I’ve been following the creation of Merilyn Simonds’ hand-set book The Paradise Project with interest. Above, an end-paper, made with flowers from Merilyn’s gorgeous gardens. 

The Papermaker’s Tear

Merilyn writes about meeting Emily, the papermaker, and the fascinating process of making the endpapers in “The Papermaker’s Tear” here

Basically, Emily explains: 

“You can make paper two ways: by dipping the screen in the pulp, which ends up with a very homogenized paper, or the Japanese way, by draining pulp through a screen in a box, which is harder to control, but I seem to need to do things the hard way.” She says the last bit with a shy smile.

They chose lilies from Merilyn’s garden because “You’re looking for a fibre that will feather apart … something that will dissolve in water and suspend, but also bond with other fibres, not hang out on top on its own.” 

Merilyn had lots of lilies: “Three great swaths of twelfth-of-July lilies, 40 feet or more, and several smaller clumps of citrinas, Catherine Woodberys, crimson pirates, gentle shepherds, stella d’oros, and many happy returns.” Into the endpapers they went!

These endpapers are simply gorgeous. 

To read more about The Paradise Project, see my posts here and here