The Art of Handmade Paper

What’s the value of paper in the twenty first century? What’s the value of making paper by hand in 2012?

As papermaker Timothy Barrett sees it:

“Sometimes I worry about what a weird thing it is to be preoccupied with paper when there’s so much trouble in the world… but then I think of how our whole culture is knitted together by paper, and it makes a kind of sense.

The profile brings together lots of important issues as we move from paper to screens:

Barrett’s work has been driven by the notion that good materials, worked by hand, transmit their power in ways that the products of less painstaking manufacture can’t. “I have to believe that the eye and the hand take it all in, even when we’re not aware of it,” he said. There’s a poignancy to his work, given that paper’s long role as the repository of cultural memory and accomplishment is being usurped by swift technological change.

From Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization? {new york times}.