ROBERT THOMPSON - ARTIST STATEMENT
My paper tells the story – the story of place. Each piece of paper I make can be traced to a particular farm or famer’s market or to my own yard.
For me, the whole process - from searching for the fibers - cooking and processing them and then finally making the paper - is an exciting journey. Actually making the paper is only the beginning. I often find interesting materials and make the paper without even knowing what I will do with finished product. The paper will sit bundled on my work table taunting me until things fall into place.
My interest in papermaking began nearly thirty years ago as a search for unique stationery for my personal use. It started in my kitchen with a kit and processed pulp. I soon outgrew the kitchen and found studio space at with a local Artists Cooperative. This lively and creative environment nurtured my new passion and I was soon marketing stationery and notebooks made with my paper.
I progressed for the next few years, mixing processed pulp with fibers I began harvesting. I experimented more and more with my own fibers until I eventually made a clean break with processed pulps and focused entirely on plant fibers. Since moving to Fairburn 12 years ago, I have been working with Farmer Neighbors in our area, incorporating their materials in my paper as often as I can. Linda and Tony Scharko of Scharko Farms and Elizabeth Dean and Gene Griffith of Wilkerson Mill Gardens have been especially generous in welcoming me to forage on their beautiful properties.
Over the years, I have expanded my range and now make my own natural dyes using a range of local materials to obtain a wonderful collection of rich and vibrant colors.
I continue to grow and am constantly searching for new fibers to try. I am still excited by the textures and colors of nature and strive to always use these as a foundation for any work I do.