John C. Bielik is an itinerant artisan, instructor, and living history interpreter who combines his fine arts degrees, art experience, and interest in history to help preserve the traditional trades of papermaking, bookbinding, and paper marbling.
Introduced to marbled paper through old books in the St. Louis Public Library as a boy, Bielik sought an alternative to modern marbled papers for his bookbinding while in college. He found it in the alum-free paper made by Curtis E. Finley, who taught Bielik many of the techniques of traditional marbling.
Bielik learned to make his own paints and continues to develop a base of knowledge of paper marbling chemistry, techniques, and materials. He considers himself a preservationist of alum-free paper marbling with the goal to preserve the craft as it appeared before the abundant use of wood fiber in the papermaking industry of Europe and America.
He shares traditional marbling methods through classes and demonstrations at historic sites throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South as far west as Texas. In the October 2016 issue of Early American Life he shows how craftsmen marbled paper—and how you can, too. His products are featured in the Shops of Colonial Williamsburg, the Atheneum at Historic New Harmony, Indiana, and other retail venues.
John C. Bielik has been selected for the following Directories:
Biography updated October 3, 2016 Photograph updated October 27, 2016Contact information updated March 6, 2018
Or call 440-543-8566 to subscribe or buy back issues.
2019 Directory Applications
If you are an artist and would like to participate in the 2019 Directory of Traditional American Crafts, you can obtain an application by clicking here. The deadline for applying to the 2019 Directory is January 15, 2019.
We've mailed the
February 2019 issue of Early American Life to all of our current subscribers. The postal service advises you should allow up to three weeks for delivery,
so subscribers should have their copies of our new February issue by January 3, 2019.
All new web subscriptions will start with the April 2019 issue. Call us at 440-543-8566 if you have other subscription requirements.
Early American Homes
For Sale in Pennsylvania
Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1728 sq. ft., mix of Colonial Pennsylvania architecture and 21st Century design. Original floors and windowsills, in-ground pool, screened in porch, Estate includes a country store, tenant or guest house and a barn.. $925,000.