A Dynamo of Papermaking: Studio Tour of the Morgan Conservatory

Morgan Conservatory Paper

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!

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Environmental Installations: Handmade Paper Art by Jane Ingram Allen

Pt. Reyes Site Map

When artists merge the medium of hand papermaking with other art movements, interesting and significant artworks can emerge. You many have already read about papermaking intersecting with performance art, printmaking, and historical process photography.

Well, how about handmade paper and site-specific art? Or paper art that addresses environmental issues, and welcomes participation?

Jane Ingram Allen is an artist, curator, educator, Fulbright scholar, and world-traveler whose work embodies all of the above. She uses local plants and natural materials to create handmade paper installations and sculptures that invite collaboration from the community and viewers.

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Papermaking in Detroit: The Invasive Paper Project by Megan Heeres

Invasive Paper Project by Meg Heeres

Participant at ‘The More We Get Together’,
Artist with gallery visitor at the hand-papermaking station, 2015

What’s currently topical in the handmade paper world? Projects and artists that explore alternative, local fibers for papermaking. These are paper projects that often connect with broader circles, from community organizations to environmental agencies.

Whether it’s recycled paper scrap, agri-fiber waste, banana trunks, or invasive seaweed, over here at Paperslurry we’ll be exploring a few of our favorite ventures. You may have seen Jane Kramer’s Foreshadowing series, and today let’s take a quick peek at The Invasive Paper Project, which also works with invasive plant fibers.

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Art, Handmade Paper, Invasive Plants: New Photographs by Jane Kramer

Handmade paper art from plants, Jane Kramer

Jane Kramer, Foreshadowing – Endangered and Threatened Plant Species, Long-bracted spiderwort on phragmites

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.

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Stop the Presses! It’s Community Supported Paper at Fresh Press

Fibers by Fresh Press, handmade paper in Illinois

What if handmade paper was at the farmer’s market, along with your favorite tomatoes and freshly baked loaf? Or, maybe there’s a snazzy notebook made from prairie grass paper in your CSA box.

You’re not daydreaming—community supported paper is a reality, thanks to Fiber by Fresh Press.

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Inside Edgewood College’s Paper Studio: Handmade Paper’s Role in Art Therapy

Edgewood College Papermaking Studio, Madison Wisconsin

Hand papermaking’s tactile, experimental nature lends itself to applications in a variety of settings. The possibilities are seemingly infinite with potential for sculpture, wet media, book arts, and drawing (just to name a few).

At Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, art therapy students are sharing papermaking with the community through their outreach programs. Click through for the full story!

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Stare at This Handmade Paper Watermark (Animated GIF)

Handmade paper watermark

Elusive, mysterious, surprising. Watermarks can be an art form, a papermaker’s mark, security method, or design effect unique to paper.

Regardless of purpose, it’s an eye-widening moment when you hold a deceptively blank sheet of paper to light and a hidden image suddenly appears.

How does this work?

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