experimental papermaking

Hi Jess,
Sorry I have been a bit quiet lately, but I have been totally immersed in experimental papermaking. I love paper – esspecially handmade paper (which is why I shipped so much handmade washi paper back from Japan) –  so I signed up for a Papermaking course at West Dean College.
Well it was amazing – who knew you could do so much with paper pulp?! After some initial instruction in the basic process of making paper using a mould and deckle (which is like a picture frame with a layer of mesh), we were taught techniques of embedding, embossing, moulding, casting, laminating and painting with cotton rag paper pulp. Then we were left to play for four – yes four –  blissful days. Funnily enough some of my experiments began to look like weavings and I actually did weave a small piece, using a deckle first as a frame and then embedding it in paper pulp. I also experimented with newspaper pulp and Japanese paper pulp. It was a very small class of four and the other three students were all on full-time post graduate visual arts courses at West Dean and they were incredibly creative. I found messing around, sorry – I mean working – alongside them so inspiring.6
I am looking forward to using this amazing medium further in my work. For inspiration take a look at the work of my tutor Jane Ponsford and another artist who I greatly admire, Yoko Kimura.
On Saturday, I held a workshop with a lovely group of ladies. It was just a two-hour taster in Saori weaving but these ladies were raring to go – look at what they made…

Love from Mum (Amanda) x

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