Featured Artist: Lesley Haas

Lesley Haas was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has made her home in Heidelberg, Germany from 1988 until 1996 and from 1999 – 2000. Since 2006, she is again living in Philadelphia.

She developed an interest in handmade paper after viewing a comprehensive exhibit in which the artworks were made with paper in New York City. Her technique and style has been influenced over the years both by ongoing studio and by coursework with well-known paper artists. She is an active member of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA). The signature of her work is the use of natural fibers and pigments from various parts of the world to blend the characteristics of the fibers with different elements of style. As an extension of her papermaking she has created numerous objects from vegetable papyrus. Digital collage and prints can be found in her portfolio and the newer work consists of all types of recycled papers.

Job Description: Paper Artist / Personal Assistant

Upcoming projects/exhibitions:

PAPER: A Deckled Edge The Paper Artwork of Lesley Haas -UPenn,Van Pelt-Dietrich Library thru February 15, 2013.

Also Transfixed will be showing at the Library of Life exhibit, in collaboration with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Art Gallery of City Hall/ NE Corner/ Philadelphia, PA 19107/ Exhibition dates: March 11 – May 24, 2013, Reception: March 14, 5-7 pm.

Select links: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lesleyhaas.html

Habitat fro Humanity Upcycle Challenge auction…



What themes and concepts does your work generally revolve around? 

For years I delved into the fashion world which influenced my work. In recent years, I’ve created a series of paper scrolls, decoupaged frames and small paper art objects.

What are you currently working on?

I recently re-finished a large mirror for the Habitat for Humanity Upcycle Challenge, at the 2013 Philadelphia Home Show, which will be at their Booth in Hall A, between February 2-10.  Public voting: http://www.phillyhomeshow.com/PHS/AtTheShow/Ultimate_Upcycle_Challenge_286.aspx

What’s your background / how did you first get involved with art?

It took me years to launch my studio career, since I’m self-trained. My mother was a fashion editor and publicist in Philadelphia, and was very active with Fashion Group International, so she was always coming home with the latest trends.


What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you? 

I’m participating in the Habitat for Humanity and Home Decor Upcycle event. On from there, I’ve been accepted to participate in the European Cultural Capital of 2013 – South of France and I’ll have a table at the Chestnut Hill Home Show in May.

Any exhibits coming up:
PAPER: A Deckled Edge The Paper Artwork of Lesley Haas – September 4, 2012 – February 15, 2013- UPENN Kamin Gallery, VanPelt Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut St. (entrance on Locust Walk)

Hours: Monday -Friday : 9am-6pm
Passes required for Weekends: can be requested on the day of visit – please call reference desk: 215 898.7555


Is any of your work political? 

Occasionally it comes through…

Has the meaning of your work changed over time?

Yes, it has. After creating representational pieces for entry into Edible Paper and my paper dresses, I realized I wanted to try and focus on more abstract art.

How do you choose your subject matter?

Usually it’s the material I have on hand. For example, a friend gave me some base materials, which sat in the back of my car for months, which Ifinally turned into the scrolls series.


Are you involved with any organizations/  Is there a group you feel affinity with/ do you collaborate with other artists?  

Yes, I am an active member of The International Association of Paper Makers and Paper Artists – IAPMA. On occasion I will collaborate with other artists.

What are some misconceptions people often have about you? 

No one has shared such info with me. You’d have to ask others.

What were you like as a kid? Gregarious and unkempt

Favorite writers? Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Lalita Tademy, G.R.R. Martin, Barbara Kingsolver

Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels? Fantastic Four – Marvel Comics

What are you reading? Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


What are you listening to these days? WXPN

What are a few of your favorite spots in Philly/ elsewhere: 

Philadelphia Free Library, Magic Gardens, Wissahickon Forbidden Drive, Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Italy, Weststadt, Heidelberg, Germany

Favorite artists and why?

Ben Franke – pristine photography, Inez Fritschy – I enjoy how she mixes media in creating her original objects, Josephine Tabbert – her use of home grown Esparto grass to use exclusively in her wonderful paper art, Alan Shields – he was sewing on paper and his work influenced me greatly! I met him in his latter years and mentioned this and he didn’t even seem to notice he had started a trend! Brad Holland – his illustrations sing to me!

What was the last exhibit you attended?

Society of Illustrators, NYC

haas_she whsipers

What was the first piece of artwork you bought/ do you buy a lot of artwork?  It was a silkscreen print. I’d purchase more if the money flowed freely!

What’s your idea of happiness?  A healthy and happy son! And selling my work!!

