For the last ten years I've been making and selling my handmade paper products at the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market, sharing space with Off Center Ceramics, my husband Frank's pottery business. After much procrastination on his part, I've finally gotten him to build me a web site.
I wanted a web site for a couple of reasons. One of them is educational: Since January of 1998, I've been teaching regular papermaking classes at University of Oregon's Erb Memorial Union Craft Center (and other places less regularly). Students often have questions that weren't covered in the class handouts, and a web site is a handy place to direct them. We also have family and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin who are curious to see things I'm working on, as papermaking isn't so commonly practiced there. And of course there's the commercial aspect: I have handmade paper, journals and cards to sell.
I began my romance with pulps in January 1994, when I took a papermaking class at the Craft Center. Aimee Yogi was the instructor, and included a campus walk to identify plants that could be used as sources of cellulose for paper making. Our class made paper from pulps made of mildewed day lily leaves, common reed, seaweed, lawn grass, oat straw and blackberry cane; all things that seemed to have potential in the middle of winter. Later in the class we made pulp from old macramé wall hangings, peeled milk cartons, and a Mexican straw purse from Goodwill. I was pretty much smitten: I could combine my interests in microbiology and recycling, and with a little bit of chemistry and experimentation, make all kinds of interesting paper.
Like any convert, I find I have the need to evangelize a little. Come join with me on
the voyage of discovery into the wonders of paper from plants in your own backyard
(front yard, common area, cracks in the sidewalk...)
It's all cellulose!