About the Paper

History of Paper

Paper was invented thousands of years ago by the Chinese using the fiber from Chinese mulberry. In the case of mulberry, it was the inner bark that was used. Years later papermaking spread across Asia and to Europe.

Plant Fiber

All plants yield the basic building block of paper - cellulose. The prairie region has plants that yield fiber that was historically used by Native Americans for making fishing line and rope. Many of these same plants can be used to make paper.

My Prairie Paper

All of my paper is handmade in Kansas from native plant fibers. I gather the plant material in autumn and winter on the prairies of Kansas. The plants are cut up by hand and cooked in an alkali solution. The fiber is extracted, cut up again, and blended. The resulting prairie paper pulp is added to a vat of water. Each sheet is hand pulled from the vat of pulp. The final work is pressed and dried. It's an involved process but the end result is worth it. See examples of my paper.

How my handmade paper is made from native plant fiber

  1. Gather the plant material
  2. Strip the bark if necessary
  3. Cut the plant material into pieces
  4. Cooked in an alkali solution.
  5. Rinse the fiber repeatedly
  6. Beat to create the pulp
  7. Add pulp to vat of water
  8. Pull each sheet of paper
  9. Press out excess water
  10. Dry in a press

Handmade Paper Uses

  • Art work
  • Notecards
  • Photo Mattes
  • Window Decorations
  • Lamp Shades