My maternal grandfather was Pennsylvania Dutch, so it is possible that he made a papercut valentine or, perhaps, a heart-in-hand love token for my grandmother.

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Friday Night Flicks: Mohawk Paper, The Making of Mohawk Superfine

I first posted this for a Friday Night Flick back in 2014, almost a decade ago. There was some discussion on the Book_Arts-L recently about the term “superfine”, so it seemed an appropriate time to revisit the video.



To save you some time doing research this weekend, the term “superfine” does not refer to the surface (you can have ‘Smooth’ or ‘Eggshell’) or the weight (the paper comes in a full range from Writing and Text weights to 160dtc/433 gsm Cover), but to something else entirely. Here’s the explanation Jeff Peachey posted in January of 2018.

The Origin of Mohawk Superfine

Quite likely, every bookbinder and book conservator located in North America has used Mohawk Superfine paper.  It’s a wonderful paper for many applications: textblocks for models, endpapers for circulating collections, lining boards and spines, labels, and so on.

Surprisingly, at least to me, the name does not come from 1970s urban slang, or the 1960s Garage Rock band The Superfine Dandelion, but was coined in 1946.

Mohawk originally developed Superfine as the result of a challenge from Yale University Press to produce an attractive, archival text paper for their reprint of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. A Mohawk representative showed a sample of the new paper to a customer in Boston, who reportedly said, “this is a superfine sheet of paper.”

That final quotation originally linked to a page on the Mohawk Paper website celebrating the 70th anniversary of the paper.

(Once again, my apologies for being late with this!)

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Cut Paper Valentines

I learned something this week: when designing a papercut I think like someone who works with a knife, not like someone who works with scissors.

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Friday Night Flicks: Deborah Sharpe-Lunstead

Tonight’s flick shows paper pulp used to create pictures rather than packaging. The video is longer than I usually post, and shows the full process beginning with making pulp from plants. If you just want to watch the pulp painting section, start at about 4:30 in the video.



You could look at more of Sharpe-Lunstead’s finished work here this weekend. To see some of the wide range of work being done with pulp painting, check out this page.

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Making A Clamshell Box

This week I used all the new corner clamps I got from iBookbinding to build a box I designed to hold them. It was an excuse to try them out.

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Friday Night Flicks: Colourform Pulp Packaging with CupCycling™

My apologies for the delay in posting this. I had the video selected, then scheduling it fell off my ‘To Do List’.

Many people start their learning process in paper making by recycling paper at home. James Cropper Paper takes that process to a whole new level.



Perhaps you could try moulding some paper pulp this weekend. Try cutting apart an egg carton and using the cups —in pairs— as moulds. (If your egg carton is made from paper pulp you will have to seal the cups or line them first.) Have fun!

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A Little Bit About This and That

Early this past week David and I drove to Outlook, Saskatchewan to deliver and install my solo exhibition at the AGO. (Sorry, Art Gallery of Outlook. I can’t resist using the initials.)

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Friday Night Flicks: Marieke de Hoop

The theme for Friday Night Flicks this month is paper making, and tonight’s video introduces Dutch paper maker Marieke de Hoop.



If you would like to try making your own paper, you could watch this video on the weekend to help you get started.

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Happy New Year 2023!

It finally warmed up a bit this past week … and then it snowed.

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Friday Night Flicks: Tom Phillips

The world lost Tom Phillips on November 28, 2022. One of his best known works is undoubtedly A Humument — the result of fifty years of altering the pages of a Victorian novel. In this video, Phillips talks a little about the work.



If you would like to spend a small part of your weekend learning more about the work, here’s an article written a decade ago by Adam Smyth for the London Review of Books. If you’d like to spend more time with the pages themselves, there’s a full set of images on Phillips website.

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