Pulp, nonfiction

This page provides: Hand papermaking flowcharts, favorite plants from which to make paper and links to my YouTube videos, “Hand Papermaking from Kozo” and "The Science of Papermaking" claymation explanation.

     In 1997 or so, shortly after I began graduate school (Botany), I attended a course on Hand Papermaking from native plants. The class was taught by Elizabeth Ellison, amazing watercolorist and friend. It was held on the lovely campus of John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. During the course, we broke up into teams and I ended up as a co-vat queen with Chery Cratty-see her wonderful pulp paintings here!

     So, I mentioned I was in grad school. My husband and I had just gotten married, moved and were pretty poor. Yet, I really wanted to attend the class. Somehow, I managed to talk my major professor into paying my way and at the time thought that it was a great coup! I promised him that I would learn to teach plant anatomy by studying papermaking. Hmm....

     Well, whether that was originally my intent or not-it does seem to be where I’ve ended up. I remember sitting in plant physiology and having a few “Ah hah” moments about why I’d previously studied physics, math and chemistry. The plant anatomy course I had later helped me sew it all together. So, you’ll find the results of my pondering in the YouTube vids.

     Since that initial course, I’ve made paper from many different plants and assembled a list of "Suggested Materials" for southeastern papermakers (See the link on the left).

     After years of papermaking with friends and as gifts, I began to teach science teachers how to use papermaking in classrooms. My way of making paper is from the plant up and it took me some time to realize that not everyone is as nutty as I am! So, I developed flowcharts for Teachers and Artists (Look left). 

     Thanks to my association with the Open Science Network, I've also written up learning objectives tailored to ethnobotany courses. These are based on the core concepts that OSN developed. Our concepts are based on the AAAS/NSF document entitled "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education". I think you'll find them useful!

© Karen C. Hall, 2010