If you weren’t an artist what would you be? In the theatre 🙂

Your website(s): http://www.lesleyhaas.com


Etsy Friday Night Workshops

9-16-08 Update: Unfortunately, the Cheltenham Arts Center has closed down. We are in the process of finding a new location for these workshops. Check back for details…

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9-16-08 Update: Unfortunately, the Cheltenham Arts Center has closed down. We are in the process of finding a new location for these workshops. Check back for details…

$15/workshop *unless otherwise noted.
Fridays, 7PM

See below for additional information regarding registration and transportation…

Crochet Basics and Intro on 3D Crochet Techniques / Toy Design/ Soft Sculpture
September 26, 2008
You will learn the basic crochet stitches and how you can put them together to make different patterns. Supply list will be provided upon registration.
Instructor: Angela Davidson
Angela Davidon is a graduate student of Art Education in Philadelphia, PA and a member of the Philly Etsy Team.
Papermaking Techniques Class
October 3, 2008
The process of papermaking was discovered nearly 2000 years ago in 105 A.D. by Chinese court official Ts’ai Lun. William Rittenhouse founded the first paper mill in North America at Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia!
Papermaking is a great way to recycle all those bits of paper lying around your home and turn them into works of art. Learn how to prepare paper fibers with your assortment of recycled paper and discover basic papermaking techniques, such as sheet forming, pressing, and drying. Then, take your paper and use embellishment techniques such as coloring, watermarks, pressing, casting, and pulp painting to create unique papers to use at your leisure. Supplies: Any paper or cardboard lying around your home! If you have one or can locate one, please bring an old blender too. If not, we will share.
Instructor: Lynn Roberts
Lynn Roberts currently takes many classes at Tyler School of Art and the Clay Studio of Philadelphia and is interested in textiles, fibers, design, photography, and ceramics. She majors in fine art and music. She handles her own independent art business online and is soon to be featured in many art galleries and consignment shops with her professional photography. She is a Tang Soo Do Korean Karate instructor and yoga instructor and enjoys connecting with nature through her artwork and creating pottery with her boyfriend. Lynn is a member of the Philly Etsy Team.
Oil Paint and Gesso
October 3, 2008
Learn how to use gesso and oil paints together and have fun. This is completely irreverent and un-called for. But, it’s messy and fun as heck! All you will need is a piece of wood (any size, preferably recycled/ reused), oil paint (1 or 2 tubes) and some gesso. Oh, and some gloves…and something to engrave with – like a stick.
Instructor: Jon Vitale
Jon Vitale is an artist, a recorded musician and a film enthusiast. He recently relocated back to Philadelphia after living for a few years in Rhode Island and California.
Swap and Craft!
November 7, 2008
$5 to participate
Come join us as we Swap and Craft! What is a Swap and Craft, you ask? It’s a supply swap and community craft time followed by light-hearted show-and-tell time. When you attend the swap bring your unwanted art, craft and design supplies (and maybe a snack to share). Every swap begins with piles of supplies, the unwanted supplies of all who attend. Everyone is welcome to dive in and find their next new/ used items from the piles. Take as few or as many supplies from the piles as you like, it’s all free!

Now is the time to clear out that studio, workspace or closet. Those supplies you haven’t used in forever? Help them find a nice new home. Help reduce waste while meeting new people and having some fun together in an arts environment. Here are a few tips on what to bring…

  • Fabric, remnants
  • Notions (buttons, zippers, ribbon, thread, etc.)
  • Beads (gemstone, glass, seed, lampwork, etc.)
  • Jewelry findings, wire
  • Painting supplies, pencils, paper products, drawing supplies
  • Various project supplies (screen printing, fabric printing, scrapbooking, book making, paper making, etc.)

DIY Workshops: After you have chosen your new supplies, slide on over to one of the sewing/ craft/ art/ design stations and start creating! If you’ve got skills you want to share, lead a how-to session/ tutorial. Or just sit back, relax and get to work.

Swap and Craft is organized by: Beth Richey: www.TranquilityJewelry.etsy.com and Traci Nelson: www.tremundo.etsy.com. Beth and Traci are members of the Philly Etsy Team.

Sewing Basics (with Machine)
December 12, 2008
Students will learn and perform sewing techniques and machine functions such as threading the machine, winding the bobbin and most common stitches. Students will have a choice of working on a pillow or tote bag. Supplies: A sewing machine if you have one; one spool of thread, scissors, pins, one yard of woven fabric (not knit). If you are working on a pillow, bring a pillow form or fiber fill. Optional: Bring notions such as lace, buttons, ribbons.
Instructor: Amber Zaraza
Amber Zaraza has over 10 years sewing experience. She holds a BA in Fashion Design. In 2004 Amber started her own company, Phea Jean, and she is currently at work designing one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories. Amber is a member of the Philly Etsy Team. www.pheajean.etsy.com
Elements of Knitting
January 17, 2009
We’ll learn the basics! How to cast on, knit, purl and bind off. Supplies: 2 knitting needles (size 8 wooden needles) and 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn.
Instructor: Lynda Schwechtje
Lynda Schwechtje is a life long learner and crafter. In the past she has constructed and tailored clothes (and doll clothes), sewed gowns for a church choir and she was formerly part of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild. These days she has been focusing her attentions on knitting; she’s made sweaters and quilts for countless babies. Lynda holds a masters degree in social work.
Create your own Stamps & Stencils
February 6, 2009
In this workshop you’ll learn how to create your own stencils and stamps, how to choose inks, and how to make prints in a variety of ways including potato printing and printing using freezer paper.
Instructor: Sarah Greiner
Sarah Greiner is a professional packaging designer. She also independently designs stationary and is a member of the Philly Etsy Team.