Paper has always fascinated me, as it does many printmakers, but it wasn't until a visit to Frogmore Mill, one of the first papermills in this country, that I thought about the practicalities and possibilities.
My next stop was in Glasgow, where I learnt from Alison Newman at PULP paper workshop how to prepare plant fibres, including New Zealand flax, by chopping, cooking and macerating before forming sheets.
Back in London I ordered a mould and deckle (the forms used to make paper sheets) from Khadi papers and made my first paper from torn up used envelopes. The results were thick and clumpy yet dissolved when moistened for printmaking. Production soon started on using flax and nettles, as well as some paper from the trimmings box under the guillotine at the Print Works, with better results.
A course at Morley College, the only adult education institute in London with a Hollander beater, under the tutelage of Lucy Baxendall, who also has a workshop in North West London.
From working in my kitchen I have now moved to Walden Studios near St James Park in Walthamstow, with plant fibres from the allotment and garden. Walden Studios aims to use Walthamstow-made paper and so can you!