Artisan papermaker


Artisan papermakers create paper slurry, strain it on screens, and dry it manually or using small scale equipment.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to artisan papermaker:

artisan paper fabricator
small-scale paper producer
small-scale paper manufacturer
artisan paper creator
paper fabricator
artisan paper producer
paper creator
artisan paper manufacturer

Minimum qualifications

High school diploma is generally required to work as artisan papermaker. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Artisan papermaker is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Artisan papermaker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to artisan papermaker.

paper machine operator
froth flotation deinking operator
digester operator
wash deinking operator
bleacher operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of artisan papermaker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of artisan papermaker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

pulp control operator
paper mill supervisor
body artist
pastry chef
gaming inspector

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of artisan papermaker.

  • Types of paper: The different criteria used to determine differences in paper types such as coarseness and thickness, and the different fabrication methods and wood types from which the types of paper stem.
  • Drying methods: Use different methods to dry handmade paper, such as air drying, stamping, wiping, vacuum, and iron drying.
  • Sizes of paper: Different kinds of paper sizes such as folio, quarto, octavo, and sixteen-mo. Each type indicates how many times the paper has to be folded. While these are older, they are nowadays connected with ISO standards such as the A paper sizes.
  • Types of pulp: Kinds of pulp are distinguished based on their fibre type and the specific chemical processes through which they were created.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of artisan papermaker.

  • Dry paper manually: Press a sponge on the pulp and screen to press water or chemical solutions out, forcing the pulp fibres to bond together.
  • Follow a brief: Interpret and meet requirements and expectations, as discussed and agreed upon with the customers.
  • Make paper slurry: Create paper slurry or pulp from recycled or used paper with water in mixers and blenders or other equipment. Add colors by adding papers in different colors.
  • Strain paper on mould: Adjust the paper to the size of the frame and insert a cover paper screen and grid on top of it. Strain the whole, and dump the paper pulp in the opening of the ‘mould and deckle’. Distribute the paper pulp, let the water drain out on a metal sheet or cover and remove the mould without the grid.
  • Meet contract specifications: Meet contract specifications, schedules and manufacturers’ information. Check that the work can be carried out in the estimated and allocated time.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Press paper manually: Press the paper with a couching sheet or felts and press bar, further draining water of the paper and reducing drying time. The goal is to press in a way that the whole of the paper dries evenly. Press bars can be books, couching sheets or mechanically operated paper presses.
  • Wash fibres: Remove the chemical solution of the digesting process, making paper pulp soft and fibrous.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of artisan papermaker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Types of bleach: The range of bleach and others chemicals used to remove the colour from materials in a steam cooking process, adjusting the brightness and colour of the materials.
  • Types of paint: Varieties of paint and chemicals used in their composition.
  • Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of artisan papermaker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Add colour: Add the required colour according to specifications for tinting batch.
  • Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
  • Answer requests for quotation: Make up prices and documents for the products that customers may purchase.
  • Concentrate pulp slurry: Measure the weight and concentration of the pulp slurry for further processing and storage by using disk filters and calculating slurry density with specific formulas.
  • Dispose waste: Dispose waste in accordance with legislation, thereby respecting environmental and company responsibilities.
  • Create craft prototypes: Fabricate and prepare prototypes or models of objects to be crafted.
  • Monitor pulp quality: Avoid lesser quality and lower grades of recycled paper and pulp by keeping an eye open for stickies, plastics, colour, unbleached fibres, brightness, and dirt.
  • Adjust properties of cut: Adjust cut sizes and depths of cutting tools. Adjust heights of worktables and machine-arms.
  • Keep personal administration: File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.
  • Negotiate supplier arrangements: Reach an agreement with the supplier upon technical, quantity, quality, price, conditions, storage, packaging, send-back and other requirements related to the purchasing and delivering process.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

ISCO group and title

7317 – Handicraft workers in wood, basketry and related materials

  1. Artisan papermaker – ESCO
Last updated on October 5, 2022

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