2018 Shows Papel Texano at the 2018 Austin Book, Paper & Photo Show
Humor Papel Texano Handmade Paper Laughs at Papermaking
'Cinque 'Cinque Tooth Chalk and Pastel Handmade Paper
advanced work, but need much more...
Gallery Papel Texano Handmade Paper Gallery
Tools Papel Texano Handmade Paper Tools and Toys
the rest still under dust, sorry...
Meanwhile, visit the Etsy Papel Texano page
- Birds of a Feather
- Other Collaboration
Lately I've been reflecting even more on this "papermaking" thing, and who does it.
My own fault, but, making pulp from scratch doesn't quite enthuse me, or seed inclusions on paper, or making artwork (oh, I do enjoy those, especially pulp art, but it's not quite "my thing"). Since those seem to form 96.3% of the traffic in current "papermaking" lists, publications, workshops, and events, and 99% of institutional hiring, the rest of us are rara avis, perhaps a critically endangered species.
So, perhaps I am not a papermaker but instead I am a paper maker?
Since its invention and adoption, paper is a useful material, a commodity, something meant to be used for something else, not to stand on its own as a valuable object, but to be valued by what was added to it. In that tradition, paper should be as even, flat, uniform, white as possible, and then fulfill its destiny when it silently holds something more important than itself, for example writing, drawing, a print, perhaps as a wrap to protect.
Paper was a servant.
Now, I love my papermaker friends. Yes, they are real papermakers, their artwork is original, creative, besides pretty, and where else would you find a sheet of 20th century paper with no writing, printing, or painting on it cost $120,000 except in the "art" world?
Servant paper must be cheap, or else it cannot be used except as a stunt.
There are several reasons that complicate the making "classic" paper to be affordable, for example those pesky child labor laws: as long as they operated, handmade paper mills depended of what we would consider today to be severely underpaid and overworked "apprentices", and women. I should consider interns, you say? Lol.
Between one thing and another, I felt like seeking "my own kind" in a way, people with a similar passion for plain, good paper, that might even convince modern book arts folks to try handmade paper.
I count my visit to Prof. Tim Barrett of the University of Iowa as the highlight of my 2017. As far as I know it's the only academic institution in the USA that still makes paper-as-support. No wonder the book arts department there is also amazing.
As to paper makers instead of papermakers, for one thing my spelling corrector will be finally happy, for another it does stress the focus on "paper", as the commodity.
1,000-sheet Paper Makers
Initially I thought that the indicator of a paper maker would be many sheets. The reasoning was that an artist will focus instead on the aesthetics, will make very few sheets, spending most of the time preparing pulp, shaping, etc. It turns out that one paper art papermaker is quite prolific, so this paper maker definition needs also consider the paper itself: servant paper is mute, silent.
Flat, even, uniform, generally white or "natural" color or lightly tinted.
One thousand sheets per year is actually a low number historically, but in this day and age might still count-in the independent one-wo/man-mill, often able to make paper only part time because the market is so small and the income so limited. Let's remember that a 4-man paper mill team was expected to make 500 to 2,000 sheets per day, of course with other teams preparing the pulp and then drying the sheets. As mentioned below, seldom will this kind of paper maker use all the paper made, some kind of sales outlet will usually exist.
In my case, besides selling, my bottleneck is drying. My drier loads 25 to 30 sheets. I can fill it in 6 hours without raising much of a sweat, the 6 hours comprising everything, from maintenance and improvements to my equipment, to preparing pulp and furnish, to pulling, couching, pressing, drying, cleaning and storing the previous session production. But between "life" and being a househusband, it's seldom I have more than 2 papermaking sessions per week, some weeks none, if lucky I can actually put 12 hours at it in a day and do two loads.
This quest actually began a bit as a joke. I was sharing with a bookseller colleague (I am now on the Board of the Texas Booksellers Association) how my goal for 2018 is to be among the top 10 paper makers in the US, and he said that it would be easy, "as there are only 5 of you out there"... So I was wondering, how many are there of "us", really?
More comprehensive lists
- May Babcock's fantabulous Hand Papermaking Map, and Paperslurry list of those selling handmade paper
- Hand Papermaking Magazine
List of "Production" Paper Makers
This list is assuredly incomplete, and, while also mentioning paper makers elsewhere, my focus was the US. And "production" is such a complicated word...
