Michelle Wilson

Postal Codenull
Phone Number215-589-4333
E-mail Addressmichelle@michellewilsonprojects.com

First interest in hand papermaking process: 2004

First piece of handmade paper: 2004

First handmade paper artwork: 2006

Beginning of active practice: 2006


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Michelle 's Work in Hand Papermaking:

  1. Artist who uses handmade paper for book arts
  2. Artist who uses papermaking for three-dimensional work
  3. Artist who uses papermaking for two-dimensional work
  4. Educator or researcher who lectures about hand papermaking
  5. Educator who teaches hand papermaking (any facet)
  6. Production hand papermaker
  7. Other : Artist who uses handmade paper for installation

Michelle 's Introduction to Hand Papermaking:

  1. Workshops

Influences on Michelle 's Work in Hand Papermaking:

Publications initially important to Michelle :

Publications eventually important to Michelle :

Countries where Michelle 's studied:

Raw materials used by Michelle in Hand Papermaking:

Used Routinely
  1. abaca - purchased fiber
  2. cotton rag - fiber prepared in house
  3. other fiber : Vegetable fibers (artichoke, beet, leek), invasive fibers - andean pampas grass seed hair, French broom
Used Rarely

Chemicals used by Michelle for cooking fibers in Hand Papermaking:

Used Sometimes
  1. other : Wood ash
Used Rarely

Tools and methods used by Michelle for beating in Hand Papermaking:

Used Routinely
  1. Hollander beater
Used Sometimes
Used Rarely
  1. blender
  2. hand beating

Style of sheet forming used by Michelle in Hand Papermaking:

Years teaching hand papermaking: Ages 7-50

Teaching formats used by Michelle :

Used Routinely
  1. classes
  2. demonstrations
Used Sometimes

Michelle 's Income Contribution from Hand Papermaking:

  1. a little


I am very interested in how papermaking is embodies ecological principles and relationships to site-specificity. My experience as a papermaker began with using half-stuff, grew to using rag, and finally I am growing my own flax for papermaking and harvesting invasive plants from my region as raw papermaking fiber. I am also very interested in what meaning fibers can suggest - how, for instance, denim fiber suggests jeans, and by extension the relationship and iconography of blue jeans in America. A large influence on my work is the Land Art movement, which I have great admiration for. However, at the same time, I am disturbed by its attitudes that the landscape is just another space to shape and develop, something else to be exploited. I see papermaking as a form of land art, albeit one that co-exists or even collaborates with natural proceses such as the soil, rain, and sunshine. Compared to projects in which it must be asked, "what is the carbon footprint of this project?" - such as Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass," an artist who grows her own flax may possibly ask, "How much carbon dioxide did this project absorb?" Additionally, papermaking may be seen as a transportable form of land art, carrying an echo of the landscape that grew it within its fibers to galleries, museums, or the streets. I have been very fortunate to collaborate with Mary Tasillo, a papermaker, book and zine artist who I hold in high esteem. Our ongoing collaboration is called Book Bombs, through which we explore paper as a site-specific medium and how it can take form as street installations and temporary public art. More about Book Bombs can be seen on our website, bookbombs.net, and our blog, bookbombing.blogspot.com. More on my work with handmade paper can be seen on my website, michellewilsonprojects.com, and my blog, rocinantepress.blogspot.com.