It is hard to fathom that Akiko Sugiyama's intricate, complex and delicate sculptures are made almost entirely of paper. Even when she explains how she rolls, twists, paints, textures, stripes, sews, wraps and spins the paper she collects from all over the world, we still say, "paper?!"
It is however, not only her technical abilities, but her design, aesthetic and imagination that have made her an annual participant in the most prestigious craft shows in the country - the Smithsonian and Philadelphia Museum for almost 20 years.
Since 1984 when she first began showing her work, Sugiyama has been honored with over 60 Best in Show Awards, Awards of Excellence and in 2011 the Smithsonian Craft Show, Gold Award. We are not surprised.
Sugiyama, who studied painting in her native Japan, lives and creates in Ormond Beach, Florida with her husanbd, Richard.