Artist: Marie Noorani

Artist Marie Noorani‘s richly textured hand-made paper art express her love of the medium and her fascination with the process of destruction and renewal.


"Sticks" Handmade Paper, 19" x 11" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile at

“Sticks” Handmade Paper, 19″ x 11″


ABI:  You are a paper maker. How did you fall in love with this medium?

MN:  I discovered paper making through the book arts; for many years, bookbinding was my exclusive focus. However, the moment I experimented with making paper, I abandoned bookbinding and never looked back. I was intrigued by paper’s generous properties and infinite possibilities. I immediately discovered its inherent warmth, texture, depth, flexibility and responsiveness. Papermaking was especially attractive to me because it is so highly process-centered—the character of a paper exquisitely reflects the fibers used to make it and the treatment it received. Over the years, my fiber sources have ranged from recycled law school catalogues and old coffee bean sacks to traditional abaca and cotton pulp. I’m inclined to also add wax shavings, tiny seeds/fibers (obtained from a nearby fruit processing plant), ground spices and other interesting pulp inclusions.


"Tenement" Handmade Paper, 12" x 12" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile by visiting

“Tenement” Handmade Paper, 12″ x 12″


For any artist, a finished piece of handmade paper is extremely seductive because it demands manipulation: it begs to be folded, dyed, scorched, painted, wired, torn, cut, glued or assembled. Ultimately, I fell in love with paper because it offers an unpredictably exciting, extremely diverse and always beautiful artistic medium.


"Wooden Zippers" Handmade Paper, 9" x 11" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile by visiting

“Wooden Zippers” Handmade Paper, 9″ x 11″


ABI:  Why do you describe your process as destruction, restoration, and creation?

MN:  I am moved and inspired by destruction and renewal processes―emotional, physical and spiritual. My work reflects this. Each piece begins with the creation of a beautiful, unique paper from an inspired blend of materials. Then, I destroy the paper through various means: it is always torn or cut, often splattered with dyes and inks, frequently burned and sometimes soaked in wax…until it is unrecognizable. At that point, I step back, assess what remains and create something new.


"Hotel Iguana" Handmade Paper, 6" x 8.5" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile by visiting

“Hotel Iguana” Handmade Paper, 6″ x 8.5″


I let the paper “speak” to me, never fully directing the process. Most of the time, the titles of my pieces emerge during this phase, and they provide a little glimpse into my mental interactions with the paper as the pieces were created. In the end, I want my work to be a beautiful celebration of the ubiquitous destruction and renewal processes we all experience.


"Robot Fathers" Handmade Paper, 20" x 14" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile by visiting

“Robot Fathers” Handmade Paper, 20″ x 14″


ABI:  What projects do you have coming up and what opportunities do they offer?

MN:  I am getting ready for a couple of solo shows in 2019, one of which is at The Betty Feves gallery on the Campus of Blue Mountain College in Pendleton, Oregon. My intention for this show is to rethink the intimacy of my traditionally smaller works and create at least two large installation pieces.


"Why I Don't Meditate" Handmade Paper, 6" x 8" by artist Marie Noorani. See her artist profile by visiting

“Why I Don’t Meditate” Handmade Paper, 6″ x 8″


I have been deeply inspired by Betty Feves pioneering work in ceramic sculpture and hope to incorporate some aspect of that in my new work. There is nothing quite like an upcoming show to keep an artist in her studio experimenting and growing!


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