Fiber artist, Leandra Spangler, created a one-of-a-kind artist book of handmade paper titled, the Unbarbie Paper Doll Book, in 1995. Response to this book was so positive that she decided to self-publish a printed version of it the Paper Doll Book is the printed version, and is now available.

Fashioned after the Venus of Willendorf ( a Paleolithic sculpture of an abundant female form, c. 15,000-10,000 B.C.E.) the Paper Doll Book contains a die-cut paper doll, seven outfits to cut out (swimsuit and sun hat, shortie pajamas and robe with fuzzy slippers, cowboy outfit, tutu, evening gown with wrap, garden party dress and wedding gown with veil) and eight backdrops (scenes).

As a baby boomer, my preteen image of the ideal female form was based on an unrealistic tall, thin, large breasted doll. The Unbarbie Paper Doll Book was my tongue in cheek response to the discrepancy between the preteen ideal and my 40+ reality. As a hand papermaker and book artist, I had the materials and tools available to explore alternative body forms, create clothes, environments and laugh at myself along the way.


to order Paper Doll Book

How did the Heroines evolve? After publishing the Paper Doll Book, I was invited to participate in a wearables fiber exhibition. I am a papermaker and wearable fiber exhibitions showcase fine handwoven or hand dyed fabrics. I had been asked to create wearable outfits of handmade paper--paper doll outfits of human size. I designed and created seven wearable paper doll outfits made of handmade paper, complete with weighted "tabs" and easy to remove from the display to try on. Guests were invited to wear these outfits and see themselves as: Brunhilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Josephine Baker, Sacajawea, Amelia Earhart, Cleopatra and Joan of Arc. The next step was to create these Heroines as outfits for the original Paper Doll Book and have them printed. These new outfits Heroine Outfits for the Paper Doll Book are now available.

order Heroine outfits for the Paper Doll Book


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