Susan Kristoferson

Address8 Coach Gate Place SW
Postal CodeT4H 1G2
Phone Number403-668-0140

First interest in hand papermaking process: 1979

First piece of handmade paper: 1979

First handmade paper artwork: 1979

Beginning of active practice: 1979


Click on an image for the full view.

Susan'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. Researcher making handmade paper
  8. Other : I occasionally teach hand paper making. Most of my work is in creating decorative papers for sale, basically surface design on papers that I acquire.

Susan's Introduction to Hand Papermaking:

  1. Other : At Indiana University while in grad school, from Joan Sterrenberg, in a paper making course, and as the technician for the paper studio.

Influences on Susan's Work in Hand Papermaking:

Publications initially important to Susan:

Publications eventually important to Susan:

  1. Hand Papermaking : null

Countries where Susan's studied:

  1. Japan : Yoshiko Wada, Shibori World Network
    1. visit to mill or artist studio
  2. Sweden : private visit
    1. visit to mill or artist studio
  3. null : null
  4. null : null

Raw materials used by Susan in Hand Papermaking:

Used Routinely
Used Rarely

Chemicals used by Susan for cooking fibers in Hand Papermaking:

Used Routinely
Used Rarely

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

Used Routinely
  1. blender
Used Sometimes
  1. Hollander beater
Used Rarely

Style of sheet forming used by Susan in Hand Papermaking:

Years teaching hand papermaking: 1981 to present

Teaching formats used by Susan:

Used Routinely
  1. classes
  2. lectures
  3. workshops
Used Sometimes
  1. demonstrations
Used Rarely
  1. tutorials
  2. other : at first I taught regular university courses in the "fiber arts" departments, now I teach itinerantly in many visual arts topics, which occasionally is paper making

Susan's Income Contribution from Hand Papermaking:

  1. a lot


My training in paper making and extensive background in fiber arts has informed my work in creating decorative papers. It is critical that I understand the characteristics of the fibers and the papers that I work with, so that I know what type of paper to use for what situations and then why something has worked as it has to create the results that were achieved. This knowledge has then informed personal research into the "surface design" techniques that I use most frequently which are "paste painting" and "itajime" (fold and board clamp dyeing.) I started making decorative papers because I could not find the types of colors, textures or patterns to purchase that met my aesthetic needs. Trained as a fine artist and as a painter, I need the variety of color and texture that one can create with paint. Since I could not purchase what I needed, I started to learn how to dye and to paint papers to create the palette that I required for collages that I was creating Then it was so much fun creating decorative papers that I ended up needing to sell what I had created in order to keep making more of it. I have been researching "paste paper" since 1990 and have traveled world wide in pursuit of it in rare book libraries and paper collections, and to meet with every paste paper artist I can find. I now am writing a book on historic paste papers. The FDH conferences, Hand Papermaking Journal, one PBI workshop, IAPMA and a perpetual interest in paper arts and world wide paper crafts has continued to feed my interest and curiosity. Teaching paper arts and paper making has also led me to learn more, to read and research, to be able to offer the best educational experiences that I can. I am intrigued with the fields of origami, paper cuts, pop-ups, paper collage (especially children's book illustration that is created from decorative papers such as Eric Carl's books,) I am intrigued with fiber, why/how paper makes, and with the myriad of things that can be done with paper. I am also fascinated by the way that paper making can be so simple and elemental, and how it begs for continual invention and seat of the pants intuition in how to move forward. I am delighted by what I see that others create and invent. Since I moved to Canada in 2007 I have also been influenced by the work of bookbinders. I belong to the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) and fortunately Brian Queen in part of this group as well, so I am regularly informed of what he is currently inventing.