Papermaking Studio

A STAKE Grant would help me complete the equipment purchases and renovations needed for Philadelphia’s first community hand papermaking studio. My goal is to provide a studio space where hand papermakers and artists who work with handmade paper will have access to the specialized equipment necessary to their artform, and operating with a similar membership model as the Sculpture Gym and Second State Press to support the main functions of the studio.

I will use the grant to purchase and build a paper press, a drying stack, acquire several sizes of vats, much needed felts / pellons, a wet-dry Shop Vac, two dehumidifiers, and perform the basic remodeling needed to keep the space and floors dry and mold-free for multiple studio users.

A Philadelphia native, I’m a visual artist who found my way into papermaking while in graduate school at the University of Iowa. Hand papermaking is the perfect dovetail between my environmental concerns and my desire to continue making images responsibly. I teach workshops in hand papermaking, and I’m also a Green Guide for Sustainable 19125. In 2012, I taught the fall session of A2O through Mural Arts, their environmental art program, and I also acquired a Valley beater for making paper pulp, the most important piece of equipment to Western hand papermaking. This year, I hope to complete the studio.

Presently, Philadelphia has no publicly accessible papermaking studio, despite the fact that UArts produces a great number of paper and book artists each year, many of whom do not leave the city. This studio will help to centralize the dispersed community of papermakers in Philadelphia, as well as bringing visibility to an underrecognized artform. By collaborating with printmakers, poets, letterpress and book artists, the paper studio will be able to create a robust network of artistic community. Additionally, once the studio is fully functional, we can perform community papermaking demonstrations and workshops, covering aspects of sustainability, natural resources, and recycling.