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Hand Pulp Paper Making and Printing

Galacian Paper Mill BaselThe Swiss Museum for Paper and Printing in Basel (Schweizerisches Papiermuseum) explores the historic art of paper making and the history of printing. The museum is situated in a build which dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 12th Century the Monastery of St Albans built a canal to the Rhine River to divert water for corn mills, which were converted to the production of paper in 1453 following the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press. Over the next century Basel became one the most important paper producers of Switzerland. A collection of buildings were taken up by a book seller and publisher in 1778 and two of the remaining mill buildings were joined to house the museum with a still working medieval water driven mill.

Here, history can be touched and felt, as visitors have the chance to make their own paper and learn to set type the way of Gutenberg, with lines of type melted and set in the brace, the wheel turned to indent the ink deep into the fibers. The making of paper and setting of type hand type is demonstrated before your eyes, beginning with a workshop demonstration of the production of paper as it was made by hand in the 18th Century before the introduction of machine production. Rags from old cloth soaked in water and stamped into pulp is rolled by hand rolled into sheets.

The museum’s live demonstration exhibits continue on through the ages of printing from the hand press to modern machine printing and off-set. Exhibits of the source of ink color dies and historic manuscripts. There are static exhibits of the forms of printing, and press machines. Beyond the demonstrations of printing arts by the craftsmen, there are hands-on workshops especially for kids and students allow the opportunity to learn the art of hand lettering and to create original art paper designs.

The Paper and Printing Museum (Basler Papiermühle) is open Tuesday to Sunday 2pm to 5pm. The museum is located at Sankt-Alban-Tal near the Rhine River, and a 5 minute walk from the "Kunstmuseum" stop of Tram Line 2. Or follow the Rhine Promenade from the Wettstein Bridge to signs for the Schweizerisches Papiermuseum. Basel Papermuseum

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