Last week during the arctic vortex we drove to Brookston Indiana, to visit the Twinrocker Paper Mill and store. It was a pilgrimage to see where America’s most beautiful paper is made lovingly by hand one sheet at a time. Their client list has included the giants of contemporary art, such as Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist, Motherwell and Dine.

©Greg Orth, Paper making room

The photo was difficult to take, as the front of the building was graced with light coming through glass block. Notice the shine on the floor. That is excess water from the paper mould after lifting out of the pulp vats. The 100 ton hydraulic press is the dark shape on the left. It presses water out of the post of couched papers.

©Greg Orth, choosing papers with Fran’s help

We learned how a paper is hot pressed. It does not involve heat at all, but rather the paper is burnished between 2 pieces of metal. It makes the paper smoother, which I need for drawing.

©Greg Orth, Fran hot presses sheets of May linen for me

Twinrocker makes many types and sizes of paper. They are recognized worldwide for their “Feather”© deckle edges – gorgeous.  I chose some smaller “Simon’s Green” sheets.

©Kathleen O’Brien, Twinrocker papers

I have ordered their paper from New York Central Art Supply, but being there to feel it, see it and meet the dedicated people who make and sell it is a cherished experience. Watch this great video about their story, with informative footage of the paper making process.

©Kathleen O’Brien, Twinrocker papers, 100% linen, May linen, peach, lavender & Mica Rose
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