Seastone Papers: A transforming experience

Ms. Bernat demonstrates removing a still wet piece of decorated handmade paper from the frame. — File photo by J.W. Smith

Summer among many with an artistic bent would not be complete without the unique hands-on experience of participating in a papermaking workshop at Seastone Papers, the large rustic barn in a residential settting surrounded by woods in West Tisbury. Founded in 1988 by paper artist and former middle school teacher Sandy Bernat, the small classes explore a variety of experiences in hand papermaking, surface design, and book arts for all levels of ability.

There is something that happens when pulp is transformed into paper. It is an experience that, at least in the moment, transforms the artist as well as the materials — whether it is the natural aspect, the conducive setting, or the awareness of creative possibilities.

On Monday, July 26, from 9 to11:30 am, Ms. Bernat will offer a three-day series of workshops, “From Scratch: Start with Pulp,” that includes working with pulp, designing and making two books from plant fibers. (The three-day workshop can be taken as individual classes.)

Monday’s class focuses on learning to pull sheets of paper using wet fiber techniques for wet pulp design. On the second day, paste paper painting techniques for decorating dry papers will be experienced, and during the last session, two different style books will be completed. The fee for a single class is $50; three for $140.

A relatively new program, Seastone Kids, is being taught by Ms. Bernat’s daughter Larissa Bernat, a teacher and an experienced paper maker. She will be teaching papermaking and book arts specifically for children from age 8 to 13. In three days, along with an appreciation of craft and nature, the children will create their own books from plant fibers and their own handmade paper. By the end of the session the children will have made three books: one shaped like an accordion, one fold-a-book, and one stitched book using recycled materials. For details call 508-693-5786.