Category Archives: The Paper Plant

The Natural History of Raleigh

80 pp 8/12 x 11 stapled trade paper with hand-laid paper cover printed with block image and letterpress. $15.00  ISBN 978-0-929170-17-6

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Also available at Quail Ridge Books and So&So Books in Raleigh

The Natural History of Raleigh contains 16 chapters and 30 illustrations that depict nature lore and potential nature adventures inside or near the Beltline. Written by Paper Plant publisher John Dancy-Jones, a Raleigh native and retired environmental educator.

selection of illustrations

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First Hundred Sheets for The Natural History of Raleigh

Above are the first hundred sheets of ONE THOUSAND I will eventually make for the covers of my new book, The Natural History of Raleigh, which will arrive from the printer soon and be out by Mid-November 2018. The sheets are made of high quality scrap and cotton linters, with bits of dried oak leaves suspended in the pulp.

The sheets are 12 1/2 by 20 inches, formed on wove screens of medium coarse silkscreen. I use two screens for extra draining time before couching (laying off on to the wet felt) each sheet.

When I’ve got a stack of a dozen or more between felts, I slide my hands under the stack and lift it into my big press, which is framed by 4×4 lumber and powered by the lovely jack you see (another story sometime). After a good sqeeze and another later, the sheets are ready to lay on boards – or in this case, washed glass.

They dry with the pieces of dehydrated oak leaves down on the glass, which makes that outside cover surface extremely smooth and perfect for printing. Each sheets uses up a good sprinkle of oak leaves and I add pulp and fresh oak leaves between each sheet. I pick a batch of dark un-scarred leaves, sandwich them between screens in a 105 degree dehydrator for a couple of hours, then shred the pieces with my fingers. The project will require many, many pieces of oak leaves.

The Natural History of Raleigh will be published by The Paper Plant Press and includes over 30 line drawings by me, the author. I have worked on this book for over a decade and can’t wait to share it with you!

Folded cover with letterpress block for back

Cover with scored spine and polymer block for front

The finished project is HERE!

Making Wasp Nest Paper for E. Lily Yu

My friend Richard Butner runs a science fiction conference every summer just an hour north of me and last summer he brought a prominent up-n-coming SF writer, E. Lily Yu, to meet me and see the Paper Plant studios. She was very intrigued by the collection of wasp nests in my display of fiber materials, and I explained that the wasp was truly the first papermaker. When I investigated her online writings, I discovered the reason she was so interested in the wasp nests – her story entitled “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees.” I emailed her, saying I would probably make some wasp nest paper soon, and she asked me to letterpress print the first line of the story on some of it for a museum exhibit she was helping to curate.

E. Lily Yu at the Wing Luke Museum. pic by Amanda Chen

The show, at the Wing Luke Museum, is called Worlds Beyond Here, and runs through October 2019. I have already been inspired to make a different kind of hand-laid paper piece for Ms. Yu, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading her work. I’ll keep you apprised!

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