Here's a recent message from Mark Lander, the creator of the amazing "critter" that has so enhanced the lives of papermakers and artists all over the world. The simplicity of his 'hollander' beater design combined with it's low price has opened up the field of professional papermaking. A lively man, we always enjoy his missives, news and interesting developments.
Here's his most recent message:
A big Hi from the South Island in New Zealand where it is Autumn, all the trees are changing color here, so so beautiful.
Finally I have my papermaking set up around the back of my new studio shed, the big pond vat is full up with 4000 litres of water, huge moulds are out in the sun drying. You know, hmmm ...what I really want is some of those big plastic pallets to lay across the ground to walk on so things don't get too muddy.
So, down I went to the local Council recycling depot where you can find that sort of thing, talking to the man, I said I wanted them for papermaking stuff, he looked at me oddly and said... 'Hey you! you're that papermaking Dude, the boss wants to see you immediately, follow me right now' OK I'm thinking what have I done, last time they accused me of sabotaging the town sewer system, that wasn't me, honest.
Turns out they have an idea, Yes turning toxic waste into beautiful bunches of handmade paper flower arrangements... they have people and funding but have not a clue as to how to go about it, they need expertise, and have been ringing my old 'cut off' phone number for weeks, and here I turn up, in their town, wandering across the their own back yard!
So So, out with the trusty rag cutter, (the one everyone said was a danger to the human race), the Critter Hollanders are churning away, a cotton and flax mix will be just right, hundreds of moulds (that I can't tell you about because i had to... 'sigh' ...sign a confidentiality agreement) the dye vats, the georgeous colors, the upside down volley ball nets to hang stuff up to dry, the creative brain steaming away, my studio looks like the eighth botanical wonder of the world, The results are more beautiful than anyone ever imagined, see see I keep telling you... Papermaking is Awesome!
Good News I have the Critter Project up and running well again , things got interesting with one that got stuck in Russian customs and has been around the world twice (which is an interesting story with a happy ending ... apart from selling my old truck for food!) so I am having a Northern Hemisphere 'Get set up for Spring' promotion. I have a 2lb capacity machine ready to go this coming week with no ones name on it yet, almost at the grinding in stage..Yay! More to come.
Interesting Critter Facts: ...I am up to machine #358, end to end they now stack higher than the Empire State building.
... The Price of a Critter is still the same in NZ$ dollars as they were 11 years ago... I have just got more efficiant in making them!
Thanks everyone, Best Wishes from Mark.
Yahoo has two main Hand Papermaking groups to join including the Hollander Beater papermaking group if you are interested or own a critter. Both have extensive resources online!