Paper Boats

Folded Paper, linoleum block print, Prints

After thinking about all the catch-up posts I could write at the end of 2019, rather than look back, I will show you what I am doing now, right now.

Hilary Lorenz Paper Boat

22″ x 15″ linoleum block print

I spent the last month carving a  22″ x 15″ linoleum block of three boats. The prints from this block, an edition of 24, will be folded into paper boats and exhibited in San Juan Puerto Rico during the Southern Graphic Council Conference, April 2020.

Curated by Mary Sherwood Brock, the exhibition chair of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, 20 artists will be creating work for this themed portfolio. Also, two of my boats set sail to Los Angeles this week to be exhibited a part of a Paper Boats traveling installation first opening at Self Help Graphics’ January 11, 2020 exhibition ImMigration.


I began working with the theme of boats, specifically canoes and self “home” made boats two years ago. I have a fantasy of building my own boat, launching it into the Hudson, and quietly paddling away with my two labradors, camping as we travel the countries rivers.  I have made ceramic boats, paper boats, carvings of boats, watercolor, and pencil drawing of boats. My next step is a  life-size canoe that I can float from  Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LMCC, Governors Island studio to my home in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

This paper boat project allowed me to think more about island living, attempts to cross oceans, whether it be for adventure, escape, sport, or migration. During my carving, I listened to “438 Days, An extraordinary story of survival at sea” about José Salvador Alvarenga, a Salvadoran fisherman who is swept up in a storm and kicked around by the sea from Mexico to the Marshall Islands. A harrowing tale for sure. But there is something romantic about boats, they can be built from almost anything, and if you live by the water, that means endless possibilities.

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Side view of Paper Boat, by Hilary Lorenz

Top view of paper boats by Hilary Lorenz

Inside view of the paper boat, by Hilary Lorenz

Folded boats in process

Folding paper boats with Hilary Lorenz

For the next few weeks, I will fine-tune my folding skills and printing the edition of 24. I may make a few alterations as I am three months ahead. I am incredibly pleased to be a part of Mary’s themed portfolio. I can’t wait to see what this project ushers in.

I will set sail into the new year, 2020 with these.

Happy New Year, everyone!