As an art medium, hand papermaking has an incredible potential to speak meaningfully about the environment. One artist you should know is Jane Kramer, who has focused on invasive and native plant species by combining handmade papers with alternative process photography.
It’s a wild, wide world of potential for hand papermaking, especially when paired with other art-making mediums. Paper pulp itself has a huge variety of capabilities, including a remarkable memory suited for casting.
Let’s take a quick look at work by Josh Monroe, an artist who combines printmaking (relief woodcuts) and papermaking.
Handmade paper grants a particular kind of creative freedom for the artist—by creating your own sheets of paper, you’re able to go beyond the surface of paper as a substrate and create unique works made completely of handmade papers. These unique sheets might serve as the basis for other works on paper, or become art works all on their own.
Once you’ve made a deckle box and mastered the basic technique, you’re ready to embark on a project that incorporates your new equipment. You’re in luck, we have artistic ideas on how to use that trusty deckle box. With a few types of pulp and some inclusion materials, you’re well on your way to creating a new series of work!
Hand papermaking offers a colorful lexicon full of terms like kiss, hog, and slurry (obviously a favorite of ours). One term that often gets an eyebrow raise is couching (pronounced ‘coo-ching’), the term papermakers use to describe transferring a newly formed sheet of paper from the mould to the felts.
Click through to learn the history of this term and how to seal objects between wet sheets of paper!
And if you’re just starting out, here’s the Paperslurry basic hand papermaking tutorial.
Who knew that hand papermaking art could be so alive on the internet?
Angie Shen is an artist who works with ceramics, video, web art, installation, and, our favorite, papermaking. She studied papermaking and book arts in Southern California, and took the time to answer a few curious questions for Paperslurry.
Keep reading for the interview!
Hand papermaking’s versatility as an artistic medium makes it an area without defined edges. Combination with other art processes have only just begun being explored. Let’s look at how alternative, or historical, photographic processes and handmade paper can intersect.
Lindsey Beal is an artist, educator, and dear friend of mine, who generously answered a few questions about her work, experience, and thoughts on hand papermaking and photography.