Pulp to Paper: Pieces of Reclamation

September 28, 2010


The film below is about how papermaking can be a transformative, mindful, and reparative process that facilitates and enhances exploration of personal meaning through paper and a handmade book I created.  The paper that was made to create the actual pages of my book were from unwanted personal material and content that was shredded, pulped, re-transformed into handmade paper, and then liberated into new life and meaning for this project.

This video was shown this past week-end at The Buckeye Art Therapy Association Symposium during a presentation by Cathy Malchiodi and me where we discussed the benefits of papermaking for self reclamation and transformation, including the work of The Combat Paper Project (CPP) and testimony about our personal experience with papermaking last March.  Thanks to CPP’s Drew Matott and Drew Cameron for all their help with the papermaking process!!!

Art Therapy Without Borders also premiered Papermaking as Self Reclamation and Transformation: Deconstruction to Reconstruction, a film by The Reel Redwing Studio and Cathy showcasing our papermaking,  inspiration from CPP, and personal story of reclamation.  For a limited time you can view this 10 minute film here through the ATWB website before it is released for purchase.


8 Responses to “Pulp to Paper: Pieces of Reclamation”

  1. Maureen Says:

    Gretchen, what a wonderful book you’ve made. It was a delight to see the video.

  2. anna Says:

    Grethcen, it is powerful and insightful. Definetely something to personally try !

  3. Kim Says:

    Gretchen, a friend sent me the link to your story and short film. I LOVED it. You have captured the best of the possibilities of what paper making can be and mean. I’d love to add your clip to our youtube channel if a link is available. Your story is beautifully told and reminded me of the ‘Take Note’ story: an environmental lesson turned into a special ed class into a small green business, and special ed students into stars in their school and community:


    with much appreciation, Kim

  4. Thanks Kim– I appreciate your note and nice to see how others are also using papermaking to create meaning… Thanks for sharing…. Feel free to help spread the word!
    Thanks and best wishes, -gretchen

  5. Creating that book must have been a very therapeutic process. It looks like it is filled with insight, meaning, and dedication – great job!

  6. Erin Rafferty Bugher Says:

    Thank you Gretchen, I have the perfect papers to start with that need to be transformed. I was thinking about burning the papers, but now that I have seen your video, I am inspired and will use the process to transform and reconcile. Thanks for sharing.

  7. malissamorrell Says:

    I love this. I often feel that the “messiest” media are supercharged in terms of therapeutic power. It’s too bad that so many of our clinical settings don’t afford things like ceramics, paper making, splatter painting, etc. Wonderful metaphor you’ve created for cast-offs from your life.

  8. […] 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 […]

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