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I participated in a Paper Making Workshop in October 2021 with passionate teacher Anne-Marie Dupont. Gorgeous sunny Fall days on the shore of Lake Champlain, Quebec side, was the perfect setting to work outside filling large water basins with the precious mulberry and abaca fibre. Three other artists participated and we were a happy team! We used kitchen blenders to break the plant fibre in thin filaments adding large quantities of the mush to the water. We obtained what was to become sheets of paper by dipping wooden screens in the mixture covering them with wet fibre. These very wet layers were carefully removed from the screens and put in a press to drain before being hanged to dry. It was a very hands on and fascinating process.

The second day was spent using our paper in a projet of our choice. I decided to layer the small sheets I made the day before over a mask mold. The natural looking paper textured by unbroken fibres gave the mask an absent look. I loved the experience and will certainly repeat it and go further to experiment with using paper in three dimensional projects.

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MICHÈLE ATKINSON is a Canadian contemporary artist. Her artwork explores the theme of absence relating to the passage of life cycles. She got interested in traces of people and events blurred by time looking at her grandmother's photo albums full of black and white snapshots telling stories of lives lived. 

She developed a love of textures creating designer sweaters with the rich curly coats of the sheep and angora goats she raised on her farm. Michèle studied at the Visual Art Centre in Montreal and has since had solos shows and participated in group exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City and Baie Saint-Paul.  Her work has been shown in international Art Fairs in the United States, England and Hong Kong as well as being in private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Originally from Quebec City Michèle graduated with a BA in translation from Université de Montréal.  She lives and works in Montreal, and maintains a summer studio in Vermont.

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