Imprimerie de Vaux

Education

Imprimerie de Vaux

Papeterie de Vaux

In the summer of 2016 Robin and Rosie finished setting up a Printing Workshop with Richard Lawrence (printer) at the Papeterie de Vaux, a Paper Mill and now a museum in the northern Dordogne.  They produced a bi-lingual book about the paper mill based around their original linocut prints, made on site, detailing the Mill and it’s machinery.

The text was printed in forms by Richard using wooden letterpress type that had been sitting un-used at the Mill for decades. The book’s front cover was made from the last stock of the original rough yellow rye paper that the mill produced all it’s working life, which was formerly used as packaging paper.

The Paperterie de Vaux finally stopped producing paper and closed in the 1960s. Due to the enthusiasm and endeavour of the local industrial archaeologist, teacher and journalist Pierre Thibout, the two large waterwheels that powered the mill turn again.  M. Thibout also rediscovered the original company that made the drying felts for the papermaking train that had rotted over time.   The company is still in business, making felts, and were only too happy to re-make the felt blankets to the original plans, which also still exist.

Although the felt is now re-attached to the machinery, the mill sadly will never make paper again, as the steam boiler system for heating the metal rollers that dried the paper is unlikely to be repaired. In it’s heyday this small mill in its quiet, wooded valley sent it’s yellow packing paper as far a field as Madagascar.

Richard, Robin and Rosie set up the Print Workshop, now known as the Imprimerie de Vaux, as a living museum, teaching workshops in a range of languages to all-comers, and ensuring that the museum staff can now operate the machinery so it is being used in their absence.

At the invitation of the Marie, we returned to Payzac in August 2017 to deliver further daily linocut workshops, and use the imprimerie to create an entirely new exhibition, using their tools and materials, of posters and prints for a exhibition to run at the Mill between August and November 2017.

The visits to the Papeterie de Vaux are part of an on-going partnership with European printmakers involving a range of projects in different countries, but with an extremely successful and convivial relationship that will keep taking us back to the Papeterie de Vaux again and again. Our next trip will be in August 2018.

Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson is an anthropology researcher at the University of Oxford, where he is also artist-in-residence at the Wytham Studio, a visual research unit he has set up and run at the University research woodlands. As part of his research, he is Director of Oxford University Anagama (Japanese Kilns) Project. Robin is known as a relief linocut printmaker and runs art projects worldwide.

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