A Passion for Paper

Welcome to the 17th year of Liberty Grove Paper Arts.  I am Nancy Akerly,  an artist passionate about everything paper: Origami, nontraditional paper folding, box making (cartonnage),bookbinding and paper marbling.  I teach classes and workshops in each of these paper arts. Please see the Calendar 2023 for a complete listing of classes.

My business is named Liberty Grove Paper Arts after the township where my grandparent’s farm is located, just north of Sister Bay, WI. That is where, in the summers after we harvested the cherry crop, I had the time to learn origami, play with ideas, write poetry and stories and dream big dreams - one of which was to spend all my time playing with paper!  Dreams do come true! 

Three or four times a year I send out a newsletter. If you have questions or would like to be on my mailing list to receive updates of classes, workshops,shows, and other news, please use  the Contact Page.


Born on the Southside of Chicago and raised in a northern suburb,  I spent my summers on my grandparent’s farm in Sister Bay,WI, working in our family's cherry orchard. I got my first teaching job at Sister Bay School - after teaching in Europe for DoDDS for a few years I returned to Door County and achieved a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis on Gifted and Talented Learners and Creativity. I taught 39 years and retired from Gibraltar Schools in 2010. I then focused my energies on the business I had begun several years before, Liberty Grove Paper Arts.

I learned origami at a Saturday Park District Program when I was 8 years old - I was hooked right then and there.  I used origami in my teaching for over 40 years, also exhibiting in numerous galleries, schools, libraries, and universities.  I started to make boxes to support the collection of wonderful Japanese Chiyogami/Yuzen papers I had gathered over the years and continued bookmaking and bookbinding, adding to my repetoir of bindings and styles. I added marbling to the mix when I realized there were colors and textures I could not find in other hand made or hand screened papers.  I had marbled back in the 1970’s and was delighted to learn about the many advances made in mixing carrageenan and paints. I  do both traditional Cloud Painting, Ebru Turkish Marbling and the classic European Marbling designs of the 17-19th centuries, plus some innovative modern marbling variations.

© Nancy Akerly 2023