I’ve always had a fascination about paper. One of the exciting things as an artist over the years has been exploring paper types. I’m also a huge fan of sustainability minded local suppliers. So a local paper-maker using a water mill was too good an opportunity not to explore. Recommend to me by a fan of my work last year. Now, TwoRivers paper is one of my favourite paper companies to supply watercolour paper to the studio, and the only company I am currently using for studio books and sketch books. Alongside nearby StCuthberts Mill, they are jointly my go-to suppliers for papers.
Two Rivers was formed in 1976 and has been run and located at Pitt Mill, Somerset, UK since 1988. It’s one of a handful of commercial hand-mills still operating in Europe.
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 10ft 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 to create heating that is used to gently dry out paper in the mill loft.
Much of my larger work is now undertaken on their ‘two rivers original’ square paper which is a wonderful medium for watercolour or even acrylics. Of particular note is their ‘companion pads’ which sit beside my easel at the studio for quick study paintings and visual notes. If you’re looking to experiment with new watercolour papers, I can’t recommend them enough. You can visit their website at; www.tworiverspaper.com
Locally made, sustainably made and wonderful.
Wild flowers on two rivers paper.