Loading

62°F

58°F

62°F

58°F

62°F

58°F

58°F

65°F

62°F
NEWS STORIES

Artists, engineers combine for campus, national paper venture in northcentral WisconsinSubmitted: 04/16/2014
Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


STEVENS POINT - College and professional artists need special cotton-fiber paper for painting, drawing, and printing.

UW-Stevens Point's art students bought that expensive paper from traditional European mills for years.

Meanwhile, UWSP's Paper Science and Engineering Department taught students about the papermaking business on its huge paper machine just a building away on campus.

The logical tie between art and engineering came together, and is now going national.

"It was a natural. We use paper, we make paper. I think there's something we can do together," says UWSP Professor of Art Bob Erickson.

UWSP students used to pay four to five dollars per sheet for imported European fine arts paper.

All the while, students at the university's Paper Science and Engineering Department were producing roll after roll of other kinds of paper - just steps away on campus.

Erickson took a sheet of his paper over.

"I said, can we make that? They said, yeah, we can make that. So I thought, that's great. We need paper, they make paper," he says.

That conversation led to years of tinkering with formulas, ideas, and the university's paper machine itself.

"The challenges came when we started trying to meet the specifications of the artists, and translating what the properties of the paper they were telling us about, translating those into something we can actually measure," says UWSP Paper Science and Engineering Department Chair Karyn Biasca.

"About a year ago, we started to get a good paper that we felt we could use and market," Erickson says.

The finished product Erickson gave students like Josie Balk?

A high quality, cotton-based, fine arts papers at an unbeatable price.

"It was kind of nice because he says, use this paper, it's free. As a college kid, it's hard, budgeting as an art student, and paying tuition, and all of that other stuff," Balk says.

"They can experiment, they can try papers, they don't have to worry about, oh my god, I'm using a four-dollar sheet of paper," Erickson says.

Art students stay in touch constantly with the papermaking students, sharing what they like about the paper, and what they want done differently.

"They say that the properties of the product are equivalent to any of the much more expensive papers that are made overseas that they've used before," Biasca says.

The paper went over so well, its reach has expanded far beyond campus - making a brand called RiverPoint Paper.

"We've filled orders in at least fifteen different states to artists, other educators, students, and we always encourage them to let us know how it's working," says Ron Tschida of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, a group associated with the university that focuses on entrepreneurship.

Buyers love the paper quality, but that's not the only upside.

"(They like) not only the paper itself, but also the idea behind the paper, that it's being made at a university, by students, by faculty. We're not a company. They like the idea that it's being made that way," Erickson says.

That pride holds true for UWSP student artists, too.

"Being able to present it to people, saying, hey, this was used on campus, this paper is from the campus," Balk says.

It's an idea gaining national attention, all starting from a seemingly simple cross-campus connection.

"They are very excited about making paper," Erickson says, simply. "Our students are very excited about using the paper."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
Cancer scam father gets jail timeSubmitted: 09/23/2014

MERRILL - Late last year, a 20-year-old Merrill woman claimed she had cancer. Celina Winchell and her father asked at least 17 businesses in Lincoln and Marathon Counties to put out collection containers for donations to the family.

But Winchell never had cancer. In fact, investigators found she had nothing worse than a sinus infection.

On Tuesday, Winchell's father was sentenced for his role in the scam.

+ Read More
Dems outspend Republicans in summer TV ads; expect things to heat up even more with close raceSubmitted: 09/23/2014

ACROSS WISCONSIN - You should expect to see even more political advertisements as the November election approaches.

A report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows Democrats spent more than Republicans for the governor's race on television ads across the state this summer.

That's a reversal from 2012. The report showed that both candidates and outside groups spent nearly $5 million in television ads.

A September release of the Marquette University Law School Polls shows a close race between Mary Burke and Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin). Gov. Walker received support from 46% of all registered voters polled, while Burke received 46% support.

+ Read More
Home sales decline in AugustSubmitted: 09/23/2014

WISCONSIN - Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin have declined.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports sales dropped 5.7 percent in August compared to a year earlier.

Association board chairman Steve Lane says tighter inventory of properties in the state's metro areas could have slowed sales there.

+ Read More
Air National Guard training in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 09/23/2014

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk will have a newly refurbished cabin next year.

The 128th Air National Guard is finishing its training at the local camp by building the cabin.

+ Read More
Northwoods counties will form transit commission, expand transportation optionsSubmitted: 09/23/2014

FOREST, ONEIDA, VILAS - It can be difficult to get around the Northwoods without a car.

Three counties will join together to make getting around easier.

Oneida, Forest and Vilas Counties will form a transit commission.

The Vilas County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to join Oneida and Forest counties.

+ Read More
Wausau School District wants every student to have iPad or Chromebook by 2018Submitted: 09/23/2014

WAUSAU - The Wausau School District wants every student in the district to have either an iPad or Chromebook.

They hope to reach that goal by 2018.

Buying the computers and training could cost the district more than $2 million.

The district started giving out iPads to some students two years ago.

But the district might have to go to a referendum to get them to everyone.

+ Read More
Art lovers travel from all over to go to painting and photography classes at TreehavenSubmitted: 09/23/2014

TOMAHAWK - People traveled from all over the country to take a class taught in Tomahawk.

Painting and Sketching in the Northwoods is being taught at Treehaven.

A photography class is also being offered.

Both classes take place over the next two weeks.

One of the teachers thinks this class is helpful because people stay at Treehaven for the duration of the course.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here