How to use handmade paper for art and design?
Various Examples of the Papermaking Process
Why Handmade Paper?
“Why make paper” – someone once asked me – “you can buy paper”
“Oh, you’re making paper! I did that when I was in Primary School”
Ahhhhh we papermakers have to put up with a myriad of comments from all sorts.
Why make paper?
Well, let’s look at this creative medium………
In 2000 I gave a lecture at St Cloud University for the ‘Women in Art’ course when I shared my love of the medium ‘the endless possibilities of using natural fibers that can be hand beaten, chopped, pigmented, manipulated and pushed 95% of the time – 5% of the time they do their own thing – that’s the nature of natural fibres!’
The pleasure resulting from making paper by hand can evoke a satisfactory sense of personal accomplishment, one that can satisfy a creative need that comes from working with a medium that can entrance and continue to be open to new experimentation – even after 25 years of making.
Today I continue to experiment by adding non-natural inclusions, by constantly learning new ways to use the natural fibres, and by constantly learning from my students to whom I pass on my knowledge; it seems this medium will continually keep me engaged.
Plant fibres, mould and deckle, pulp
Reading some of my papermaking books I have found comments by these authors that find the papermaking process eudaemonic to happiness……
Jules Heller: ‘Papermakers are a happy lot, a special group in love with what it does, sharing an incurable, contagious, high fevered mysterious disease with all friends and acquaintances.’
Sophie Dawson: ‘The transformative nature of the material and the cyclical process of papermaking are a direct source of inspiration.’
Marie-Jeanne Lorente: ‘Replace utilitarian paper with paper that pleases.’