The fine art of paper-making at the Glasshouse | photos

The art of making paper by hand is a beautiful one, which was demonstrated at the Glasshouse in a special workshop.

Giselle Penn, a technical officer at the University of Newcastle, taught the art which she has practised for more than 20 years.

“It’s a beautiful process.  I love getting lost in it.  It is meditative,” she said.

Gallery curator Niomi Sands said it was chance to bring people together to share skills.

“People told us they wanted to make paper so we set up this workshop. We like to provide our community with the opportunity to have creative experiences,” she said.

Giselle used ponytail palms from her garden as raw material.  She snipped the dry fibres in half and cut the hard bits off the end, then cooked the palm in water and soda ash in a large pot for about nine hours. 

Then she rinsed small amounts at a time, put it in a beater while it was still wet and made it into paper.

The workshop was part of the Neon summer festival.

Throughout the year, the Glasshouse runs evening classes and workshops, which are based on painting, drawing and print-making.


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