Current Location:
Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health -> 2nd Floor (DCIH)
Location Notes:
DCIH; 2nd Floor; Inside Room 205 (Library)

Fork In The Road

BJ Bennett
Gift of Holly VanLeuven
Handmade paper
Artworks - Height: 68 in Width: 58 in Depth: 2 in
Historical Context:
Historically, the papermaking process was first documented in China during the Eastern Han period (25-220CE). While papermaking precursors do exist in the Mediterranean, papyrus and parchment are not considered true “paper,” which is created from a combination of milled plant and textile fibers, but simply other substrates for writing. Today, most paper is manufactured and the craft of creating handmade paper is still considered an artform that follows traditional steps. First, pulped fibers, such as wood, rice, plants, and cotton, are mixed with water in a deep vat and extracted using a wire mesh tray that is dipped into the vat until the desired paper thickness is achieved. Then the wire mesh is placed in a wooden frame, called a deckle, to create the shape of the paper. Once the shape is formed and the pulp mostly dry, the paper is sandwiched between two pieces of felt to complete the drying process. This work of art was created by combining hundreds of small sectioned handmade and dyed pieces of paper and arranged to create the artist’s desired shape. Each section was fastened together using wire and glue creating this large shape that resembles a forked path or road. The hundreds of handmade paper sections are an analogy of individual decisions leading to a crossroad in life; two paths meeting to create a fork in the road providing time to reflect on past decisions and look forward in choosing the right path for the future.