Lost in Kapana*

GG sisters 1

* Kapana is the name of a popular district in the city center of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, but it also means “The Trap”, because of its web of beautiful, narrow, walking streets, most of which are one-way streets and/or dead-end streets.

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We present you GG Sisters – their brand is one of the ten winners of a contest, organized by the Municipal Foundation of Plovdiv. This contest is part of the initiative “Kapana – Creative District” and supports Plovdiv’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2019. Winners receive rent-free creative spaces in Kapana District for а year. GG Sisters have their creative space on Georgi Benkovski Str. No 25.

1. Describe yourself and the work you will be doing in Каpana.

Behind the name GG Sisters are me and my sister. Together we devote all оur spare time to our craft – reusing excess paper and turning it into pieces of art. Modern urban population is buried under tons of excess paper: flyers, brochures, catalogs, all kinds of paper spam, old newspapers and magazines, used printing paper, old documents and so on… People throw these things out, but they are treasures for us – priceless materials for our creations! We are inspired by the idea of turning annoying SPAM into beautiful works of art with practical application. We are continuously rediscovering the potential of this material, and thus improving the creative impulse that drives us. There is no greater pleasure than making beauty “from scratch” with your own hands!

This is the main activity that will boil in the studio of GG Sisters in the creative district of Kapana, Georgi Benkovski Str. No 25, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. We are now making the final touches of the interior design of our studio, which is part of the project. The project has given us much needed space for a constant exhibition, where we will be able to meet with our clients, friends and supporters in person. There one can see both finished works and the creative process itself. Local and visiting artists will be presented too.

We continually share our skills and techniques with others, organizing and visiting various art workshops, thereby encouraging the environmental thinking and showing endless ways of reusing materials that most people consider unnecessary. Fortunately, our art enjoys growing acceptance and public popularity. Last year we took part in ten different events, sharing our knowledge, skills and talent to create beauty from reused paper. More information and pictures of our craft can be found in this blog and in our Facebook page.

In May 2014 we took part in the Asenovgrad Feast and the White Stork Festival in Belozem. In June we went to the WakeUp Open Air Festival for the second time. This year’s edition was called “Back to the Roots”. We organized demonstrations and workshops, and we had a current exhibition in two of the three days of the festival.

2. What characterizes Kapana, what associations do you have for it?

If we compare our hometown with a living organism, Kapana is in the vibrant cultural, artistic and creative heart of the city. In our opinion there is no better place in Plovdiv for initiatives like this.

3. Why do you want to work in Kapana?

The place is attractive enough with its location between the Main Street and the Old Town. The neighborhood is characterized by a spirit of historical and cultural heritage. We expect our participation in the initiative of the Foundation to contribute to a permanent establishment of our art on the cultural map of the city.

The attractive location will help, added to our joint efforts with other artists to turn Kapana into the district of creative industries in Plovdiv. Plovdiv is our hometown and Kapana is in its very own heart! To summarize, the district of the creative industries will make our work more accessible and easier to be seen. In return, we will contribute to the initiative and to Plovdiv’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2019 with our growing popularity, with our participation in various activities and events, with our daily online (and bilingual) connectivity with the audiences, with our know-how and skills, with our contacts in the artistic circles, and with our commitment to creativity. We do hope that all these factors will combine in making Kapana and the candidacy of Plovdiv for European Capital of Culture more visible / identifiable on the cultural map of Europe and in the European cultural calendar.

4. How do you imagine Kapana after a year? And in 2019?

Certainly, the diversification of creative activities will help increase the attractiveness of this place for both Bulgarian and foreign visitors. It has emerged as an area with a high concentration of cultural and artistic spaces. In practice, with the launch of the initiative, this is already happening. One such initiative, launched today, will surely lead to the formation of Kapana as the first district of creative industries, which will boost the image of the city itself, combined with its rich cultural and historical heritage. This will add weight to the city’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture.

Joint activities with cultural operators in the district are gradually building up a network of association with other representatives of the creative industries, involving art workshops, festivals and exhibitions. Both our individual and collective efforts, together with the initiatives of the Foundation, and the desire of all of us to develop our creative identities in this place, will add completeness and commitment to our common goals, increasing the chance of success in Plovdiv’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2019. Great successes are achieved in small steps and we have just laid the foundations.





