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Downtime: Library’s book-mender also creates paper art (pics)

February 5, 2013

Phyllis Olmstead, a technical service assistant in the college’s Morse Library, is seriously crafty. In her work for the college, she orders and catalogs books, works the circulation desk, and occasionally mends books.

 But in her downtime, she has been making cards and other paper art from a combination of used and new materials. Phyllis has sold her one-of-a-kind greeting cards at the Angel Museum and has gifted them to countless lucky friends and family members over the years.

Phyllis, downtime 

“My husband has learned to never throw anything away,” she says as she describes her craft room at home, an emporium of rubber stamps, templates, tools, and papers of every color and weight.

Phyllis’ signature cards are made using a variety of techniques that she has honed over the years. One favorite technique is Pergamano, which can involve embossing parchment paper with a special tool or creating perforations with other tools. The result is a layered, textured aesthetic that adds dimension to the cards.

Other techniques Phyllis employs include sewing on the cards with embroidery thread, stamping, stenciling, and even repurposing dryer sheets.

0202613 downtime 

Phyllis takes classes once or twice a year on different paper crafting techniques and has also taught classes at her church and at U-Rock’s summer program, College for Kids to gifted and talented children.

0202613 downtime 

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