SLIS Student Shares Her Experience Making Paper in France

Current SLIS student and UICB MFA candidate Suzanne Glémot had the opportunity to tour a paper mill in France over the summer. She took a video documenting the experience of pulling and couching a sheet of paper made from rags at the historic mill.

Glémot described what it was like:

This past summer while back home, I spent a day driving deep into the countryside of the Auvergne region to reach the Richard de Bas paper mill, accompanied by my brother and grandmother. We spend a lovely afternoon touring the living quarters of the last Governor—I think this was the title of the overseer—of the mill, learning a brief history of papermaking (including the legends of paper mills of the Auvergne region), and walking through the beating room, where we could see the beating of the rags into paper pulp under still-operational stampers.

The mill’s paper maker was out mowing the lawn on that sunny afternoon, and since we were the only ones out on the tour, our tour guide gave us the chance to pull sheets of paper made from cotton rags and couch them by a massive wooden press built into the floor and the ceiling of the vat room.

After spending the spring semester intensely studying the history and traditions of Western-style papermaking, it was unbelievably neat to have the opportunity to try my hand at it in such a historic place. It did, however, make me grateful for the relatively lighter paper moulds back at the UICB.