The definition is, 1,000 sheets per year or more of "plain" paper meant to be used for something else, as distinct from being primarily an art piece.
Yama,Peter Thomas, of Peter and Donna Thomas fame, amazing paper makers and dear friends
I have made 1000 sheets in a year before, but rarely do that now, as I am only making paper for my own books. But I could, if I would be able to figure out what to do with all the paper once I made it. My mantra is, and you can quote me: “Making things is easy. Selling them, that’s hard."
- Tim Barrett and team, the University of Iowa Oakdale UICB Paper Facility Buy this paper most every Friday. I would not be surprised that several of his team make ten times over, I'll ask him.
- Travis Becker, TwinRocker Buy this paper
- Darren, Kenny, Phoenix, at Green Field Paper Buy this paper With our 3 papermakers, we, Green Field Paper Company, make an average of 500-600 sheets (13 inches x 19 inches) per day and can make up to 1000 per day.. Green Field has been producing paper since 1992. We purchase post-consumer pulp and cotton linters a ton at a time and use earth pigment if we are coloring the paper. Our signature paper, Grow A Note, is embedded with seeds (wildflower, herbs or vegetable). We also make paper from denim and hemp clothing scraps as well as a paper we make from junk mail and one from garlic skins and another from coffee chaff.
- John Sullivan, Logos Graphics I’m a printer is San Francisco, Ca. We also make paper primarily for printing but also for cast paper projects. I have been using the “off cuts” clean boarders from projects we print to make cotton sheets for the last seven years. While 90% of our letterpress printing is still on commercial sheets from Cranes and Mohawk we are getting more interest in custom color and size (deckle all edges) papers.
- Susanne Baker, Fibernacci Press I make over 1000 sheets a year for my own purposes in Greensboro, North Carolina. I make and sell blank books and journals as well as running a letterpress operation. I set the type, print, and bind limited edition books on my handmade paper. I am a one person operation.It usually takes me three years from beginning to end to do an edition and I sell my paper and blank books at the local farmers market at the same time.
- Amanda Degener, Cave Paper Buy this paper Cave Paper is a production hndmade paper studio operating since 1994. We have been dedicated to making decorated and unusual sheets of high quality paper for use by artists, bookbinders and all types of designers.
- Kelsey Pike, Sustainable Paper + Craft Buy this paper I'm a production papermaker! I make 60-100 sheets per week in my studio in Kansas City, MO.
- Yama Płoskonka, Papel Texano Buy this paper
We have a 120 gallon dehydrator. We reclaim nearly all the water we use using holding bins under the couching station and press, syphoning it out with pumps into a holding tank. We designed and had our press fabricated addressing all the things we hated about our old standard press.
We make around 2,000 sheets a year and use about 24 lbs of cotton fiber for the cast paper projects we are commissioned to do. We will be adding molds and deckles for sale soon to our web site.
I have just begun making watercolor paper in every color except stark white. There seems to be a lot of interest in this, I am hoping that this will become much more.
Cave is attempting to transition from Amanda Degener being the sole owner to a worker owned cooperative business. Over 30 people attended the 2 meetings held in September to establish the Cave Paper Cooperative, including community members with cooperative experience. (Yamanote: Cave Paper appears to be the only US paper maker represented in at least a few arts materials stores)
- The Comana Paper Mill (Romania)
- Mark Lander
- Matthias Schwethelm
- Jim Patterson
- Raphael Grotthuss
Paper is much more of a commodity in Europe, more of a tradition, pretty much any stationery store will have sheets, envelopes, journals made of handmade paper.
Here in the US it is probably not unreasonable to assume that 90% of people have never touched handmade paper.
Then, of course in the Orient it totally is still a daily life thing, calligraphy paper and so much more.
Thus any attempt of a list of makers of paper by hand outside of the Americas would be very incomplete (there is an interesting revival going on in South America, also)
(need to flesh out this, forgive me just for now noting a few names of people I've heard of directly, I'll be adding details, links later)
- Up-and-comers, and past paper makers
It would be nice to honor Kathryn and Howie Clark somewhere here, and to also encourage people who are trying to take up the post of continuing the tradition
(needs fleshing out)
Papermaking in Wikipedia
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