Handbound Portfolio Case with Handmade Linen Rag Paper
The handbound portfolio – containing 8 sheets of handmade paper – is by Juju Books, a bookbinding studio based in Glasgow run by prize-winning bookbinder and QEST Craft Scholar Gillian Stewart.
The first paper was made in China from plant fibres, but by the 1700s, cotton, linen rags, old rope and canvas were being used as raw materials, which were then beaten to a pulp for paper. After the introduction of paper machines in the early 19th century, hand papermaking became a rare craft, and it has only been kept alive by passionate enthusiasts such as Alison Newman of the Glasgow-based hand papermaking studio Pulp.
Alison has made this richly textured rag paper by hand using clean linens from The Fife Arms hotel, taking textiles that might otherwise have been destined for landfill and creating something beautiful from them – an inspiring example of the circular economy in action. The paper comes in generous sheets – 41 x 51cm, which is a traditional dimension a little smaller than standard A2 size – and is particularly lovely for use with charcoals and pastel pencils. It is deckle edged – a clean but soft edge that is much more in keeping with the qualities of the paper than a sharply cut edge. Being handmade, each piece of paper is unique – with its own intriguing patterns and texture.
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Items are shipped directly from:
The Fife Arms, Mar Rd, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5YN, Scotland.
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If on receipt of your product you are uncertain about your purchase, please keep your product in the original packaging until you have decided whether or not you wish to keep it.
If you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you can return it to us no later than 28 days from the date you receive it and provided the item is in saleable condition, we will refund or exchange the item(s), excluding any delivery charges.
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When returning items to The Fife Arms, please ensure that they are well packaged and protected from damage in transit, within the original packaging.
You are responsible for each item until we receive it.
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Alison Newman of Pulp Studio
Alison Newman studied Fine Art Print Making at Glasgow School of Art and this is where her interest in paper began, under the tutelage of paper artist Jacki Parry. She set up Pulp – her paper-making studio – in 2005 where she makes her own paper, teaches paper making, runs workshops and courses, works on commissions (such as with The Fife Arms) and also makes her own small etchings inspired by the fibres and forms she finds in the paper she makes.
To make the paper, she first cuts the fabric into small pieces – approx. 1 square inch – which are then added to the Hollander Beater (a machine first developed by the Dutch in 1680) where they are beaten to a pulp over 3-4 closely monitored hours. The paper is then formed on moulds and deckles where the water drains off. Lastly, a hydraulic press squeezes out the last of the liquid. The finished paper is stacked into drying racks.
The whole process is very involved – Alison describes it as a meditative practice, carried out to the particular sounds of the workshop, from the beating of the pulp to the dripping of the water coming off the deckle. It balances experimentation and playfulness with technical expertise.
Juju Books was founded in Glasgow in 2017 by bookbinder and illustrator Gillian Stewart. After gaining a Design Degree from Glasgow School of Art and working in a small commercial bindery, Stewart went on to become a prize-winning QEST Craft Scholar, studying with Master bookbinders across Europe.
Her studio specialises in making bespoke books by hand, using a combination of traditional and innovative techniques and with a variety of materials and processes, depending on the commission.