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BearPawPaperworks' Profile

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Creating their art together has been a way of life for the "Bear Paws" - Bill and Linda Sumner - since their college days at the University of Minnesota over thirty years ago. Their two sons, Josh and Jake, have grown up on the art fair circuit which began as a part-time business and grew into a full-time operation in 1987. Since that time they have shown their wares at many venues across the U.S.; including the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

Bill and Linda now live in the Central Minnesota woods with white-tail deer, Scottish Terrier, Dalmatian and cats. They find their inspiration from the many sources that surround them in their woods... all these things are then realized in Bear Paw Paper "works of art."

Bill, the official papermaker, enjoys experimenting with leaves, pine-needles, perennial & wildflowers, tree bark and…

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  • Joined January 31, 2009

Favorite materials

Leaves and pine needles, flowers, tree bark, waxed linen cords, beads, deer antler buttons, twigs, feathers, natural stones, cut and torn papers, acrylic paint, stitching, wool

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About

Creating their art together has been a way of life for the "Bear Paws" - Bill and Linda Sumner - since their college days at the University of Minnesota over thirty years ago. Their two sons, Josh and Jake, have grown up on the art fair circuit which began as a part-time business and grew into a full-time operation in 1987. Since that time they have shown their wares at many venues across the U.S.; including the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

Bill and Linda now live in the Central Minnesota woods with white-tail deer, Scottish Terrier, Dalmatian and cats. They find their inspiration from the many sources that surround them in their woods... all these things are then realized in Bear Paw Paper "works of art."

Bill, the official papermaker, enjoys experimenting with leaves, pine-needles, perennial & wildflowers, tree bark and anything else he finds walking on one of the many nature trails in their backyard. He adds these "finds" to his blend of cotton linters and pulp recipe. Other man-made ingredients are added to the pulp vat along with non-toxic dyes for added color and texture. Before the Bear Paw Paper is dry, additional materials are embedded into it before it is "screened" or hand-pressed into clay molds created by Linda.

When the paper is finally dry, Linda further embellishes it with waxed linen, beads, deer-antler buttons, sticks, twigs and natural stones. The Bear Paw collages become three-dimensional with abstract nature, landscapes and flora & fauna themes. Cutting, tearing, folding, layering, stitching and painting add even more texture before the final assembly where an acrylic sealer is used to preserve the piece. Matting and framing are the final steps before they make their way to be displayed in homes, offices and places throughout the planet.

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