Hand Decorated Papers

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VICTORIA HALL began making decorated papers professionally in the late 1980's, having attained a degree in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of East Anglia. She learnt through trial & error how to replicate historic marbled papers which are required by experts for restoration purposes and within 5 years had added antiquarian style paste papers to her portfolio of designs.

The marbled papers are made by floating water colours on a slightly viscous liquid prepared from carragheen moss & then laying the paper upon it in order to transfer the design. Paste papers are made by patterning through a layer of coloured starch paste applied to the sheet of paper. Both techniques have a long & rich history & Victoria's ongoing research focuses on European designs from around 1700. In fact the origins of marbled paper go back considerably further.

The range of pattern styles made in her central Norwich studio has continued to expand & highly original fancy paste papers in rich colours & striking designs show that there's much more to this field than replication of the past! Attendance at international 'Marblers Gatherings* in the USA & Turkey (1992, 1997, & 2002) has brought her into contact with other contemporary makers from around the world in a craft discipline that welcomes skilful experimentation.

She supplies directly to her clients, most of who are in the bookbinding profession -individuals, firms & institutions across the globe. Commissions for new designs have included work for numerous Fine Press Limited editions (including Gwasg Gregynog, Incline Press & Rampant Lions), whilst further interesting projects have led her to marble on materials including leather and silk. Her designs have also been used under license by clients from Bulmers (cider) to Garrard (the crown jewellers).

Victoria's work can be found in private & public collections including The Royal Library, Den Haag; Newberry Library, Chicago; & the Schmoller Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is a regular short course tutor at West Dean College, Chichester, has written published articles in her field & was an invited speaker at the Society of Bookbinders Conference, held at Reading University in 2002.

A modest range of decorative paper items (cards, notebooks etc) are available in contemporary craft shops & galleries where highly original framed pieces might also be on display. She's put her own twist on the traditional Turkish technique of 'Ebru* (marbled flowers) and creates intricate geometric patterns in her 'paper patchworks', both of which feature in gallery exhibitions.