Inspired by my work with and the mission of Peace Paper, over the last few months I have been incorporating handmade papermaking with some of my art therapy work with youth who have been impacted by trauma and loss.
One way we used the transformative process of papermaking over the last few months included expressing some of the emotional burden of experiencing or witnessing someone being bullied. Youth ages 6-12 created and then tore up images and hurtful messages about bullying to destroy in a blender for pulping. The pulp from this was then used to form new sheets of handmade paper that would become decorated as Peace Flags. The process of destructing the negative & re-constructing it into something positive was really powerful. The Peace Flags also served as a visual reminder and a way to dialogue about how each of us can choose to engage in peaceful and less hurtful behavior with one another.
Below is a short video I created about this process:
Also check out the work of Peace Paper, their papermaking tools, tutorials, and resources at www.peacepaperproject.org.