Talking to Artists

In recent months I have had several requests to talk about my work to other artists. Firstly I gave a talk via Zoom to the Papermakers of Victoria, and more recently spoke to Paper Artists of Queensland at the Hands-on paper (HOP) Day at Brisbane Visual Arts Community (BVAC) where we ran our hollander beater and made paper from various plants including banana. Multiple couching a is a process by which successive layers of botanical pulp are laid down over each other while wet. It provides some interesting textures and colour blends. I enjoy talking paper with other artists and hearing about their own experiments. I am a scientist at Heart and make notes about details such as how long the fibre was cooked, where it was gathered and so on. Recently, I arrived at the Gympie Regional Gallery to bring in some stock, and met another artist there, sculptor Nicole Jakins. It made me smile when she exclaimed, “You’re the paper lady!” I do work in other media including clay, textiles, watercolours and acrylics, but it is certainly papermaking that has consumed most of my time for the last 15 years and I do claim to some expertise, although there is always more to learn.

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Susan Zela Bissett (Zela) is an educator, writer and artist with a lifetime involvement in environmental education and advocacy. Zela was born on Butchulla Country in Maryborough and has worked as an artist, educator, permaculture gardener, studio potter and consultant. She is passionate about sustainable lifestyles, maintaining habitat for wildlife and about unleashing the creativity in all of us.

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