My Handmade Paper Making Journey Part 2
This week I have finally launched my signature collection of handmade papers, created from cotton rag, the remains of my plant dyes, kozo and lokta fibres, which are suitable for printing and calligraphy, as well as decorative uses. I am so proud of what I have managed to achieve after so long practising and learning. My papers are now being used by fine art wedding stationers and calligraphers around the globe, and it is one of the most fulfilling creative processes I have yet to experiment with.
There is something so meditative about preparing the fibres, getting the right blend, pulling the sheets and then seeing them dry into mini works of art. Something that so compliments my dyeing techniques – slow, mindful, and incredibly satisfying.
So it’s been almost 10 months since I began learning how to make my own paper. I scoured the internet for resources, read half a dozen books, and watched endless YouTube videos. Then I just started to make. I beat the fibres, blitzed pulp, tried different additives, made sheet after sheet (of, if I’m being honest, slightly rubbish paper). In January I finally found my rhythm and was starting to make paper I loved, and that others loved too. But I still felt like I would like to learn more, so I enrolled on a paper-making course.
Going back to college after 20 years was slightly strange at first, but being back in a learning environment was so enjoyable. I immersed myself in the wonderful teachings of our course leader (who had a boundless creative energy and was astoundingly knowledgeable). I know I will never be a master paper-maker in that sense (the dedication and commitment to learning over a lifetime is awe-inspiring), but it was such a fantastic experience to gain just a tiny fraction of her knowledge and apply it to my own paper-making plans. Seeing everyone else’s creativity on the course was also so enlightening – everyone’s personal takes on the techniques we learned, and it reminded me that we all follow different creative paths, no matter the same beginnings.
I hope that you will enjoy my papers and do get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like to discuss a bespoke project – I like to try new techniques and am always excited to try new collaborations with other artists.