The history of papermaking reaches all the way back to the Eastern Han period in China (25-220AD), from where it slowly, over the next ten centuries, spread across the world and changed our society forever. The invention of paper undeniably improved literacy all over the world, while revolutionizing trade and commerce through printed money – and so helped speed up the modernization and development of civilization everywhere.
The Vinczemill paper manufactory in Hungary builds on this two-thousand-year-old Chinese tradition. With the heart of Vinczemill’s activity in Fedémes, a small native village at the bottom of Mátra, and their bookbinding in Szentendre, the reputation of the paper mill has reached way beyond the borders of the central European country. Vinczemill has been producing paper by using traditional craft processes, to create beautiful high-quality products, for nearly forty years. The mill was founded by László Vincze in 1985, who now operates it together with his sons Máté, Kristóf, and Lőrinc.
László Vincze, the founder of the mill, who knows a lot about white art, also makes sure that the paper his mill produces goes into knowledgeable hands
László Vincze originally began practicing the tradition of papermaking in his garage, after being inspired by a movie about the paper museum in Basel and visiting a factory in Velké Losiny, Moravia, to see and learn more about the technology himself. By holding showcases on the weekend, offering his printing products to various printing houses and galleries, and knocking on all and every door he came across, Vincze landed his very first clients: the Office of the Parliament and the National Széchényi Library.
As the business grew, Vincze outgrew his garage and bought his grandfather’s 1800s farmhouse – the place where the mill is still located. And despite the rise of digital technology, the papermaking master still makes his papers by using traditional methods: drawing, pressing, and drying. There are only three companies in Europe that represent a similar quality.
Vinczemill’s repertoire has been expanded into bookbinding, which takes place in their workshop in Szentendre, where art exhibitions are also held every month. Numerous artists choose to work with the mill’s rich papers, including János Aknay, László fe. Lugossi, István ef. Zámbó, dr Máriás, Wanda Szyksznian, and the latest addition: paper collage artist Anikó Herbert – who regularly uses Vinczemill’s papers, and in return, donate their work to the mill’s portfolio, which can serve as a reference for other artists as well.
In the mills Fedémes workshop, the ancient Chinese papermaking method is honored and used to create various products; such as acid-free, time-resistant, high-quality, hand-made papers in white, pastel, and antique colors, as well as watercolor and drawing paper, and business cards, certificates, diplomas, stationery, picture and greeting cards, and many more items.
Vinczemill’s papers are included in numerous museum collections and personal archives, and can even be found on the desk of the King of England
Vinczemill’s regular customers include book and paper restorers, who not only buy the finished paper but many times they also buy paper pulp. Most Hungarian who have received a diploma or award might have come across the mill’s papers – as several law firms and ministries order from them; their papers are used by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the National Archives, and also the International Olympic Committee among others. What the Vincze family refers to as an absolute top achievement is the reproduction edition of the three-volume Vizsolyi Bible: in connection with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the prestigious 2400-page publication is modeled after the original first edition, comes leather bound and in a gift box, and can be obtained by determined collectors.
Vinczemill’s name is not unknown abroad either, as their papers have been included in the collections of the Tokyo Paper Museum, the Vienna Archives, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, and the archives of George Bush in the USA. And as a true testament to the mill’s dedication to tradition and quality, Vinczemill’s papers are truly fit for a king – as they can be found on the desk of the King of England. The English Royal Family even sent an elegant letter of thanks to the paper miller, as they were so impressed by the manufactured papers.