paperguru.tk is operated by Stephen R. Hill, FInstSMM, FInstPPP, Paper Consultant & Environmental/Wildlife Conservationist
Stephen (Steve) Hill is a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management; Fellow of the Institute of Paper, Print & Publishing; a former member of the (U.K.) Paper Industry Technical Association, and one of the founding members of the British Association of Paper Historians, plus, for a few years a 'lay member' of the U.S.A. Technical Association for the Pulp and Paper Industries (TAPPI). With over 35 years in the paper industry (mostly in sales & marketing, and procurement rôles) for hand-made artists’ papers to humble (though very good) copier papers, plus graphical printing papers and boards, from mills in Scandinavia down to Italy, Steve's vast area of knowledge is now at your disposal.
Having sadly watched the demise of many mills that have lapsed into history from apparently active production, Steve is just as keenly interested in those mills whose ancestry has been built upon and currently flourish, e.g. Whatman/Balstons Mill at Springfield in Maidstone since January 1st. 1807; Papeteries de Lana in France since 1590; Tervakoski, Finland 1818, and the list goes on. Particularly exciting are the 'Phoenix' mills that either closed completely or looked doomed to do so, then sprang back up again fighting with every fibre of their being – Aconda Intermills in Spain, Meerson in The Netherlands, Malmedy in Belgium, and the wonderful ex MoDo mill, P.S.M. in France – though some only to go on to flounder and close for a final time, lost forever. Others, like St. Cuthberts Mill in Somerset in England buck the trend and, following management buy-outs, look to go from weakness to great strength. Sadly, since this was first written in the not too distant past, Aconda in Spain have gone forever, along with Malmedy in Belgium, and PSM of France. They all made such beautiful papers! Meerson in The Netherlands is doing very well indeed, and while St.Cuthberts in Somerset, Great Britain looked like going 'out for the count' they have re-negotiated with their creditors and are working like crazy to make a go of it. The site is up for sale, but St Cuthberts Paper will only sell the land if they are guaranteed a 20 year lease-back of the paper mill itself – very shrewd! As a further sign of his being a paper 'anorak', Steve collects papers from old (and modern) mills, especially those with watermarks, and other paper mill and merchant related ephemera though his massive collection of swatches and so forth was decimated (literally reduced to just 10%) by flooding, and what was reputed to be the largest private collection of contemporary swatches & promotional items in the U.K. is, like so many paper mills, gone forever.
As Vice President (European Affairs) of Grade Finders, Inc. of Pennslyvannia USA, Steve was responsible for creating a European system of cataloguing papers and boards which then found its way to directory status with Grade Finders, with five editions in printed format, and now as a constantly updated web presence at www.paperbuyersonline.com which Steve is responsible for keeping updated with grades, classifications, technical information, as well as details of manufacturers & merchants for the whole of Europe. After the sad and untimely death of founder Bill Subers, the business became part of North American Publishing Company, where Bill's son Mark has some great ideas for continuing the legacy of the late Bill Subers in a 21st. century environment. Watch this space......