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I always begin summer by making paper. The weather is warm in Oakland and I can dry my sheets outdoors quickly. The ritual of beating pulp, coloring vats of paper pulp with beautiful pigments and couching sheets helps me decompress from the stress of teaching. It stimulates my creative energy. I make all the raw material for the coming year of printing.  

In printmaking, paper is the vehicle for ink. It affects the color, size, weight, texture and even the longevity of a print. Papermaking opens up a whole world of possibilities in printmaking. I can combine intensely colored paper with images printed with intaglio in ink. I can use long textured fibers like kozo with inked lines. I can make very large paper for diptychs and triptychs from cotton and abaca, changing the scale of a print from intimate to large scale or life-size.

My handmade paper is very strong. It holds up through many passes in the etching press under tremendous pressure and still prints beautifully.

 


Betty Friedman
Professor of Art
Notre Dame de Namur University