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Overview: Papermaking Online ... Really?
For a long time, I was convinced that some creative processes just needed to be taught in person and papermaking was one of them. But now world is suddenly a different place. I began to wonder if it was possible to teach some of my favorite papermaking processes online and floated the idea by a friend, who replied, “Why not?! Lots of people are taking cooking classes online. It’s similar isn’t it?”
Her words stopped me in my tracks… she was right! And so, here we are about to embark on a challenging but fun adventure together.
In addition to learning the technical aspects of this creative process, my hope is that together, we can continue to build a community of kindred paper spirits. At the moment, I’m focusing on teaching Asian-style papermaking using kozo but will be offering additional classes soon, including sculptural papermaking, so be sure to check back or provide me with your email and I’ll keep you updated.
I am also offering a small number of private independent study opportunities for those wanting to develop their work with the help of a mentor.
The format of my online classes is a little different: Instead attending a number of live online sessions and then being on your own to remember what you just learned, this format allows you to work through the material at your own pace from anywhere around the world. Once the class begins, a series of modules are made available every few days that consist of carefully organized lessons and videos. The lessons are in the form of detailed slide presentations [PDFs] with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos to illustrate each step, along with downloadable instructions. These are reinforced by dozens of short video demonstrations that can be replayed as often as you like during the course. The best part: the online ‘classroom’ is made available to you for several weeks afterward.
All materials are provided in an online interface that allows us to interact, share our progress, show our work, ask questions, etc. It also allows me to carefully review your work, answer questions and offer guidance. Weekly live sessions are held for 2 hours each week for students to check in, ask questions, get more clarification about something that is giving them trouble, etc. Of course, if you are just wanting the information and not interested in participating in the classroom, that's fine too.
The main goal is to provide a rich learning environment and it doesn’t matter what time zone you are in.
You can work at your own pace, according to your own schedule.
A little background
I have been fascinated with hand papermaking since 1989, when I was first introduced to it by Cathy Hunt at the Glassell School [Houston, TX] where we were both teaching. But it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. When I first tried making paper on my own [in my kitchen], with mail-ordered pulp and Ritz Dye, I decided it was waaaay too much work so I went back to painting and drawing and moved on. But soon after, I found myself thinking about the process and ideas kept popping into my head that I wanted to translate into or onto handmade paper. And those thoughts never went away. After receiving Tim Barrett’s book on Japanese papermaking as a Christmas gift (years later) and discovering that paper mulberry [aka kozo) was growing literally a few steps from my studio door, I was hooked and eventually journeyed to Iowa City to earn an MFA in Books Arts, studying hand papermaking with Tim Barrett and immersing myself in the world of paper and book arts. Here’s a short bio…