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The salt cellar (also known as a “fortune teller” or “cootie catcher”) is one of the most familiar origami creations. Most people remember folding them as a child and I recall being utterly charmed by the way a regular piece of paper could be transformed into a 3D sculpture using a few simple folds. My fascination with this magical material and process is at the heart of the artwork I now create for Salt Cellar Paper Co. The work is intended to inspire a sense of wonder and play with simple designs and subject matter that nostalgically remind us of the whimsy of childhood.


Salt Cellar Paper Co is a tiny craft business that allows me, Erin MacKeen, to share playfully creative and affordable creations with the public. I’m also an abstract painter and create large-scale sculptural paper installations, among other things. 



“How to Fold a Paper Airplane” Series


The “How to Fold a Paper Airplane” pieces reflect my sensibility for minimal design, highlighting the process and materials used. The concept is based on a 2D origami diagram that shows how to fold a specific paper airplane. The one that is, in my opinion, the most visually pleasing and familiar. This is not the design used to win distance competitions - they look pretty, but don't fly well. While trying to artistically reimagine one of these diagrams, the thought occurred to me that there was no reason for them to be 2D. In fact, making them 3D made them come alive. I have used various papers to create the work including regular origami paper, book pages, letters, and maps.


The Toronto series uses a road map of the city, playing with the theme of transportation and providing another familiar reference for the viewer. As a home grown Torontonian, it’s also my way of sharing my city pride and a shared love affair with our city.





The Toronto road maps are digitally copied on acid-free paper and mounted on acid-free cardstock. Each piece is hand cut, folded, and assembled using a super strong double-sided tape. The shadow boxes measure roughly 10” x 10” to the outer edge of the frame in either black or white. The artwork is roughly 4” x 6” centred in the frame with no matt. There is a card attached to the back of the frame with Salt Cellar Paper Co information.





There is a wide range of buyers for this original work. They are great souvenirs for a visitor to Toronto, or for someone relocating who’d like a reminder of the city they love. They make thoughtful gifts for people of all ages, being a natural fit for a nursery or child’s room, or for the world-travelling dad and all the folks in-between. City-loving Torontonians buy them to add to their own collections and they make lovely going-away presents.





The “How to Fold a Paper Airplane” artwork is currently being sold at Labour of Love Boutique in Cabbagetown.


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Twitter: @saltcellarpaper