My 10 Top Paper Picks

My 10 Top Paper Picks

When I tell strangers what I do, it usually includes some sentiment about how small the field of paper art is. But even though it is small, I had no trouble coming up with this list of 10 of my favorite paper organizations. Here goes:

Current issue of Hand Papermaking Magazine

Hand Papermaking Magazine is a bi-annual publication, the journal in the field. In addition to publishing two magazines a year with actual paper samples in each issue, they publish a quarterly newsletter full of listings for national and international exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and more. Every two years, Hand Papermaking publishes a limited edition portfolio featuring a papermaking technique (fibers, watermarks, calligraphy, …) that includes samples by 20-30 paper artists. The most current portfolio is called Fiber Exposed!
In the studio at Dieu Donné Papermill

In the studio at Dieu Donné Papermill

Okay, I’m biased, because I’ve had the opportunity to work at some of these organizations: Dieu Donné Papermill is an amazing paper studio in NYC. Dieu Donné has a gallery, offers artists residencies, workshops, and internships, produceds collaborative, custom paper, and publishing projects. The mill also has a membership program and a subscription series.
Hook Pottery Paper

Hook Pottery Paper

I met my friend Andrea Peterson when I was working at Dieu Donné and registered with her husband Jon who made my wedding pottery. The two of them run Hook Pottery Paper in LaPorte, Indiana. He makes incredible wood-fired pots and she does wonders with paper. I’ll be teaching a workshop at their farm on August 3rd  & 4th (details coming soon).

The Craft House at Penland

I first got into sculptural papermaking during a class with Jennifer Morrow at the Penland School in North Carolina. Every summer they offer a selection of classes in their indoor/outdoor papermaking studio. Penland is a magical place, with all sorts of studios, from weaving to glassblowing, book arts to woodworking and everything in between. I teach there every few years.
Haystack Mountain School Of Crafts, Mountainville, Deer Isle, ME, Sept 2007 (4)
I have also taught at the Haystack Mountain School, a smaller version of Penland located in Deer Isle, Maine, where the summers are usually cool (and if not, you can jump into the ocean from the bottom of these steps). This coming summer, Matt Shlian, whose work is featured in Playing With Paper is teaching a workshop there.
The Friends of Dard Hunter is a national membership organization that has an annual meeting in a different city every October. Last year we convened in Cleveland, Ohio and this next fall we’ll meet in St. Louis. The organization originally formed to find a secure home for the huge collection of paper and artifacts collected by Dard Hunter. The collection is now housed at the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking (another amazing paper place).
IAPMA is the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (I’m currently serving as Vice President). This is also a membership organization that meets every two years in a different country. The next meeting will take place in Fabriano, Italy, home of the ancient papermill which has made Fabriano paper for centuries.
Kozo Fine Art Materials, Denver

Kozo Fine Art Materials, Denver

Kozo Fine Art Materials in Denver has a nice selection of papers and the closest place for me to go shopping (a 2-hour drive)!
O'Malley Crackle Flax Paper

O’Malley Crackle Flax Paper

When you visit Cave Paper in Minneapolis, you go down to the basement of a city building and soon you feel like you are in a real cave. Amanda Degener and Bridget O’Malley are the proprietors, and they make a fine selection of durable handmade papers using flax as their primary raw material.
Veggie & Fruit Papyrus carried by Hiromi Paper

Veggie & Fruit Papyrus carried by Hiromi Paper

Hiromi Paper in Santa Monica, CA specializes in importing papers from Japan, but they also carry papers from other parts of the world. The company is devoted to the creation of a greater rapport between Japanese papermakers, printers, artists, conservators, designers and bookmakers, while developing new directions and a deeper understanding of Japanese papers or Washi.
I could go on, but I’ll stop with ten. What are your top paper picks? Please share them with us by leaving a comment below.


  1. Bonnie Hull says:

    Check out the Lost Coast Culture Machine in Fort Bragg, CA
    the heart of the gallery is their paper-making…each week they make paper from clothes the local thrift stores can’t sell, pampas grass, shredded money, etc. The paper they make is wonderful to work on, and their paper-making set up is open to community members. Plus they are cool…I did an installation there this fall and it was total fun.

  2. Joanna Gair says:

    Plane Tree Paper Studio in Hobart Tasmania – superb initiative teaching workers with profound disabilities to recycle local office waste into corporate Christmas cards, wedding invitations etc.
    The Makers’ Workshops in Burnie Tasmania is Australia’s largest handmade paper studio. Gorgeous set up (I’m a little biased as their former manager) with lots of studio space for other disciplines too.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you Joanna! I hadn’t heard of Plane Tree. Cool! And I hope to see the ‘new’ (to me) Maker’s Workshop. Some day I will return to Tassie. Can’t wait!