steve on meI’m Ellen Golla. I make my artist’s books and related work as The Paper Chipmunk Press.

I used to mostly make pictures in the form of finely detailed paper mosaic collages. My longtime studio and alter ego is Zebra Crossing Picture Factory.

And what, you might ask, does a chipmunk have to do with a zebra?

Good question.

Zebra Crossing Picture Factory came first. In the background to my paper mosaic collages, which had been my focus as a working artist, I’d long been making little books and doing other things with paper. I didn’t consider these to be my “real” work, and often gave them away as gifts.

Over a decade ago, I developed a (still undiagnosed) neurological condition that affected my hands, among other things. As my ability to use tweezers and scissors declined, I turned increasingly to those handmade books and other paper-based creations. The world of artists’ books became a fascination and a solace.

I started an anonymous blog about paper art and artists’ books to entertain myself. I chose the Paper Chipmunk to differentiate it from my usual studio output.

But as I became more and more involved with making books — and this blog — Zebra Crossing and The Paper Chipmunk began to evolve together. I dropped my bookmaking anonymity. Artist’s books and related matters simply became what I did, and I started using the name The Paper Chipmunk Press for those things. I think of it as the bookmaking division of Zebra Crossing Picture Factory. My hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, but I can still fold, glue, and stitch paper.

Chipmunk with scissors

I’ve noticed that people sometimes arrive here because they have Googled “chipmunk made of paper” or “papier maché chipmunk.” Alas, I don’t offer those.

But I do love paper, collage, cut paper and artists’ books. Here are my random chewings on these as well as other topics from my life as an artist. Papier maché chipmunks aside, I hope you find something useful.