Posts Categorized: Special Topics

From Plant to Paper: Making Paper with Milkweed

In this class, students experience the entire process of paper making beginning at the
source: the raw plant material. Focusing on Milkweed, an abundant native plant, we will learn how to responsibly harvest, extract fiber from the plant, and process it into pulp. Once processed, we will then learn how pull sheets using the Western method of sheet formation.

Similar to Kozo and other bast fibers commonly used in eastern papers, Milkweed has long fibers. When beaten by hand, this long fiber creates strong paper with a cloth-like surface.

Students will leave this class with an understanding of how plants are processed into paper, as well as skills pulling, pressing, and drying handmade sheets.

This class will meet for SIX Saturday sessions starting on November 2nd until December 14th, omitting November 30th for Thanksgiving weekend. 

Introduction to Paper Marbling

This class meets for two consecutive days: Tuesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 6th

Paper Marbling is a design technique that has been used by paper artists since the 12th century. Pigments are floated on a viscous water-based solution and carefully transferred to paper to produce mesmerizing patterning, similar to smooth marble. Marbled paper is art on its own, but it can also be used as book covers, end papers, and as a base for handmade prints.

In this two-day workshop, students learn the complete process, from preparing marbling baths to creating a range of patterns on paper. On the first day, students prepare paper for the marbling process by applying mordant to paper, setting up baths, and creating marbling combs. On the second day, students return to prepare pigments and pull their own paper. Every student will create five original pieces of marbled paper, each featuring a method of marbling, such as stone patterns, combed patterns, free hand, and the application of stencils as a resist.

Bookbinding: No-Sew Books

This class is the perfect introduction to bookbinding. Students will learn the basic vocabulary and tools of bookbinding, and the core skills needed to recreate a variety of book structures on their own. The workshop will address various ways to cut and fold paper to make an economical book from a single sheet of paper. Another glue-less binding that will be introduced is the concertina book–a basic structure with endless variations. Students will learn to use a guillotine to cut book pages and a nipping press to flatten and add a professional touch to their books. This workshop is great for people who create comics, poetry, prose, enjoy journaling, or would like to add a narrative or sculptural element to their prints.

Papermaking Workshop: Native Milkweed

In this one-day workshop, students will learn about Milkweed: an abundant native plant with strong, long bast fiber. Participants will learn the properties of Milkweed fiber and how it compares to other papermaking fibers, best practices for harvesting and processing fiber, and will learn hands-on how to pull sheets of Milkweed paper using a Western-style mould.

Bookbinding: Hardcover Case Binding

Hardcover books are elegant and frequently sought after structures. Use this class to learn how to make your own journals, sketchbooks, diaries, etc.

This class is designed for people with beginning to intermediate bookbinding experience to delve into more advanced techniques. Students will learn how to sew folded signatures, how to sew onto tapes, how to create a cloth bound case, and “case in” a sewn book block. This class will focus on learning the technique of case binding and will explore on the basics such and importance of paper choice, tools and vocabulary. Previous bookbinding experience is encouraged but not necessary.

DIY Greeting Cards: Relief Printing

The graphic look of a hand-carved relief print makes for great greeting cards.
Relief printmaking is a graphic and versatile style of printmaking that dates as far back as 500 BC. An image is carved in reverse onto a block, which is then inked and sent through a press. The tools are simple and approachable but the possibilities are expansive. On the press, students will learn how to mix ink, handle paper, and finesse pressure to produce a beautiful, personalized set of greeting cards.