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.’
Magazine for papermakers
A yearly self published magazine for hand papermakers, users of handmade paper and for those who are interested in the medium.
My intention for this small magazine is that it will be both introductory and informative. It will help to promote hand papermaking as a medium for artists’ creative practice, one that has an interesting history and that has lately seen and interested engagement by the artistic and creative community. I would like to further the practice of making paper by hand – be it for fun, joy, for research or for one’s own personal arts practice.
In future issues I intend to continue to invite those who use the medium in their practice: be it as a printer, a book artist, designer or any other artisan to submit articles to further the use of this intriguing medium.
If you would order a copy of Pressed, please email me and I will be happy to send it to you.