How these works are made


These are not works “on paper” like most drawings or paintings, they are really works “of paper” – colored pulp compositions. Each piece begins as a thick layer of handmade paper created with the deckle box and laid on felting material in the traditional fashion. The image is developed on top of this freshly made sheet slowly and in many layers using very dilute pulp solutions. These solutions are slurries of water and fibers that have been colored with permanent pigments. Pulp can’t be applied with a paint brush, but has to be transferred in solution form with a tool similar to large eye dropper. The water from the slurry drains away through the felt, leaving a new blanket of colored fibers on the surface of the artwork. Cotton and other cellulose (plant) fibers are used for image formation, including fiber produced from local materials such as oat straw, and the stems and leaves of day lilies and iris. When the work is completed, the felting on which it is made is stretched for drying, and several days later the paper artwork is pulled up off the felting, ready for framing. Looking at the work with a magnifying glass reveals the actual fibrous structure of the image.