Workshop - Handmade Paper Building

A four day workshop on Handmade Paper Making was organised at the Department of Design during 7th -10th September, 2011. It was conducted by Mr. Anupam Chakraborty, founder and creative director of Nirupama Academy of Handmade Paper and an expert in printmaking and handmade papers. The workshop was hosted by D. Uday Kumar. Students of B.Des and M. Des programmes took part in it.

The short course focussed upon the process of making paper. The departmental workshop was used as a venue where paper was made from scratch. Various stages for making paper, as explained by Mr Chakraborty, are: Preparation of fibre, cooking of fibre, cleaning, beating and grinding, scooping out fibre on net tray, pressing and drying.

The workshop comprised of an intensive hands on exploration where students even created frames and other equipments which were used for making paper. Fibres of cotton, elephant grass, bamboo and carrot were used to make paper. Use of different fibres resulted in papers of varying thickness, texture and roughness. This exercise was useful in understanding the inherent characteristic of paper that rendered it suitable for some purposes and unsuitable for others. Students experimented with the medium by creating impressions, forms and shapes on paper. Multitudes of textures were explored by many.

The workshop also included an industrial visit to a paper making industry in Guwahati. Students got an opportunity to see the mechanised variation of the process- from storing raw materials to packaging of finished product. This was followed by an open discussion where all queries were addressed. The workshop culminated with a 2 day exhibition of products and artefacts made during the workshop. People from different departments were invited to view the work.

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