GG Sisters is part of the initiative Kapana Creative District organized by Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019 and supports Plovdiv’s candidacy for European capital of culture 2019.

Paper Basket (Handbag, Purse)

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Rolled paper weaving technique. This paper handbag / basket / purse is made of reused paper: ad mags, brochures, flyers, spam, bulk mail. Colors are “inherited” from the original materials, no additional painting is added. Impregnated with non-toxic, transparent glue for durability and flexibility. String (cord) is used for additional fortification of the construction.

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The handle is not flexible, which turns it into a perfect combination between a lady’s handbag (a purse) and a paper woven basket – suitable both for outdoor / picnic activities and for the city environment. Eco-friendly, chic, 100% handmade, reused paper only. Size: 22 cm in height, 28 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, 70 cm handle.





Pink Paper Basket (Pannier)


This beautiful pink paper basket (pannier) is a suitable container for bread, cookies, biscuits, chocolates and other yummy stuff, but you can also use it to store make-up, jewellery, playing cards, toys, keys, lighters, condoms and and other useful items…


It is made of reused paper (spam, ad mags, brochires, bulk mail) – rolled paper weaving technique. The original paper is pink. No additional paint is added. it is covered with transparent glue for solidity and durability. A non-toxic, environmental, reusable. eco-friendly product. 100% handmade. Size: 27×17 centimeters, height: 9 cm.





Handmade Paper Basket for Pets


This handmade pet basket is a comfortable bed for cats and / or small dogs. Made of reused white paper and reused junk mail. The technology is rolled paper weaving. The combination of colors is natural. The product is not additionally painted. Sealed with transparent, non-toxic glue for flexibility and durability. Waterproof. Eco-friendly. 100% handmade.


Size: 50x37x15 (centimeters). Practical implementations: Your pet will sleep in its own bed, not on your head anymore. Plus, you will always know where to find it. Your pet will feel like a real nobility in this comfortable lounge.





Paper Woven Amphora Vase


This paper woven amphora (vase) is made of reused paper: mainly bulk / junk mail, ad magazines, brochures, flyers and other paper spam. Rolled paper weaving technique. The colors are from the reused paper materials, no additional paint is added. The amphora is covered with transparent, non-toxic glue for solidity, flexibility and durability. Although water resistant, it is not suitable for direct sinking of real flowers in it. But you can hide a glass bottle, a jar or another water container in it, so that you can use it as a real vase.


It is also suitable for home decoration, as an accessory for the interior and / or as a vase for artificial flowers. Very beautiful in combination with sunflowers and other larger plants. A perfect gift for new home owners, for the interior design of studios, creative offices and living spaces. 49 centimeters high. In its widest part the vase is 30 cm in diameter.





The Inspiration, the Challenge and the Results…

or how I started making “stone” bags:


Several years ago (I don’t remember how many), I saw this “stone” bag on a shelf in a store in my hometown:


I immediately fell in love with it and now it is my loyal companion everywhere I go – at home or abroad. It became an usual part of my attire, no matter of the season or the place. Friends and strangers never get tired asking me: “What is that? Where did you get it from? It’s incredible! Did you make it yourself?” Well, I didn’t. Plus, the shop that I bought it from, does no longer exist. 


But the challenge was in the last question: “Did you make it yourself?” Couldn’t I try to make something similar? After my last trip to Santorini this summer I finally accepted the challenge.


It is a complex, multi-layer process. Forms are sculptured by hand. Every “stone” bag I make is one of a kind, as there is no shape that I use. These are mini sculptures, made of many different materials. Actually, it is my very own production technique, invented especially for this purpose. It is very similar to paper mashing, but apart from paper and glue, I also use: textile, plaster, acrylic paint and water-based varnish. Here are the first results:


They are hard as a stone (water resistant and durable, I might add), but not heavier than an ordinary leather purse. If you want one of these, use one of the contacts below. In case you have a specific desire for shape, color or other preferences –


We are open for new ideas.  🙂