On Saturday, July 13, Luann Vermillion, of Whitesburg, will demonstrate how she creates paper from recycled fibers and natural plant materials from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Born and raised in Whitesburg, Vermillion has been interested in the arts all her life. Her love of nature and in particular Kentucky’s wildflowers inspired her to look for a way to preserve their beauty. She taught herself the ancient art of papermaking using recycled fibers and natural plant materials.

Recycled fiber paper by Luann Vermillion

Vermillion’s work starts by gathering wildflowers, a year-round task. Because these flowers must be used when they are fresh and in peak condition, she produces her handmade paper products throughout the year, following the season of blooms.

Vermillion makes her paper pulp using recycled computer paper, junk mail, grocery bags, tissue paper and paper towels. Finding that chlorinated water bleaches and weakens the finished paper, she uses rain-water or well water to soak her hand-shredded materials. The soaked fibers are beaten into a pulp using a common kitchen blender or food processer.

These pulp fibers are poured into a vat with additional water, along with fresh flowers and plant material. The pulp is caught on the surface of a screen and transferred onto large pieces of felt, where they are pressed and dried.

By using this process and technique, Vermillion retains much of each flower’s original natural color. She uses her recycled floral papers to create bookmarks and note cards, and also encases them in glass to create paperweights and magnets. Encased in glass, these fragile plants are preserved and stabilized in a finished product that captures the natural beauty of Kentucky’s wildflowers for years of enjoyment.

Works by Vermillion are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at
200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013 with three days of events and activities July 19-21, the center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits include, “The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea: Celebrating 10 Years,” on display through Aug. 24, and “The Founding of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea,” and “Highlights of the First 10 Years,” on display in the lobby through Nov. 17, 2013. For more information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



About & Help


Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Logo

© 2015 Commonwealth of Kentucky. All rights reserved.


Back to Top