Category Archives: About/Reflection

Book arts studios are open!

Salisbury St sign

The new studios of the Paper Plant have opened for business just outside of Asheville,  NC. John Dancy-Jones is producing paper and printing, as well as scheduling papermaking workshops.

work area

Main work area of papermaking workshop.

I am just doing a trial run of my book arts camp in July, I hope to offer it officially summer 2017. Regular workshops are ready to go now, and I have several already on the calendar.

educational materials for teaching book arts.

educational materials for teaching book arts.

I am letterpress printing handbills now and will be addressing a couple of leftover projects before doing any new letterpress projects. But if you want a unique business card…

printing shop

The handbill is pictured below. Come see us!

Paper Plant flyer

The Paper Plant website


Our Hand-laid Paper


 About Our Hand-Laid Paper

 Our handmade or hand-laid paper is formed one sheet at a time with a mould and deckle, then “couched” on to felts and pressed.  Usually it is dried asian style on boards, providing one very smooth side and an air-dried “toothy” side.  The pulp is made partly from high-quality scrap collected from artists, framers and printers. For strength and quality, “linters” are also used – short fibers left as waste from the textile industry.  The paper is moderately sized internally using methyl cellulose or potato starch.  It is a waterleaf printmaking paper – absorbent for watercolor or calligraphy (usable but tricky for both), but perfect for any oil-based crash printing technique.

Our Paper is available at The Paper Plant Website


Papermaking Classes

John Dancy-Jones Book Arts Biography

contact John at


Having developed a large book collection and an intense interest in books, I went to work at UNC-G’s Jackson Library in 1977.  As adminstrative assistant my time was flexible, my activities highly varied.  I gravitated to the Special Collections Department, headed by Emmy Mills, and became friends with Charles Adams, Library Director Emeritus.  Dr. Adams taught me how to use the Washington Press owned by the department and encouraged my early papermaking experiments.  By the end of 1977, I was producing good quality recycled papers and had ordered my first press – a versatile flatbed with high and low block positions, a type chaise, and a forgiving hard rubber roller.

My papermaking developed out of a backyard project with my first wife, Nora.  we used screens from her silk screen course and dried the sheets right on the screens.  I was immediately captivated by the possibilities. Early on, most of my paper was board or glass dried – essentially an Asian technique.  I contacted numerous paper mills in North Carolina, sending them samples of my paper and inviting input.  Several answered back and sent large samples or scraps of various felt materials. I obtained lye and worked with some natural materials, but settled on developing a process for making utilitarian printmaking paper out of high quality scrap.I began ordering cotton linters, building equipment, and building up stock. I bought a laid mould from Bartram & Green in England for 35 pounds.   About this time, I ordered fonts of 10 and 18 point type – Palatino, Stemple type from Germany (ordered from NYC).  I prepared to do some serious letterpress projects.

In 1980, I left Greensboro and Jackson Library to return to Raleigh and get into the bookstore business. I managed one for two years, then bought their shelves when they closed and opened The Paper Plant in downtown Raleigh, NC in 1982.  Used books in the front, papermaking and letterpress in the back. Over nearly nine years, The Paper Plant became an unofficial book arts center and a home for Raleigh’s alternative arts as well. Early in its history, I picked up a Kelsey 3×5 letterpress from a local print shop who had used it with a tiny mechanical matrix to print numbers and emboss serration on to football tickets!  Once The Paper Plant was established as a community resource, the studio gained a wide variety of press equipment and type.

Starting in 1983, I edited and published a series of broadsides, folders, and chapbooks, mostly involving the local writers emerging in our open mike series.  After The Paper Plant bookstore clsoed in 1990, I established residential studios for most (but not all) of the book arts equipment I had amassed.  In 2001, I culminated my use of those studios with the production of Snapper, a book physically produced by the author.

author’s personal bio

my book arts display at Cameron Village Library

The Paper Plant Bookstore and Press

Hand-laid Papers and Small Press Publications

The Paper Plant was a bookstore and book arts center in downtown Raleigh from 1982-1990.  John Dancy-Jones was owner and operator.  He is editor of The Paper Plant as small press publisher.


                       Hand-laid Papers                   Paper Plant Publications


Blank Books + Notecards         NC Presses


Papermaking Classes        Bookmark Quotes

Netweed    The Paper Plant    Bibliophile   Raleigh Rambles   Raleigh Nature


Paper Plant Website Highlights

Fred Chappell      Snapper      The Paper Plant Archive      Frank Porter Graham       NC Presses


paper press imageThe Paper Plant 

Small Press Titles & Hand-laid Paper Products 

Small Press Titles – The Paper Plant, Peloria Press, Half-Moon Press
Warren Ashby’s Frank Porter Graham, Fred Chappell Broadside
Hand-laid Paper, Stationary, Blank Books, Papermaking Classes

The Paper Plant Press publishes broadsides, folders and chapbooks using handlaid recycled paper and letterpress printing in conjunction with current desktop publishing technologies.  From 1983-90, the Paper Plant bookstore sponsored a weekly open poetry series, and many of the chapbook authors emerged from that setting. Twenty published titles include award-winning alternative literature, a fine arts calendar, and a children’s book.  Many of our writers regularly feature as performance poets.  We seek to present an alternative take on the publishing process, looking for non-academic, even non-literary influences, in a search for poetry as an oral art, in a belief that poetry is an essential and multifarious expression of life.

John Dancy-Jones, Publisher, Printer & Papermaker

The Paper Plant
P.O. Box 543
Raleigh, NC 27602
(919) 839-8277



Dorothy Dinnerstein & St. Teresa of Lisieux


Let us not be justices of the peace, but angels of peace.

The Dorothy Dinnerstein quote is from her book, The Mermaid & the Minotaur.


The letterpressed hand-laid paper bookmarks above are available at The Paper Plant website. $1 @, a dozen for $10 ($2 shipping)


Welcome to The Bibliophile



 Here is my world and I hope you enjoy it.  Reading is my passion, papermaking is my calling, and living, breathing and consuming books is what this blog is all about.  There will be lots of lists, reviews and information. However, THIS SITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION>  Check back soon for more.  best,  John.


The Bibliophile has become the blog resource of The Paper Plant, but it is now, summer 2011, in construction as it was in 2008, and probably always will be.  Just don’t let me be Causabon!!