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Articles Tagged with MU Fiber Studio

How Big Mess Begets Great Art: Papermaking at Its Best

An interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

When Jo Stealey leans over and plunges her arms elbow deep into a tub filled with cream-colored slurry—a combination of fiber pulp and water—it seems plausible that her husband has dubbed her “Queen of Big Messes.” At MU’s Fiber Studio, located in a repurposed industrial dormitory kitchen, she greets us in a knee-length rubber apron, informing us, “I usually wear rubber farm boots, too.” Holding a frame and screen (called a mold and deckle), she reaches into the tub and sieves a rectangle of wet cotton-like fiber, shaking gently to strain out the water. A sheet of paper is born.

Audio and Video Tagged with MU Fiber Studio

Papermaking: Forming Paper Sheets

From an interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

Creating a sheet of paper involves straining pulp with a screen frame combination called a “mold and deckle.” The resulting sheet is “couched,” or released from the mold and deckle, onto a “felt,” which is a cloth that separates wet sheets from each other. The resulting pile of sheets is called a “post.”

Papermaking: Painting with Pulp

From an interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

A solution of pigmented pulp can be placed in squeeze bottles and then applied to wet paper; the wet paper can also be collaged with other materials like dry paper and string.

Papermaking: Processing Fiber for Pulp

From an interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

Paper is comprised of cellulose fiber—which is derived from plant cells. The fiber is “macerated” in a Hollander beater with water to create pulp.

Papermaking: Pressing the Post

From an interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

A “post”—a pile of wet paper sheets separated by cloths—is taken to the paper press for extraction of water.

Papermaking: Drying the Paper

From an interview with Jo Stealey, Professor of Art

The pressed post of paper is transferred to the dryer.