Paper Came First

A replica of Cai Lun, the man credited with the invention of papermaking in China.

I was talking with an esteemed colleague the other day, and she put something into words that has been bugging me for some time. She was at a celebration for a book arts organization and couldn’t help comparing our field (hand papermaking) with book arts. There are many

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Handmade Paper Exchange

I recently participated in a paper exchange called Paper Experiments, and look what I received in exchange for sending in a set of paper swatches! This swap has taken place before (at least once) and the participants vary from year to year. This year 16 papermakers from six countries performed their magic. Julie Johnson and Jane Dolan from Portland, OR created everything that tied this

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Pressing for Papermaking

I was in Salt Lake City this past weekend, teaching an Experimental Papermaking workshop at the University of Utah. They had this really cool press! You could raise and lower that top bar to accommodate varying post sizes. And check out that cute little jack. This press worked really well for our 8″ x 10″ sheets of paper.

Often when I’m teaching, the

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The Story of Interluceo

Making an artists’ book is a long and involved process, and I find it helpful to review once a project is complete. Here’s the story of my latest book, Interluceo.

The box that houses Interluceo (binding and box by Claudia Cohen). Notice the blind embossed title on the spine.

I started reading about sacred geometry about five years ago and discovered a wonderful

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Paper Sale + Paper Hoarding

I completely spaced on publishing this post yesterday! I’ll chalk it up to the fact that my hubby got was treated to a complimentary stay at a luxury hotel in Vail last night, so I joined him there for dinner and the night. And between coordination of the dog and the kids, well, this fell through the cracks!

Some of you get my monthly e-newsletter

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Experimental Papermaking

I’m a huge fan of experimental papermaking, which takes many forms of course (quick, what did you think of when you read that phrase?).

My version of experimental papermaking involves embedding string and wire between sheets of high shrinkage abaca to see what happens as the sheets dry, something I began exploring in 1993 when I was introduced to the idea in a class at

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Vote for The Wish!

I’m off to California tomorrow to teach a workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book, followed by the Codex Book Fair, which begins on Sunday. I’ve just completed the first short leg of my trip – I’m at my friend and fellow paper artist Jill Power’s home in Boulder, because I didn’t want to have to get up to drive the 2-1/2 hours

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Book Fair Prep

I’m busy getting ready for the Codex Book Fair, which takes place February 8-11 in Richmond, California. If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by my booth!

The highlight at my booth will be my new book, Interluceo. I am looking forward to seeing the first bound copy later this week! Here’s a sneak peak of one page spread (professional

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Seeing is Believing

Making hops paper at Rogue Brewery in Portland, OR

How do you learn best? I’m a kinesthetic learner, although once I grasp a subject and have a tactile experience, I can absorb more information through reading and seeing examples. Wikipedia’s definition of the term: Kinesthetic Learning (also known as Tactile Learning) is a learning style in which learning takes place by the student

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Making a Drying Box


The following text is excerpted from my book The Papermaker’s Companion, with a few additions.

Drying System being loaded, illustration by Alison Kolesar from The Papermaker’s Companion

This restraint drying system is the highest-tech system I’ve seen, and it yields flat and dry papers in about 24 hours. I use it myself. The laminated cardboard is a bit costly, but this system

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