081.. JENNIFER WEISSEL
I’m a papermaker and paper artist living on Dharawal country within the Royal National Park in Sydney.
My studio is downstairs under the house looking out into the garden and bushland with glimpses and sounds of the sea.
It’s a purpose-built, functional quiet space with kitchen, bathroom and natural light, routinely visited by native birds and animals, and where my greyhound roaches on her bed while I work.
I’ve furnished this space with cherished pieces of old and new equipment necessary for the traditional craft of western papermaking, some foraged, some custom made, some with the memory and meaning of family inheritance.
My studio operates as the ‘wet area’ where papermaking and natural dyeing happens fed by water from my rainwater tank.
As a horticulturist I also grow some native dye plants like banksia, angophora and native indigo, and sometimes cotton and linen for fibre, which along with my stock of fleeces I spin, weave, and knit in the ‘dry area’ of my house upstairs.
I’m in love with organic fibres - plants for paper and dyes, wool from sheep - and like to imagine my studio space is the smallest sustainable traditional paper mill in Australia.
Can't live without...
antique English press
my mother’s 1930s imperial kitchen scales
moulds and deckles
papermakers drying racks
my splattered old kauri farm kitchen work table
collection of old cooking pots
portable hotplate for natural dyeing and cooking fibres on the studio deck
my family’s old bone knives for printmaking and general use
my brother-in-law’s old dental tools, same
my nest collection
mortar and pestle for grinding ochres
plants - their beauty, fibres and dyes.
Over the next few months there will be an email come into your box on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.