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First interest in hand papermaking process: 1992
First piece of handmade paper: 1992
First handmade paper artwork: 2000
Beginning of active practice: 2002
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Years teaching hand papermaking: 5 - 80
I came to papermaking through textile studies and still incorporate natural dyeing and stitch into my work. I tend to combine techniques from different traditions because I am working from locally sourced fibres. The making process contributes to the art of the finished piece and my need to continue working to express myself and the evolution of the sheet. It is important to me to share the knowledge and skills I have acquired with others new to papermaking. I have taught classes of 10-12 in other venues but generally I teach from my home studio and can only accommodate 4 maximum. I find groups such as theEmbroiderer's Guild and the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers welcome a general somewhat auto biographical evening talk with slides and samples followed by a day class of hands on experience making paper. IAPMA has provided a focus and forum for sharing interests with other papermakers and paper artists as well as being socially stimulating and culturally enriching through the different venues and member experiences. There are many exhibition opportunities plus stimulating congresses and workshops in interesting places to widen horizons. I find smaller groups for a longer period i.e. several consecutive days with opportunities for trying different techniques in a new environment very rewarding. Arranging exhibitions of paper to raise awareness in the general public and to network locally is proving rewarding but time consuming and distracts from pursuing and developing my own work - which is a point to consider for the future. Having organised the shows in Norwich with backing from IAPMA and local authority I have been invited to take another international paper exhibition to Japan in 2015. www.iapma.info www.norfolkcraft.co.uk www.artandsoulofpaper.com
The professionalism and organisation of papermaking with book art and paper art in USA is outstanding and an incentive to encourage a similar development and appreciation of papermaking and art in UK. The generosity of US and other international artists in sharing their work for the Art and Soul of Paper exhibition in Norwich, Spring 2013 has been uplifting and inspiring but has been at their own cost. It was very difficult for me to get funding for the event here and I can only hope it will be easier next time as I have more of a track record now. The survey is a great way of revealing numbers of people participating in papermaking and might lead to greater funding input in the future? I look forward to seeing the results.The importance of internet communication cannot be over-emphasised as people now look to YouTube, Flickr and social media etc to share and promote paper art and art events - as well as techniques and resources.