When it’s hot…Make some paper!

July 8, 2012

Over the last week it has been increasingly hot here…with temperatures heating up to 100 degrees at times.  It’s finally cooled down a little, but on a couple of these hot days I’ve pretty much remained inside when I could, with thankful thoughts for central air conditioning, crossing my fingers for the power to stay on, and using the time to engage in some art-making!

After returning from the GMU Papermaking as Art Therapy for Trauma Intervention workshop, I was inspired and curious to discover how I could set up a DIY papermaking space that would be mobile and easily accessible for papermaking.

I’ve been gathering materials we talked about at GMU that could be used for adapting to this process if you don’t own or have access to a  Hollander Beater:

  • Wooden stretcher bars, mosquito netting, window screen for creating DIY mould & deckles
  • Blender for re-purposing paper material into pulp
  • Specialty pulps to add to the blended paper mix for strengthening

I used a variety of paper material in making this batch of pulp: magazine photo collage,  handwritten content, some extra pulp I saved from this papermaking experience, and added a little bit of specialty pulp: denim, cotton rag, and wool.

 The transformation begins!

Using my handmade mould and deckle (stretcher bars & stapled window screen around the frame), I pull a sheet!

Wet paper in need of drying enjoys the extreme heat on our sunroom windows

Paper!

I’m excited to be teaming up again with Margaret Mahan and Drew Matott for some Peace Paper fun and papermaking inspired activity as part of this year’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association SymposiumReleasing and Reforming: Art Therapy as Social Action, September 6-8, 2012 in Dublin, Ohio.

September 6 will include a pre-conference course: Papermaking as Art Therapy for Trauma Intervention that will provide attendees with an understanding about how the papermaking process can be beneficial with populations as a form of social action and therapeutic transformation in trauma and loss intervention.  During this course, participants will be provided with a closer look at the papermaking process as they create handmade sheets of paper from pulp (with a portable Hollander Beater) collected along Peace Paper’s travels, explore concepts related to art as transformation and how this media can be implemented further with various art therapy settings.

On the evening of September 7 there will be a presentation highlighting lecture and visual content related to utilizing papermaking and creative expression as a cathartic process to give meaning, create transformation, and provide empowerment through releasing and reforming fibers into new stories and new beginnings.

Saturday morning September 8 will include an artmaking workshop inspired by concepts and intentions dedicated to social action, peacemaking, and using papermaking as a transformative media for self-expression and making Peace Paper Flags to explore reflections, intentions, and expressions for peace and change using handmade paper created from Peace Paper’s recent travels.

Check out the all the inspiring presentations and offerings at this year’s Symposium here.  Registration is now open!

We hope to see you there if you can make it!

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4 Responses to “When it’s hot…Make some paper!”


  1. Paper-making is fun and calming. Wool is not the best ingredient, except as decoration. But what does work wonders is dryer lint after you’ve washed all-cotton towels! Much success on this project. for 20 years, I made paper from plants I grew, by beating all the fibers by hand. Now THAT is calming!


  2. Thanks Quinn! While at the George Mason U workshop there was a brief visit to the Papermaking Department from Patterson Clark, who makes paper from invasive plants: http://alienweeds.com … It was also great to learn that GMU was going to grow its own plants for papermaking use— very cool…. I do agree that beating those fibers by hand definitely takes calming to a new level….!


  3. “Exhaustion” was a word I used often! But I had great biceps and upper body strength–I used to say papermaking is like gym and yoga combined. Much success with your program!


  4. wahoo! Inspiring – I’m off to make some paper!


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