….paper, for all its textures, subtlety of colour & sheer versatility, is possibly my first love. Unfortunately, a few years ago due to available space and other personal reasons, I had to give up my papermaking workshop. I still dabble at my kitchen sink from time to time & never give up the hope of one day returning to this wonderfully fulfilling craft….
Where it all began.
Papermaking began in China and treasured as a secret for over 500 years. In the early 17th century it arrived in Japan through Korea and Buddhism and became an intricate part of Japanese spiritual culture, symbolising purity.
Paper became available in Europe through imports from the Islamic world where it had been acquired from Chinese prisoners in AD 751
The European paper industry began in Spain, spread to Italy by 1276 and then slowly across Europe in the 14th and 15th century. By the 17th century Holland was regarded the leader in handmade rag paper.
In 1798 Nicholas Louis Roberts invented the 1st papermaking machine and in 1892 the 1st machine-made paper mill was established in Shanghai, China – almost 2000 years later, papermaking had returned from where it had begun.
Recommended reading: The following are my favourite Handmade Paper publications. Although I cannot guarantee they are all still in print, each overflows with information & inspiration & are well worth the search.
Paper making – Jules Heller – ISBN: 0-8230-3895-5
The Art & Craft of Papermaking – Sophie Dawson – ISBN: 0-7318-0306-X
Simon & Shuster Australia
Creative Handmade Paper – David Watson –ISBN: 0-85532-730-8
Paper Pleasures – Faith Shannon – ISBN: 9-780207-15681
Angus & Robertson Publishers
Papermaking from Recycling to Art – Jean G. Kropper – ISBN: 1-85029-208-6
Lothian Publishing Aust
Classic Crafts – Jacqui Hurst – ISBN: 1-85029-208-6
Making your own Paper – Marianne Saddington – ISBN: 9-78153-682032
New Holland Publishers