Tom Balbo

Paper Talk
Paper Talk
Tom Balbo

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Tom Balbo has spent most of his life in and around Cleveland, Ohio. His earliest work was primarily in ceramics and printmaking. As his interest in papermaking grew, his work turned towards expressing his artistic creativity in this area. Over the past 40 years, Balbo’s work has been exhibited and shown in a large number of shows and galleries, and he has garnered numerous awards and critical attention for his artwork. In 2008, Balbo founded The Morgan Art of Paper Conservatory and Educational Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio along with other local artists. He continue to work in paper, printmaking, and ceramics and divides his time between creating in his studio and as the Artistic Director at the Morgan Conservatory.

We discussed Balbo’s progression from grad school to finding studio space and ultimately a live/work space in Cleveland.

Balbo’s personal work (in paper) ranges from pulp painting to pulp casting and unique marbled works.

We discussed the evolution of the The Morgan Art of Paper Conservatory and Educational Foundation and the many programs they currently offer. Here’s the beater room:

We talked about the fiber garden, which yields a substantial kozo harvest each winter.

Tom Balbo’s recommendations:


Visit Tom Balbo’s website to learn more about him, and you can find him at the Morgan Conservatory.


Music featuring excerpts of Makin’ Paper folk song by Peter Thomas. Listen to the full song and find out about other paper and book arts folk songs.

Gary A. Hanson did the sound editing for this episode. He practices and refines his skills in audio production while making his own podcast I’ll Have a Beer and Talk, a show about tech news, culture, weird animal stories and of course, beer. Gary is also the Deckle in Pulp & Deckle, a Portland-based community hand papermaking studio.



  1. Thank you Helen for the wonderful conversation with Tom from the Morgan Conservancy…so refreshing to hear his
    years of devotion to papermaking and the arts, as well as yourself and the many many years of your generous knowledge on ” all things paper” Thank you.

    • Helen Hiebert says:

      Thanks for listening and appreciating, Claudia! And thanks for submitting your one-sheet wonder.

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