Patti Shanks holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-Columbia, by no coincidence home to one of the best papermaking fibers programs in the country. Shanks has taught in the program since, and brings her love of visual research in the medium to her teaching and mentorship of other fiber artists. The process of papermaking calls for both a thorough technical knowledge and a strong intuition. Most compositional components are intrinsic to the paper, incorporated as raw pulp or inclusion with an understanding of how they will interact and change as the paper is formed and dried. For Shanks, the meaning and message of each piece is inextricable from the process of its creation, a dance that both exerts and relinquishes control in turn.