Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guest Blogger Sandra Anible, Decorating Handmade Paper

Sandra Anible is a book artist living in Madison, Wisconsin. I met her at PBI in May 2011, when she was a PBI participant and one of the lucky scholarship students who was on hand to help keep PBI running smoothly. Sandra also wrote for my blog about one of the other PBI 2011 classes, making conservation enclosures with Denise Carbone. This time she has written a review of Bridget O'Malley's paper-making class, also from PBI 2011. Thanks for sharing your class experiences with us, Sandra!

At the 2011 Paper Book Intensive, Bridget O'Malley taught a class that featured several creative methods for decorating freshly couched handmade paper. O'Malley is co-partner with Amanda Degener of Cave Paper ( in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She first taught us how to create sheets of handmade paper using both cotton and abaca fibers. After we became comfortable with the Western method of pulling sheets, she provided instruction on how to screen-print pulp onto the handmade paper.

Some of the papers made in this class:

The method entailed painting a piece of stretched polyester fabric using Speedball drawing fluid. After flooding the fabric with Speedball screen filler, the water soluble drawing fluid resisted the non-water soluble screen filler, and the painted image was washed away with water after the screen filler dried. This created a means by which the imagery would be screen-printed onto the newly made paper using a finely beaten, pigmented pulp.

We then used our xacto knives to cut pieces of mylar film in order to create stencils. A mylar stencil could be placed over a freshly couched sheet of paper, and pigmented pulp could be applied over the stencil in order to make creative, editionable papers.

Blocks of Easy Cut were made available, as were relief cutting tools. We were encouraged to cut designs into the blocks for impressing into the handmade paper during the pressing and drying processes.

A few more papers made in this class:

These and other techniques were all employed for the grande finale--a class-wide portfolio exchange. Each member of the class was given the creative freedom to make an edition of papers using any combination of the techniques that had been taught. For a celebration of the anniversary of Hand Papermaking, an exhibit of one of these portfolios was later displayed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Throughout the class, Andrea Peterson ( was on hand for management of the studio space and work flow among the students - necessary because our class was highly prolific, churning out collections of paper that kept Andrea busy, and kept the dryer full for the duration of the class. Our collections overflowed the show-and-tell table at the end of the week!

1 comment:

MyHandboundBooks said...

Thank you, Sandra! So glad you were able to write about this class and share it here on my blog :)