Providence Monthly Focus on PCI February 26 2021

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Lauren P. Sugita | Providence Media (
Get a glimpse into Lauren and PCI's match-making capabilities. Thank you Providence Monthly! . . . and Thank You Lauren for making a difference, in Providence for 25 years!! papermaking, washi, Japan, paper

Ms. Ilse Buchert Nesbitt: RI State Treasure January 04 2017

It sounds a bit cliché to say one’s art is a metaphor of someone’s life, but in the case of Ilse Nesbitt, this cliché is so fitting. Ilse’s handmade paper and artwork are embodied in her daily life, and her daily life is completely integrated into the paper and prints she produces. Almost like a vine twisted around a tree; you can’t tell where one starts and the other begins. She grew up in Japan in the 1940's when she was young, so her approach to making paper and prints and her general approach to her life is for me quite like the Japanese papermakers who told me an important truth long ago. Their hands are just one of the tools necessary in order for handmade paper to come to life. Ilse emphasizes that her mother was a very good artist with no training. While living in Japan, her mother took a Japanese brush painting class, therefore elements of Japanese art came into Ilse's household early on. I have no doubt there are other artists out there whose lives embody their artwork, but there’s something special about Ilse Nesbitt. She is clear about what she’ll make next. No hesitation, no wavering. Decisive and experienced. Always with a light acceptance in her smile when she talks about herself. When I asked her: "When did you find your comfort zone with these printmaking techniques you are now using?" She replied: " Quickly – very early" – She said she would not have continued with it, if it was not comfortable. Although Ilse grew up in Japan in the 1940s, her family moved back to her birth country, Germany, when she was a teenager.
On my way to Third & Elm Press
Ilse didn’t learn about typography until her third year of high school, and it wasn’t until she and her husband opened the Third & Elm Press in Newport that she became really dedicated to the craft. She’d always enjoyed book design and painting, but printmaking was something she could do while raising children. She says that painting is like dancing: you must stay with it. With woodcuts, though, you can put the knife down when you have to answer a child’s cry. Producing printmaking blocks and plates also doesn’t require a separate studio. She likes that her work can be done on her kitchen table quite literally. img_5629Ilse had always used handmade Japanese paper for her prints, but it wasn’t until she took a paper-making class at RISD in 1990 that she realized she could make her own paper at home. She took the class in November, and in December of that same year, her son gave her Timothy Barrett’s book, Japanese Papermaking: Traditions, Tools, and Techniques, which gives tips on the traditional craft of Japanese papermaking. She calls this book her "papermaking bible". (That's what I call it too!) Looking at some samples of Ilse Nesbitt’s work, I can see that there is a lot of white space in her prints. She says that this space is the reason she started to make her own Japanese-style paper. Similar to the approach to surface as the many Japanese artists I have chatted with, Ilse also claims that the paper (surface) is an integral part of the image. She wanted to take ownership of the surface- not just the inked area; thus she became the creator of the whole artwork from start to finish. Ilse’s papermaking is just another example of the complete integration of her life and art. Third and Elm Press, woodcuts, lithographpy, letterpress, Japanese handmade paper Photo below taken during the winter of 2016, where Ilse looks so content to be with her sons at the opening reception of the 50 Years of The Third & Elm Press retrospective exhibit at the Redwood Library in Newport, RI. Now closing in on the 51st year!: GO ILSE NESBITT!

Lokta and Letterpress September 17 2016

We received this set of lovely photos from one of our customers, Fernanda Rivera, who took a letterpress class taught by Macy Chadwick. It just goes to show how handmade, eastern papers can work so well with the letterpress technique, to create such beautiful results. Thank you so Fernanda, for your wonderful work that is both inspiring and insightful!
courtesy of Fernanda Rivera all images courtesy of Fernanda Rivera
FR2 FR3 FR4 FR5 Book pages were made from dyed lokta paper from Nepal. Lokta is great for book arts, even box making, and as you can see it prints really well! Paper Connection stocks a plethora of colors- click here to view. We now stock amate from Mexico. Who knows, perhaps we'll encounter a Nepalese artist who creates a book using amate!

