About Loes Schepens


My works could be a memory or an emotion. They are often made of handmade paper. Mostly it is a combination of new self-made paper (which has to form and to develop) and of ‘worn’ paper, such as tatters of a book. These parts of book papers relate directly to the content.

Papermaking is labour-intensive. For sure if you make it from durable materials as cotton and flax. Paper has its limits and also its own language. You cannot make any shape, but you can try manipulating it until you discover new techniques to get what you want.

The challenge is in making your own paper, so that you can look up the boundary of the material.

The really attractive side of paper is , that it is fragile, vulnerable and translucent, it has its typically tangibility. For me paper has an association to – at the same time – evanescent and finite. I try to catch the vulnerability in forms with pulp: conceptualize, binding, folding, sewing. It becomes from temporary to timeless.


Work

layers-of-paper

From the view of her profession as a graphic designer, paper has always had a special interest by Loes. Early in her career she experimented with ‘strange’ industrial papers on the press. The printers with which she worked were forced to balance on the edge of technical possibilities. From this she learned more about the material itself, which resulted making her own papers. At first she only made sheets, from various kinds of materials. Today she uses only sustainable fibres like flax, hemp, cotton and kozo. Her artwork arises from her designer concepts and -assignments, but also from her personal life. She makes small 3 dimensional objects and 2-dimensional work.

Loes at work

In her paper studio Loes works on her different art projects. The blue paper shown in the pictures was used for the installation Sea of Tears. The main material used for this project was flax. The fibres were cooked and beated (in a Hollander machine). Later the pigments were added. With frames the sheets are formed on the vacuum table by pouring the paper pulp by hand. 70% of the water is drained out of the paper, then in a few days the paper is dry. Sometimes she uses a press to flatten the paper, if needed.

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