50 Sheets of Paper

Catherine died a month ago today, just around this time of night.

Over the last several weeks I’ve been spending time in her studio making paper using the letters and cards and flowers of condolence we’ve received.

After experimenting with various tools, I set on a small mould and deckle that she had made herself from a couple of simple picture frames and some window screen. This needed some repairs; of course I found all the tools I needed to affect them in her cupboards.

I finished the last of 50 sheets of paper this afternoon.

Every piece is unique. There are bits of sealing wax smeared through some, and bits of thread and plastic in others. Some show patches of fountain pen ink. All are raggedy and irregular and dramatically imperfect. She would love them.

The best part of the entire exercise is that when I ironed each sheet after drying the room smelled like fresh-cut flowers.

My next Herculean task is finding new homes for Catherine’s tools and books and for the carefully curated stash of fabric, yarn, and thread she assembled over a lifetime of making. I’m happy I was able to undertake one last project amidst all that.


Bruce MacNaughton's picture
Bruce MacNaughton on February 17, 2020 - 09:25 Permalink


Having your journey described in detail is an inspiration.

My love for you and your family grows and grows with every post.

Thank you.


Signe Andersen's picture
Signe Andersen on February 17, 2020 - 14:08 Permalink

That is a lovely idea, Peter. And very ... Catherine.

Pedro's picture
Pedro on February 18, 2020 - 01:12 Permalink

As usual, you found the perfect way to channel so many thoughts and remembrances together into one beautiful and tangible form.

Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on February 20, 2020 - 02:41 Permalink


I have just taken a couple of hours to read and reflect on all of your posts of the past month.

Thank you for sharing so openly. I think of you often these days.