November 25, 2018
I recently interviewed Laurence Barker on Paper Talk. Barker is an influencer in the field of Hand Papermaking. Born in 1930, Barker went to Principia College and got his MFA from Cranbrook, where he also ended up teaching from 1960 – 1970 and ran the first classes in hand papermaking at the college level in the US. Several students (and others who visited that studio) went on to become luminaries in the field of hand papermaking. A theme that came up time and again during our conversation was the way Barker followed his intuition. After college, he wrote to Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris about the potential of studying with him. He never heard back, but he went to Paris, looked up Hayter, and he was able to study with him! Later, he wrote a letter to Dard Hunter asking whether he knew of a beater he might use to set up a papermaking studio at Cranbrook, and Dard Hunter found one for him! And after reading James Michener’s book Iberia, which describes Spain as a place centered around the book, Barker surmised that printing would follow the book, so he moved overseas and started a papermaking studio in Spain. And he was right! Enjoy our conversation.
In the Studio:
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