Little Critter Hollander Beaters

Hollander-800x450Welcome to the home of the Little Critter Hollander beaters,   these machines are designed to pulp up everything from cotton and linen rags to all the botanical plant fibres that you can harvest from your garden and  out there in the wild.

Paper is made from plants, and there are infinite variations and characteristics, you can design your own unique types and styles.   Thick, thin, smooth, rough, big and small,   handmade paper is awesome, from the finest letter writing materials  to massive stage sets,   ….if you can dream it up…. you can make it!

My name is Mark Lander, my background is in Art and Education, I did a Diploma in Painting at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts in New Zealand in the late 1970’s.   I became interested in papermaking about 25 years ago, I had a family and it was either ” Buy your art materials, or the kids shoes!’ Hmmm …maybe I could learn to make paper myself?     Well that was the start of a wonderful adventure with paper,  have a look at the Art Page to see some huge installations, paintings and other stuff.

I soon realised that I had the need for one of these machines, a Hollander.  I built myself one, and then another, and another,  six prototypes later I had one that actually worked!     For the next twelve years I used that machine every day on a very tough plant indeed  … New Zealand Flax… Phormium tenax .      Here it grows in abundance, on the roadsides, up in the mountains, down in the swamps, the plant is a member of the lily family, eight feet high with great swordlike leaves.   It is a plant of enormous cultural significance here in NZ  it has many uses from basket weaving, making fishing nets, ropes and clothing.  You say a Prayer or Karakia before harvesting and only the oldest outer ‘Grandpa and Grandma’ leaves.   These are then cut into lengths, cooked, and pulped ready to make into paper.

2lb-Hollander-800x450The Critters were born in the year 2000 when I had to go teaching and taking workshops around the world.       I wanted to make a portable machine to carry around in my suitcase,  I would make the tub soft to fold up,  yes!   it worked,  a 2lb capacity model coming in at a bantam weight 25kgs ( usually these machines are made of cast iron and take four people to lift! )    ‘Have Hollander …will travel!’   It can also squeeze ‘Houdini like’  into a DHL Jumbo Express Carton so then it can go at around the world in four days… at one third the usual freight rates, …I like that.

>Here is how the Critter project works, we collected enough money to make machine number one, and the same parts, freight, wage, and tax components have gone round and round now over 400 times over fifteen years.    It is run as a non profit service to papermakers around the world.     Stacked end to end these tough little machines now are higher than the Empire State Building!

Who constructs them?   Maybe Mark has a ‘Little Man’ somewhere around the corner who actually does all the work … No,  I hand make every one of them, it’s like an extremely long mechanical marathon,    yes,  grubby, grimy,  ‘Hands on’  work,    not much different from making any work of art really.

Some people just plain like making things.

New-Vats-800x450I love the metal casting, the lathe and construction work, sewing the tubs, grinding them in with carburundum powder, testing and running them to the airport.  I have a wonderful network of suppliers ( They love to hear the story of where each machine is off to)   Bearings and V-belt pulleys, sheet aluminum, stainless Steel, nuts, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, and everything else that goes into making an incredible Critter.

If you would like to know more about the Hollanders,  I would be pleased to email you the current information and price list.