Hand papermaking is certainly a strange duck. It’s simultaneously a tradition that is thousands of years old, yet artists today are just at the beginning of expanding creative papermaking techniques, and combining the medium with other art processes.
Well, who’s out there preserving tradition AND driving experimentation? A must-know organization is the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation, located in Cleveland, Ohio.
Hold onto your seats, because we’re going on a virtual studio tour!
Founded in 2008, the Morgan Conservatory is an urban arts center that resides in an impressive 15,000 square foot, industrial-chic space. Walk inside, and you’ll be greeted by a gallery, shop, and several studio areas in papermaking, letterpress, and book arts.
(Learn more about handmade paper watermarks here)
The papermaking studio is equipped with everything you could ever wish for—beautiful natural light, and a large working space with both Western and Eastern style papermaking equipment. It’s also the home of the only hanji (Korean paper) studio in the United States.
You can also take a peek into the on-site store, where various handmade papers made at the Morgan, papermaking books, and tools are available for purchase.
Outside in back lives the Caraboolad Garden, the largest paper mulberry garden in the United States. Every fall, friends of the Morgan gather to harvest and process the kozo, which is used for production handmade papers and the studio. A recent expansion of the garden includes natural dye plants and tororo-aoi, a mucilaginous root that acts as a formation aid for plant-based papers.
In the area? Currently on view in the gallery is American Fiber, a national juried exhibition that shows the diversity of papermaking as an artistic medium.
Interested in more?
- View upcoming workshops at the Morgan
- Are you an artist? Take a look at their range of artist opportunities, including residencies and internships
- Be sure to follow the Morgan on Facebook and Instagram!