I retired to Prince Edward Island in 2005 and began to explore what I would do in this second phase of life. In my working life I was a professional photographer and ran a B&W photo lab catering to commercial photographers (great money) and museum conservation work (very fulfilling). I did this for 30 great years !!
My retirement allowed me to explore whole new pathways of creativity and I started looking at my new environment and seeing it’s potential.
When I arrived in 2005 there was a new island tourism initiative “Made in PEI”. I liked that idea. Prince Edward Island is a gorgeous landscape sustained primarily by agriculture and fisheries, Land & Sea.
I had always been interested in the traditional study of Papermaking. Utilizing the vast resource of agricultural fields and the bounty of the seashore I used these materials to pursue traditional papermaking, while also supporting the “Made in PEI” initiative.
In 2015 I began a new pathway, researching traditional bookbinding. Together with my hand made papers I have been creating handbound journals
This has made my retirement satisfying and delightful!
Hand Made paper is a process invented by the Chinese over 2,000 years ago.
With the advent of the Printing press and then the Industrial Age, the demand for paper created the need for paper Mills and commercially made papers Handmade papers were largely reserved for specialty projects and almost forgotten.
In 1995 I took a workshop on paprmaking and fell in love, but while I enjoyed the workshop, vacation ended and I put it on the shelf and went back to my day job. Now in retirement I pursue papermaking full time.
Using common long fibered plants from land and seashore, I dry, weigh, cook in lye, separate lignin from cellulose and beat this material to a pulp. I add flowers and seeds grown in my garden and add to the pulp. I then scoop the pulp up onto a screen that forms my sheet of paper.
It soon became apparent that my next step was to figure a way to share some of the 2,000 sheets I had made over 2 years.. Producing blank cards and finding a venue was a great solution. With enthusiasm and support from the community , I now produce 1,000 blank notecards a year
In 2004, I took a workshop in” Hand Bound Books”. I loved the organic nature and look of this hand crafted object, but again had to return to the work world. Now in retirement I can return to bookbinding too!
My handbound journals are covered in handmade papers or leather, filled with high quality writing papers and interleaved with my richly textured hand made papers. Unique and beautiful objects that can be used for a special journey, diary, or even a wedding shower or baby shower !! Hope you find them of interest.