Persimmon Paper

Persimmon Paper

The Sunday Paper #182, November 5, 2017

Paper of the Week: Japanese Persimmon Treated Stencil Paper

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Berger-Cloonan Collection of Decorated Papers at Texas A&M University (This happens to be where my father taught physics, and also is where I grew up. I hadn’t been back in awhile, so it seemed like a good reason to go). The collection, which was curated by Drs. Sidney Berger and Michèle Cloonan over more than 40 years, contains more than 20,000 pieces of paper from all over the world and spanning more than five centuries. I looked at about 1% of the collection (mostly watermarked and handmade papers) and drooled over these hand cut Japanese stencil papers, which were treated with persimmon juice (a waterproofing agent) and then used as stencils for printing.


In the Studio:

I have long wanted to share my bookshelf with you and have finally come up with a method of doing it. I’m starting a paper library! Here’s a list of my favorite how-to books about making paper by hand. Click through to read a brief synopsis of each one, and stay tuned for more to come.

Papery Tidbits

  • The 2018 Twelve Months of Paper Calendars will start shipping this week! I’m offering a FREE Halloweek Special through November 7th. Order any calendar package and choose your gift: a copy of the Papermaker’s Studio Guide DVD or a 2017 Twelve Months of Paper Calendar (although the calendar is almost defunct, the how-to projects are everlasting)!
  • Are you intrigued with online learning? The Twelve Months of Paper Calendar package #3 includes a mini online class for a great price (only $39 more than the calendar + paper pack, in other words, you get the calendar, paper pack and online class for $99). Read all about it here.


Well this isn’t paper, but I find it so similar in look to the persimmon treated paper above. These leaf carvings by JC Lua are fantastic!

The Malayan Tapir is part of Lua’s ‘Endangered Animal’ leaf art series to promote awareness on soon to be extinct animals. – Pictures courtesy of Leaf Man

This work by Jean Richardson caught my eye. She creates collections of ordinary objects which trigger memories and ignite a sense of comfort… do you recognize the objects below?

Ok, this is cool! London-based startup and electronics brand Bare Conductive has created a DIY kit that can be used to transform a sheet of paper into a functioning light. This project was recently launched on kickstarter, and I think they are fulfilling orders now, so you’ll have to wait until they relaunch to get your paper light!

Just today someone asked me if I came up with paper designs in my sleep… I had to say no (they come to me in a variety of ways) but then I read this about Karen “Bit” Vejle who says her paper cut designs often pop up in her head as she’s falling asleep!

I heard Patterson Clark speak at a papermaking conference years ago. He’s still doing this fascinating work of collecting weeds and invasive plants and turning them into papers and inks. Watch this short video where he shows you what he’s up to.


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  1. Wren Grumbles says:

    Thanks for the link to Patterson Clark. I was unaware of the possibilities of working with invasives in such an artistic way. Very inspiring to me!

  2. Helen, the work of Karen “Bit” Vejle is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the link.