Start by admitting you know nothing about paper. Or that, at the very least, you have a great deal to learn. Now step into the world of papermaker and artist David Colvin, where everything is steeped in history, pulp and a fascinating new vocabulary about paper and books.

Start by admitting you know nothing about paper. Or that, at the very least, you have a great deal to learn. Now step into the world of papermaker and artist David Colvin, where everything is steeped in history, pulp and a fascinating new vocabulary about paper and books.

Colvin led a workshop recently - free of charge, thanks to underwriting by the Greater Columbus Arts Council - to teach a dozen or so people the basics of making paper and to send them away with the tools to experiment at home.

The setting: The workshop was held in Cobenick Studio in Olde Towne East. Colvin started the evening with an entertaining lecture in the gallery space at 66 Parsons Ave. Then he moved the show back to the workshop, where paper and its ingredients are king. The back room is filled with interesting tools, machines, containers and objects. To get there, pass through a tiny gallery and work space lined floor to ceiling with colorful paintings; you might find an artist working over a palette laden with mounds of paint.

The crafting: Colvin showed students every step of making a sheet of paper, and then each of us took a pass at a tub filled with agitated pulp and dried flower petals (because they make paper so pretty). One by one, we dunked a large mesh-covered frame into a vat of pulpy water, raised the frame straight up, then tipped it over onto a fat piece of felt. Ten people later, a giant felt-and-paper sandwich was squeezed into a hydraulic press, which yielded nearly two gallons of excess water. Improbably beautiful, strong sheets of paper were hung to dry.

The result: Each student took home a large sheet of handmade, petal-laden paper and a mould and deckle (the frame on which paper is made) for crafting at home. Colvin hopes to offer the workshop again soon, to spread the word about paper on to a new crop of crafters.