Friday, May 4, 2012

Calligraphy Flourish Friday - Twinrocker

Twinrocker's Travis Becker
This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Chicago Calligraphy Collective's fieldtrip to Twinrocker Handmade Paper in Brookston, Indiana.  Travis Becker (pictured above) began working for Twinrocker founders, Kathryn and Howard Clark, at the age of 19.  Under Kathryn's tutelage he became a Master Papermaker, and in a plan of succession, is now the owner of Twinrocker.

My sister, Kathy, checks out the Big Beater
After Travis gave us the history on paper making, he showed us the three Holland beaters they use in their paper making process.

Travis demonstrating Pulp Painting
Everyone was able to try their hand at Pulp Painting, which Travis is demonstrating in the photo above.  You can see some of Kathryn Clark's Pulp Paintings by clicking here.

Indiana artist, Justin Vining, is eager to make his first sheet.  Justin recently joined Twinrocker as their Marketing Manager.  Justin is a talented and all around great guy. (ahem...and a PURDUE grad)  Learn more about Justin, and the role the selling of his family's farm has had on his art, by visiting his website (click here).

Jane tries to keep her thumbs out of it.
Here I am attempting to get the pulp nice and even on the mould.

Kathy places the felt
 It was a treat to have my sister, Kathy, up from Nashville, TN to take the workshop with me.  In the photo above, Kathy carefully places a piece of felt on top of the previous sheet, before she couches her own sheet.

Julie Wildman couching her paper
It's always great to spend time with other calligraphers.  In addition to catching up with Indy calligrapher and artist, Sandy Wagner, I enjoyed meeting and getting to know several CCC members.
Current CCC President and fellow blogger, Julie Wildman, is shown couching her sheet in the photo above.  Read Julie's blogpost about the Twinrocker fieldtrip by clicking here.  I am a big fan of Julie's work, and it was great to see her again. Visit Julie's website by clicking here.  

Travis shows what happens to the pieces that don't measure up....
Not all the sheets passed Travis's inspection!  :)

The Master shows how it's done.
It takes TWO YEARS of training to become a decent paper maker and many more years to become as accomplished as Travis.

Beat in all that water just to press it out
The squeeze is on as the paper is pressed in the gigantic press.

The Good Stuff
Travis let us loose on his inventory, and I was like a kid in a candy store.  I love Twinrocker's special shapes. Following are some of the pieces I've done on Twinrocker's specially shaped paper.

Thanks to Travis Becker, Twinrocker, and the Chicago Calligraphy Collective for a great papermaking experience!

Have a great weekend everyone.
Go forth and flourish!


  1. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful.

  2. OMG Jane.....what an exciting place to visit. I have heard so many great things about Twinrocker through the calligraphy's on my list of "must go" adventures! And as always, your calligraphy pieces are absolutely stunning!

  3. This was fascinating! I'm so envious of your trip! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

  4. What a great opportunity Jane - much fun and learning all rolled in together. I love what you have down with the finished products; and hope you enjoy receiving your own parcel soon. Go well.

  5. Oh, I have to say I am a bit envious!! I have always wanted to visit Twinrocker as I am a dealer for their stationery. I adore their papers. Do you use the watercolor or art paper for your pieces? Looks likes such a fun day!

    Thanks for sharing the process and the inside scoop with us.


    1. Hi, Dana!
      I sent you a private email but wanted to address your question here as well. I checked my last invoice from Twinrocker, and it doesn't specify whether the special shapes are "watercolor" or "art." I only know that I have used both watercolor and gouache on the special shapes, and I have always been very pleased with the results. I hope this helps somewhat!


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