FINE HANDMADE PAPERS
Functional papers made in a sustainable way
THE PAPERMAKING PROCESS
The process starts by selecting the proper raw fiber materials for the type of paper desired. Cotton fibers create papers that are thick, soft and bulky, while abaca fibers create paper that is thin and strong. I regularly work with over 15 cellulose materials, from recycled fabrics to raw plant materials, to create a wide variety of papers. Each of them requires special preparation, like sorting, washing or cooking. Then the materials are added to a speciality machine called a Hollander beater. This machine macerates fibers allowing them to swell and absorb water. Each paper type requires special beating treatment, taking anywhere between 3 - 12 hours.
FIBER PREPARATION + BEATING
Once the fiber is pulped, it is dispersed into a vat of water, and the sheets are pulled. I use a set of tools called a mould and deckle, all of which are custom handmade to the sizes of paper that I make. The mould and deckle is scooped through the watery slurry, then expertly shaken, leaving the fibers evenly distributed on the surface of the mesh. Some fiber creeps under the edge of the deckle, creating the beautiful, natural, uneven deckle edges. In an average day, 100-300 sheets of paper are made in this manner.
Each sheet of paper is removed from the mould using a rocking motion called "couching," from the french "couche" meaning to lay down. Many sheets of paper are stacked together, with interleavings, then the stack of papers, called a post, is pressed using hydraulic pressure to remove water and aid in fiber cohesion. My pressing process takes two hours and involves double pressing to assure the sheets are ready for drying.
COUCHING + PRESSING
My papers are hung to dry in spurs. This drying method allows my papers to dry quickly, but also extremely flat. When dry, the sheets are peeled, which is my favourite part of the process. I love the sound and the sense of accomplishment examining the finished sheets. The final step is sorting. Papers are graded based on formation quality and imperfections. Only the most perfect sheets are sold for full price. Seconds are sold at a discounted price, and third rate sheets, called "broke" are cut for use in collage packs. The papers are then matured under weight to stabilize their moisture content and to allow the internal sizings to activate.
DRYING + SORTING
ABOUT THE PAPERS
This 100% cotton rag paper is soft, thick, and bulky. It has natural, soft deckle edges and small threads dance across the surface. Available in 3 weights - 180gsm standard, 220 gsm, heavy-weight, 300gsm double-heavy. The texture is a light fine grain with smooth surface. It is best used for letterpress and other printmaking techniques, especially where an embossment is desired. Also works well for drawing with soft pencil, charcoal, soft pastel, or painting with acrylic, watercolor, and gouache. Not recommended for drawing or writing with sharp instruments, like a pointed pen or hard pencil, or repeated washing and scrubbing, as with some watercolor techniques.
CLASSIC COTTON COLLECTION
This versatile paper is made from the perfect blend of abaca fibers and cotton rag. Abaca makes hard, resilient, and durable paper. Cotton adds bulk, thickness and softness. Together they create the perfect mixed media paper for fine artists. The color names in this collection pay homage to classic art tools and pigments. It has feathery deckle edges and a homogeneous surface with no visible fibers. Available in the standard weight of 150 gsm. The texture is a light fine grain with smooth surface. This mixed media paper will work well for all fine art media - draw with pencils, charcoal, conte, pastel, or paint with acrylic, watercolor, ink, and gouache.
MIXED MEDIA COLLECTION
In an attempt to reduce waste, I collect donations of 100% cotton fabric trimmings from local quilters, and turn the waste into this fun paper! After the trimmings are received, they are sorted by color, washed, chopped into small bits, and beaten in the Hollander beater for 6-12 hours before sheet forming. This paper is made from a variety of bright, rainbow-colored fabrics and abaca fibers. It has wild deckled edges with overhanging threads, and a highly textured surface with a wide variety of colored threads and fabric pieces on the face. It is a soft, thick, and bulky paper. Each sheet is unique, and the color distribution will vary batch to batch. Best used for letterpress and collage.
You'll find my most popular paper colors and sizes available for immediate purchase in small quantities in my shop, most of the time. If you need larger quantities, or find the paper you need is temporarily out of stock, you can place an order with no order minimum. Only a deposit of half the order value is required to start the production process (though most customers pay in full at ordering for their own ease), and these orders can be canceled or returned with a refund under most circumstances.
Some of the less popular combinations of paper color and size are available made-to-order only. Orders should be pre-paid before production can begin, and must meet order minimums below. These paper orders cannot be canceled or returned in most situations.
8x10, 11x14, 16x20, all envelopes - 15 sheets
5x7, Stationery flats, 4x4, 7x7 - 50 sheets
Place cards - 150 pieces
Any papers not included on the matrix below are considered custom papers. This could include papers in unique colors, thicknesses or sizes. For custom papers, orders must be pre-paid in full before production can begin and must meet the order minimums below. These paper orders cannot be canceled or returned.
8x10, 11x14, 16x20, all envelopes - 75 sheets
5x7, Stationery flats, 4x4, 7x7 - 250 sheets
Place cards - 750 pieces