Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Artists, engineers combine for campus, national paper venture in northcentral Wisconsin
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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/24/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you on a trip to Washington DC with more than 88 northcentral Wisconsin veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight where the veterans visit memorials in their honor, and we'll bring you some of their reaction to the once in a lifetime experience for a lot of those veterans.

We'll show you a unique way that the Three Lakes School District is teaching students how to deal with life and stressful situations.

And we'll take you live to the new Oneida County Humane Society site where a major reconstruction project is under way.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Dave Daniels loves classical music.

He loves sharing it with people even more.

+ Read More

WAUPUN - The remains of an unidentified woman found in a frozen creek in Fond du Lac County nearly 10 years ago will be exhumed this week at a cemetery in Waupun.

Sheriff's officials say forensic anthropologists will examine the remains of "Jane Doe" using techniques that weren't available when her body was found. Through chemical isotope analysis, investigators may learn where the woman lived and her approximate age. DNA testing can determine eye, skin and hair color, as well as genetic ancestry and face shape.

+ Read More

SUGAR CAMP - Students in the Three Lakes District practice a new form of discipline. Instead of punishments students learn how to calm down by practicing the art of mindfulness. 

"When you're mindful you're in the present moment," said eight- year-old Brooke Neumann.
 
Students from Pre- K to 6th grade in the Three Lakes School District took a few time outs from life this month. 

"[They're] learning how to accept life and take life as it comes and enjoy the present moments," said Sugar Camp third grade teacher Ali Pichowski.

This time out isn't a punishment. It gives students time to reflect on themselves.
The schools wanted a new and effective way to keep kids focused so it brought Mindfulness Practitioner Janele Dupuis in twice a week for four weeks.

"They'll share with me, 'my little sister was just bothering me this weekend and I remembered to use my breath'," said Dupuis. 

Dupuis uses breathing exercises and meditation to show kids different tools to deal with life. 

"They're in control of how they react or respond to something," said Dupuis. 

The project goes beyond the classroom.

"I was able to get angry easily," said Neumann. 

It's also helped Neumann deal with nagging siblings.

"Now I try breathing," said Neumann.  

+ Read More

WAUSAU - A t-shirt's unique design starts somewhere.

For one Wausau woman, it is right in her basement home studio.

It's all handwork and a green machine press for self-taught screen printer Britnie Remer and her business, Wicked Good Vibes.

Intrigue got Britnie started back in 2015.

+ Read More

CARLTON, MINNESOTA - A man killed in northeastern Minnesota used to be the director of the Native American Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

57 year old Andrew Gokee of Wisconsin Rapids was shot in the head over the weekend at his brother's house.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Department of Justice is now accepting applications for $100 million in newly created school safety grants.

Gov. Scott Walker proposed legislation establishing the grants in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school in February.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here