HM 271 A - Topics in Humanities: Papermaking


Fall Intensive   

This special topics course will examine the place of papermaking in an increasingly paperless (and placeless) culture.   The creation of handmade paper from a variety of locally gathered materials is central to this course, which will be rounded out by ancillary forays into papermaking’s history, traditions, underlying science, and artistic possibilities.   

Special Topics in Humanities: Papermaking

Fall 2012 

Instructor(s)                        Jody Stoddard

Office and Hours                2nd floor Kane, hours as posted or by appointment

Email/Phone               office:  586-7711 ext 166

Required Texts                    None required.  Titles will be available in the classroom or on reserve.

[Supplementary Readings]        Handouts in class or readings on reserve



Class will include a mix of field work (IDing and collecting plants), studio work (preparing fiber and forming paper), brief lectures (tutorials and introduction to topics), an occasional seminar, and a final display of work created.  Students will have a written final exam, to be handed in on paper of their own creation.

Course Objectives       

To give students an introduction to the tools and skills associated with traditional handmade paper, to discern trends in how our contemporary culture values paper, and to deliberately identify and utilize materials found in the locale of campus.  



Participation in field work, studio work, and classroom discussion:  50%   Written reflection and final display of projects:  50%

Course Calendar/Outline        

  • Day 1: introduction- objectives, overview, safety reviews of equipment.  Gathering nettles. 
  • Day 2: preparing nettles for beating.  Beating with hand tools and blender.  
  • Day 3: beating with Hollander beater.  Forming sheets:  pouring and pulling, couching and pressing.  
  • Days 4-5: experimenting with other plants.  
  • Days 6-9: continued testing of plants, and advanced papermaking techniques:  watermarks, embedding

Disability Statement                

Learning Disability Statement:  Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.