Course Detail: C_PAPERMAKING - Paste Paper and Layered Papermaking workshop with Cynthia Ahlstrin

In this one-day workshop, students will have fun investigating two different methods to create hand designed decorative paper and layered paper often used in book arts and collage.  We will begin the day exploring the pleasures of making paste paper. Students will learn methods of mixing paint and glue, incorporating underlying marks and using the right tools to create professional quality paper with colorful abstract designs and patterns.  The class will then move on to learn the process of hand layering to create beautiful sheets of translucent layered paper. This method of paper making is a great way to incorporate small scraps of paper, text, cloth, thread, etc. into your piece.  You will love the results!

  • Utility/X-Acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Pencils (soft graphite and colored if you would like)
  • Apron or studio shirt - (you will be working with media that is mixed with glue!)
  • Cellulose Kitchen Sponge
  • Chipping brush(s)/ Glue Brush - (you don't want glue on your regular brushes)- a 1"-2" brush width is a good size for most folks
  • Paper scraps - lightweight paper such as mulberry/rice paper of any color,
  • Book pages, paper doilies, etc. - to use as inclusions within your paper layers
  • Thread, embroidery floss, and yarn - all colors will work with this process
  • Lightweight small cloth scraps (if you want to try this as an inclusion)
  • Items to make marks in wet media (bubble wrap, etc)
  • Small Cutting Mat (* Classroom has some to share.)
  • Small Spray bottle for water
  • Soft rubber brayer - any brayer up to a 6" width will work. (*Classroom has some.)
  • Hair dryers to aid in drying time (for folks who can't leave their paper to dry &/ pick up later in week)
All Other Materials Will Be Provided.

Instructor Bio: Cynthia Ahlstrin

Cynthia Ahlstrin is an interdisciplinary artist with an ongoing interest in altered and traditional bookmaking, drawing, and printmaking. Her work investigates wisdoms handed down from past generations, the distortion of memory, and the domestic "rules" placed on women in our society. Ahlstrin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree when she graduated in 2004 from the University of Maine at Augusta, Summa cum Laude.  She has also completed additional studies at the University of Southern Maine, the Stonehouse Summer Program and at the Maine College of Art to complete a minor in Bookmaking.

Previously in her life, Cynthia studied Botany at the University of Rhode Island. The love of plants and scientific study continues to hold sway in her process as many of her pieces contain the detail and the intense scrutiny only a scientist would consider. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and libraries throughout the United States and is held in public and private collections from Maine to California. Most recently, Cynthia has had her work published in Creative Maine Magazine (November 2021) and in the UMVA Quarterly's Origin Series.

Cynthia Ahlstrin is currently an adjunct professor at the Kennebec Valley Community College where she teaches drawing and bookmaking. She also maintains a working studio in Winthrop, ME where she has lived with her family and furballs for the past 25 years.

Available Sessions