By Kathy Sosa
Paper & Book Arts student
Here’s something else you should know: paper making requires all kinds of equipment. The paper studio at the Southwest School of Art is extremely well equipped. It’s large, with expansive work areas, lots of sinks, drains in the floor and hoses with very powerful hand nozzles.
There are blenders, and enormous pots and hot plates for cooking fiber. There is also a beast of a machine called a Hollander Beater that cuts and beats wet fiber into pulp. My first glance at this thing tells me that the Hollander Beater could chew your hand off in about two seconds, so I decide to give it the respect that it’s due.
Furthermore, department chair Beck Whitehead explained that this particular machine has “quirks.” Since even ordinary machinery routinely smells my fear and malfunctions purely out of spite, I am EXTRA wary of machines with “quirks.” In this case, it means there are 12 or so delicate maneuvers that must be done just so or the beast will refuse to cooperate. Luckily, it likes Beck.