Paper Journey

Photographed December 19, 2014
Created by Appleton Artist Tom Grade
On display at Discovery Paper Center
Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin
44.254848,-88.411526

Paper Journey
A medium rich in history, paper, first produced by hand, took many hundreds of years to spread to the four corners of the globe. Paper historian Dard Hunter credits a courtier named Ts'ai Lun from Lei-yang i China, as the inventor of paper around 105 A.D. Earlier paper remnants have been found in China since Hunter did his work in the early 20th century, moving the date of paper's invention to at least two centuries earlier by some historians. The exact date the first paper was made will probably never be known, but Ts'ai Lun most likely receives recognition for refining paper as a material for writing.

So it is in China that this paper sculpture begins its journey. In the center of the piece, one sees a black pearl bound in Chinese silk brocade ribbon. The pearl, a symbol for knowledge, represents paper and its invention; [sic] the color black, its precariousness. The pearl is seen floating over a set of stylized waves, representing an essential element in the production of papermaking -- water. The tightly [sic] bound ribbon symbolizes the hundreds of years papermaking was kept secret before it [sic[ begins to unravel and travel throughout the world. Located on the ribbon paths the viewer will find 28 images floating on deckles*. These watermark** images trace and date papermaking from China to the Fox River Valley.

The pulp fibers used to create this work were [sic] cotton, flax, and hemp.

*A deckle [sic] is a wooden frame that sits on the mold during sheet formation, defining the edges of the paper. The mold contains the pulp on a screen.

**A watermark [sic] is a design applied to the surface of the mold that produces a tona image in the resulting sheet where more or less pulp is distributed. 
"Paper Journey" is on display at the entrance to the Paper Discovery Center, located at 425 West Water Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911.

Home of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame

The Paper Discovery Center in Appleton is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays and Holidays. Members - Free | Adults - $5.00 | Seniors - $4.00 | Students - $3.00 | Families - $12.00.

Wisconsin Paper Council

Main Pulp & Paper Association: History of Papermaking

Arkansas Department of Environmental Equality: History of Papermaking

These are links to more markers / exhibits at the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton:



Massachusetts 1728 . . . an anchor
France 1189 . . . a snake

Italy 1260 . . . a bulls [sic] head

The pearl, a symbol for knowledge, represents paper and its invention; [sic] the color black, its precariousness. The pearl is seen floating over a set of stylized waves, representing an essential element in the production of papermaking -- water. 
The tightly [sic] bound ribbon symbolizes the hundreds of years papermaking was kept secret before it [sic[ begins to unravel and travel throughout the world.
Mexico 1575 . . . an Otomi figure

Appleton 1855 . . . a fox head

The artwork is on display at the entrance to the Paper Discovery Center.

 The exhibit is located at the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton.

No comments:

Post a Comment