This will be a wonderful opportunity to see how one of a very few commercial handmills still operating in Europe create artist's paper. Two Rivers will bring along paintings, prints and drawings in a variety of media and styles to illustrate this talk. There will also be an opportunity to purchase these beautiful papers in various styles and formats on the night.
Two Rivers was formed in 1976 and has been run and located at Pitt Mill, Somerset, UK since 1990.
The owner/manager is Jim Patterson, a fourth generation paper maker who has spent his entire working life in the paper industry, in larger mills both in England and abroad, including Wansborough Paper Company in Watchet.
The mill is over 400 years old and still retains much of the ancient wooden milling machinery. It's been restored over the last 15 years to a working water-powered traditional paper mill, using a 100-year-old metal wheel from Wales and an 1841 Hollander Rag-Breaker.
The wheel itself is a 10 ft overshot wheel weighing two and a half tons and standing eleven foot high. In combination with the rag breaker, Two Rivers will be the only place in the UK where water power is used to make paper from old rags.
Showing a continuing commitment to manufacturing using environmentally appropriate methods, a full array of solar panels were fitted to the mill roof in 2011. Electrical heating is used to gently dry our paper in the mill loft and over the year the panels will cancel that cost.