have you seen the new oblation handmade paper with floral inclusions? embedded in each tiny heart is a deconstructed bouquet of pastel petals to spread a little handmade love.
in this act of pulling pulp from watery vats with a sprinkle of soft pink petals, oblation papers & press is actually returning to our roots.
30 years ago, ron and jennifer rich began making handmade paper on their month-long honeymoon at the oregon coast. tossing sea pods and grasses into a blender and then offering their rough, plant-infused cards and journals at the eugene saturday market, oblation papers & press was born.
inspired by a french paper mill called moulin de larroque in southwest france, ron and jennifer gathered their resources and made a visit to the paper mill. traveling by bicycle, the pair cycled and camped along the way. there they saw papermakers collecting and trimming flowers and ferns in the same manner as they were doing, leaving piles of the same fern ‘skeletons’ beside their french papermaking vats of pulp.
after some years oblation papers & press moved away from making floral papers, to focus on new designs printed on solid handmade papers... one of the first stationery makers to help forge the letterpress revival movement in america. ironically, they are now offering letterpress to the fledgeling european market, exhibiting for their sixth year at the maison et objet exhibition in paris, where oblation paper goods can be spotted at the bon marché, mélodies graphiques, and merci.
the process of making floral handmade paper is simple. add blended pulp into a vat of water, pull sheets out with a mould and deckle (screen and frame), and air dry. at oblation papers & press, master papermaker, kalin stoev, makes paper in our studios daily. using recycled cotton from the garment industry, he soaks then macerates the cotton in an industrial hollander beater to flatten the long cotton fibers. after pressing the day’s post of paper in a 50-ton press, he stacks the layers overnight in our drying boxes, before they are hand-finished for letterpress printing or ribboned paper packs to be sold around the world.
stop by for a glimpse of this new wave of petal-infused papers we are making in a variety of sizes and shapes. and keep an eye out for our floral paper-making kit. we hope to have it in the store soon, for those who want to lend their own hands to the task of making something beautiful to savor and to share.
who knows where it may lead?
jennifer's must-see french paper mills list:
moulin de larroque, 40 avenue de cahors, 24150 couze, france
moulin à papier richard de bas, rue richard de bas, 63600 ambert, france