Presidents and pens

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The New York Times magazine ran a great story this weekend about papermaker Timothy Barrett, whose hand-crafted pages have been used to mend historical documents from manuscripts to musical scores. There’s lots to think about here, but first and foremost:

Barrett’s work has been driven by the notion that good materials, worked by hand, transmit their power in ways that the products of less painstaking manufacture can’t. “I have to believe that the eye and the hand take it all in, even when we’re not aware of it,” he said. There’s a poignancy to his work, given that paper’s long role as the repository of cultural memory and accomplishment is being usurped by swift technological change.

The piece is well-worth reading, as is the online slideshow that shows Barrett at work.

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