I am so fortunate to have interns who seek me out, and this summer I have two interns who are traveling to Portland to help out around the studio in exchange for learning what they can through hands-on training, day-to-day activities and osmosis!
Megan Welch will be a senior at Troy University in Troy, Alabama and sent me an e-mail last fall inquiring about an internship. Before Megan started college, she learned to make paper at a summer camp where she assisted the papermaking instructor. When camp ended, she asked how she could learn more, and the instructor told her that she’d done an independent study in college. So Megan asked her professors about doing this, and one of them, who had some basic papermaking experience, agreed to be her advisor.
Using the skills she acquired at summer camp, the knowledge of her professor and some research from books, she set up a papermaking space in the school’s printmaking studio this spring. She used a blender as her beater, made paper from recycled and sheet pulps, pressed in a c-clamp press and using the etching press, and dried them on a clothes line.
Megan came across my how-to books during her research, looked at my website and noticed that I host interns. I interviewed her over the phone and was impressed with her enthusiasm and motivation to learn something that wasn’t offered at her school.
During her three weeks in Portland, Megan is working with overbeaten abaca, helping me make a custom watermarked luminaria for a wedding, assisting with the production of a couple of artists’ books and much more. She’s also exploring the city: she’s staying in two different hostels; and each day has something interesting to report about her activities outside of the studio, including learning how to ride a bike! I’m delighted she’s chosen to learn how to make paper first, and I look forward to seeing how Megan takes what she learns and applies it to her goal of becoming an art therapist.