collaboration is to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something. Communication is key in collaborations beginning with setting clear process goals.

After discussing the initial idea for using my calligraphic papers to make hanabi Kathy and I worked separately.  Over several months Kathy brought completed hanabi to my studio to assess the success of each particular paper used. We discussed which lettering design created the most exciting hanabi and Kathy spoke about which papers folded easily. Our next goal in the project goal is to create an edition of hanabi, which will contain a legible text.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Nancy Leavitt

Priscilla Juvelis, bookdealer

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5 Responses to Collaboration

  1. Nan–just visited the Shelburne Museum exhibit of 3D paper art. These hanabi would have been an exciting addition to an otherwise ho-hum exhibit. And Bix’s attendance would have made the paparazzi go wild!

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your comment. Bix has enjoyed the extra attention. Received your announcement for NO HOME FOR BUNNIES and am anxiously awaiting its publication this fall. I do hope to visit the Rockydale Tourist Home sometime this fall, September perhaps? We are planning a trip to New Hampshire to see my niece and family.

      Since your visit I have abandoned my studio work for the garden. I hired a professional, Michelle, to work in the garden two days a week for two months. The results are amazing. It took me a month to work up the stamina to work along side her all day and together we transformed the north side lawn into a perennial garden with large drifts of flowers and started a woodland garden in the far northeast corner of the property. She finished up yesterday and I have to admit, I’m exhausted!

      It’s hot and humid here as it is everywhere in the country. Hope you are keeping cool.

      Love, Nan

      • The Rockydale Tourist Home is open this fall (just don’t scare the skunk)! As for our fall publication date, the gatekeepers have spoken: a chapter book (even a Chapter 11 chapter book) cannot be published because there is NO ROOM on the “chapter book” shelf at the big box book stores, which are filled with chapter book <>, and no new series are being published at this time. They held out our postcard at arms length, as if someone had “scared the skunk” on it (which we totally DID NOT). So there you have it–nipped in the bud!–cut down before its time!–washed down the drain!–up the creek without a paddle!–asta la vista, baby! Conversely, at the Rockydale Tourist Home there is ALWAYS ROOM FOR EVERYONE!*

        *excepting, of course, <>.

  2. Note from RTH:
    Please add to first “series”
    Please add to second “BUNNIES!”

  3. First <> brackets
    Second <> brackets

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