Gampi 101 February 16 2014

About Gampi from Japan The Chinese characters for gampi literally translates as "goose skin". This paper is sometimes referred to as "silk tissue". Paper Connection's Gampi Paper Collection is made from 100% gampi, a lustrous, silky fiber native to Japan and other parts of Asia. Both in its sheet form or in the raw fiber form, gampi by its natural make-up reacts to ink as if it had sizing on it. In other words, it holds ink on its crisp, smooth surface beautifully. At Paper Connection, we call it the "queen of printmaking". All of our gampi sheets were made in Kōchi Prefecture, located on the island of Shikoku, in southwestern Japan. Gampi fiber comes from the inner bark of branches of the gampi bush. Since it is difficult to cultivate, it is obtained from wild plants, therefore paper is especially coveted. Although some thinner gampi sheets seem fragile, each sheet is extremely strong and impervious to insects. Historically, gampi was used for mimeographs. Today, with its high quality finish, the uses have expanded to chine collé, etching, lithograph, monotype, relief, offset, letterpress and inkjet printing, art conservation and model-making- like those paper balloons... It's incredibly strong; much stronger than it looks!gampi, gampi papers, washi1. (First 2 papers from left) . We stock Usuyou Gampi-shi @ 10g/m² in white and natural in sheets 24.8 x 37 in. and now both of these gampi papers stocked in 10-meter rolls! Rolls are used for big installations or big prints, even dipped in wax! Check out these stunning monoprints on usuyou gampi paper dipped in encaustic wax by Christine Shannon Aaron.gampi, usuyou gampi, encaustic, monoprint 2. (3rd image from left) . Kitakata paper is the only one in our collection which is made from a gampi mix fiber and made by Awagami Factory. Not only do we have kitakata paper in sheets, but in a few weeks we will have kitakata in rolls! Below is a group of 4 intaglio prints on kitakata paper by the talented Amanda J. Thackery. kitakata, gampi, Amanda Thackery 3. (2 papers from right side). We also stock sheets of pre-backed gampi or Gampi Sukiawase paper. 100% gampi surface with a mixed pulp backing. These work well for intaglio; really any kind of relief printmaking. Style # M-0227 80g/m² Natural. #M-0229 white 100g/m² . Both are 24.8 x 37 inches. One other weight of limited edition gampi in stock as well. 20-meter roll of gampi sukiawase paper in White #M-0229 recently added to our inventory. Read our blog-interview with printmaker Larry Welo and his high praise of using gampi sukiawase paper for his etchings.

Conservation Lab & Bindery Tour at Brown University May 03 2013

Paperwoman stayed local last week as she had the opportunity to take a tour of the book conservation lab and bindery at Brown University's John Hay and Rockefeller Libraries through the Watts Program. Here's some quick glimpses of what was she saw, including an ancient Ethiopian hand-scribed, Christian manuscript with coptic binding, a wonderful piece of ephemera of P.T. Barnum's Rarities, some very cool tools and beautifully aged books and other learning tools.

A few Dads & a bunch of Dingbats June 28 2012

Went to the Printing Arts Fair this past Father's Day, at the Museum of Printing in N. Andover, MA. I did see a few dads, but many more DINGBATS! After all it was an event of all types!

Several quite interesting Ed from Swamp Press , Andy Volpe, the intaglio printer who also does historical reenactments, Carolyn Muskat; master lithographer, who I may have met before...we think. Then, there was Jesse of Marsolais Press & Lettercarving, who is the youngest stone carver I've ever met who studied with the John Stevens Shop in Newport, RI. , Bessie-the twin behind B. Impressed, and Craig Busteed of Green Turtle Press who seemed impressed with the blossom lace card stock available at Paper Connection or at PaperNado. Finally, there were those papermakers, without whom I wouldn't have become a "paperwoman"; my old friend Richard of Langdell Papers and my newer friend and leader of The Boston Paper Collective, Melinda Cross. It was so great to see all of you!

More photos on FlickR.

Dan Wood Believes in Letterpress September 12 2010

Amazing work by our friend Dan Wood, of DWRI Letterpress, who takes letterpress to the next level. He used our precious Pang Pi and Large format Lokta paper for his latest work. The print below was on our large Lokta paper, handmade in Nepal. What is Pang Pi (pronounced: pahng pee) you might ask? This paper is handmade out of mulberry from the Anhui Province, China; measuring 45x80 inches...that's right, and it's handmade! It's so large 2 pairs of hands are needed to move the giant mold. Fibrous and rich in texture, this sheet took to his Vandercook press quite well. Dan proves that letterpress on handmade Asian papers can reach levels beyond the embossed white rag that we commonly see. His fusion of photographs onto plates is truly unique and expresses his wonderfully zany vision. Opening reception at AS220 Project Space Gallery, September 12th, 2010.