Long before I found the creative joy of freeform crochet, with all its colour & texture, I was papermaking; I guess you could say it was my first creative love. I became obsessed with Handmade Paper, both natural fibre and recycled & by 1984 my papermaking was in full swing, retailing unique paper products across Australia & conducting regular workshops. In 1994, I even participated in a group exhibition at the Queensland Museum with the Papermakers of Queensland.
In today’s world we tend to take paper for granted. However, papermaking has a long history &, paper itself, was revered in ancient times as a sacred item, which is understandable when you consider the laborious process that handmade paper requires.
My days were spent, harvesting the natural fibres from wherever I could find them: my own garden, neighbours’ gardens, the bush. These fibres had to be cooked & reduced to cellulose, which then had to be masticated into pulp, to be sheeted (couched), pressed & glazed (I did this on glass). I’d start with a backyard of fibre, only to end up with a handful of sheets. It didn’t take long before I began mixing recycled paper & fibre pulp together to increase volume, keeping recipes so I could reproduce these lovely papers.
It’s a wonderful tactile craft, one I throughly enjoyed & often hanker back to. However, due to unforeseen circumstances at the time I had to give up my workshop & move on to other things.
Should there be any interested papermakers or, would-be papermakers, reading this, I have posted my ‘Papermaking Workshop Summary Notes’ here
So… why am I, a Freeform Crocheter, going on about paper? Well… it just so happens, I just couldn’t (or unwilling to) let go of the many gorgeous papers I had made over the years, selling a few sheets here & there, but keeping my favourites stashed in air-tight containers in the corner of my present workshop…
It’s time… time to de-stash, & now, with my work computer ‘out of action’ for some time yet, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time, … for those of you who love beautiful, handmade paper, it’s now for sale in my Etsy shop until stock runs out… with more listing to come as I get photos done.
Although a little sad to see the paper go, I know it will bring much pleasure to lovers of handmade paper; not to mention, creative opportunities for scrapbookers, collage & mixed media Artists, book binders, card makers…