Webmaster Note: Barb is a papermaker in Victoria and we are delighted that she has agreed to share her experiences with us here.
My paper art arises from the way I see the world – the colours shapes and textures that delight me. I try to capture my love of colour, the curves and textures in man-made objects and natural features.
If I can listen to what I see and transform it by making the fibres dance into a pleasing piece of paper, I am happy.
My love of making paper is the basis of all my paper art.
My books and paper art are made from paper I have made from reclaimed board or plant fibre. Having control over what goes into the artwork, right from the very fibres included in the paper, to stitching the final piece, is a process that delights me.
The focus of my work with paper recently has been based on the pleasure I gain from letting the paper suggest the form the work takes.
As I colour, shape and stitch, I work with the feelings this evokes rather than planning the end artwork.
Spending creative time with other generous and inspiring papermakers and book artists is also important in developing my skills. Being a member of Papermakers of Victoria has provided a wonderful support for my paper art work. The generous members of this group have taught me most of my papermaking skills. Papermakers of Victoria has been running in Melbourne for more than 25 years. Twenty-five to thirty members meet every two months at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre and some members gather each month for more hands on paper activities. We welcome visitors at any time.
We have a wonderful studio at Coopers Settlement in Bundoora where we have beaters, an etching press and an area to run our wonderful workshops.
Keeping in touch with the broader world group of papermakers in the international paper group IAPMA also encourages the extension and development of my work.
I also love teaching people how to make paper and books. Sharing my skills as I tutor in workshops is enjoyable for me and develops my ideas and skills as I learn from the students.
I enjoy putting my art out for others to interpret, to make of it what they will. The pleasure for me is in what I learn about myself in the process of making and working with the paper.
Making paper is like shuffling something valuable and functional into something beautiful.
Text and images supplied by Barb Adams. Images from top down:
- Rag and hemp papers
- Artist Book ‘I Want To Be Like Water’. Handmade paper, wax resist, dyes, image transfer
- Journals & notebooks with various bindings, soft and hard covers. Some have images printed onto handmade paper
- Hemp paper vessels with ‘Shifu’ edging. Shifu is a Japanese word for fabric made from spun paper thread – Kami Ito
- Rag paper cast over a supporting form while the paper was wet
Click here to visit Barb Adams website to see more of her work.
Barb is also one of the contributing artists to Alcove Art Shop, operated by the Designer Art Shop Association. Click here to find out more.
Papermakers of Victoria