Using Hollander Beaters: Beater Finesse

Papermaking Hollander beaterBeater Finesse for the Artist - DOWNLOAD FREE Regarding Beater vocabulary and techniques originally published in Hand Papermaking magazine, Vol.23/No.1, Summer 2008)

Beater Finesse, Beater Notes from 25 International Artists - A Comparative Study - BUY NOW
Two downloadable pdfs: a 50 page e-booklet including 50 color images with a chart (printable on a large format printer...)
Both available here for a nominal charge of $15....$5 of each purchase will be donated to Hand Papermaking magazine. Donations will also be made to Mark Lander's "Critter Fundraiser".
Download a free 4 page pdf sample

Index of Artists:
Shannon Brock, MJ Cole, Betsy Dollar, Eileen Foti, Peter Gentenaar, Helen Hiebert, Lois James, Natan Kaaren, Michael LaFosse, Tom Leech, Margareta Mannervik, Roberto Mannino, Catherine Nash, Margaret Prentice, Brian Queen, John Risseeuw, Priscilla Robinson, Robbin Ami Silverberg, Asao Shimura, Vicky Sigwald, Gail Stiffe, Lynn Sures, Marilyn Sward, Peter and Donna Thomas, Pat Torley-Gentenaar

Table of Contents Listed by Substrate/Media:
Casting, Digital Printing/Photography, Drawing/Mixed Media, High Shrinkage Pulps, Letterpress, Artist’s Books, Origami, Lithography, Relief Printing, Etching, Pulp Painting, Pulp Spraying, Watermarks...more!

In 1983, I started making paper like all newbies, using my kitchen blender to recycle paper and "easier" plant fibers into pulp, just enthralled with the magical results. I had no idea that paper would become a life journey! So much can be done with hand pounding or a blender, (I compiled a list of blenderizable plants offered by Yahoo papermaking group members which is currently in their files on the Yahoo site). Gorgeous, thin, strong and rattley papers can be made by hand pounding Japanese barks and certain other plants in the traditional way.

Hollander beaters are machines designed to beat cloth and plant fibers into high quality pulps to make a diverse range of Western style sheets and contemporary paper art techniques. I "grew up" experimenting with a Valley beater from Voith Paper, without much instruction or guidance from 1985 through 1990, and purchased a Reina beater in 1991 from David Reina of Carriage House Paper. I later also bought a collapsible Lander beater, a Critter, when Mark Lander came to teach in Phoenix in 2000.

Even after many years of papermaking and using a Hollander, I felt that there was still so much more to learn about how one manipulates the beater to create different types of pulps. Indeed, through the years, I have experimented and designed successful pulps needed for my paper sculptures and installations. But as a teacher, I wanted to understand a beater's potential way beyond what experimenting for my own work would require in order to enable others and teach more succinctly. Since 2003, I have been buying books from the early 20th century such as Sigurd Smith's The Action of the Beater from 1927 and a couple of 1930s manuals. These were of course written for the industry and a small studio operation's contemporary requirements needed to be extrapolated from their technical texts.

At the Friends of Dard Hunter conference in Chillicothe, Ohio in October of 2006, I attended two beater workshops: a morning session given by Howie Clark and an afternoon session by Lee Scott McDonald (with Howie and Kathryn Clark, Peter Thomas, Wavell Cowan and others all answering questions and conversing above our heads). I couldn't write fast enough. I conversed with a lot of papermakers and paper artists in Chillicothe, running my idea for an article about with them and got great feedback and affirmation that it would be something of interest.

Then, with the support and article deadline from Mina Takahashi, editor of Hand Papermaking magazine, I began to pursue this in earnest, interviewing 25 international paper artists on their methods of using their Hollander beaters. My article, Beater Finesse for the Artist, first appeared in Hand Papermaking magazine in the summer of 2008 issue. The sheer volume of research for this article warranted another "publication" which I am offering here as a downloadable pdf.

Beater Finesse: 32 Beater Notes from 25 International Artists - A Comparative Study is a compilation intended to guide and inspire us in our experimentions within our own studios, rather than to be used as a recipe book. As all Hollander beaters are different, getting to know your own machine and its capabilities is the foundation from which your new work will spring.

I hope that by studying these notes, you will learn as much as I have...

Remember: rules are meant to be broken...
and that’s the fun of it!

Valley beater from Voith Paper
Collapsible Critter designed by Mark Lander, Loburn, New Zealand.
Reina Beater designed by David Reina, Brooklyn, NY.
Peter Beater designed by Peter Gentenaar of Rijswijk, the Netherlands.
Hydra Hollander designed by Lee Scott McDonald, Cambridge, MA, USA

All Rights Reserved — use of images/text by written permission of the artist only © Nash/Renfrow Productions