The Sunday Paper #484
November 5, 2023
I received my copy of The Art and Art Therapy of Papermaking by Drew Luan Matott and Gretchen M. Miller this week. Veterans Day is coming up, and the wars in our world are top of mind, so I turned to the last essay in the book: Papermaking and the Process of Returning Home, by Eli Wright (His organization, Frontline Paper, was featured in this post).
Wright, who served in Iraq, writes a powerful story about his personal journey as a combat medic–turned–papermaker/ instructor. Here is a short excerpt: “Traumatic experiences have a tendency of fracturing our sense of time and space… The sounds of ripping fabric and dripping water, and the feel of the wet pulp running between one’s fingers in a vat are rich sensory experiences that can counteract symptoms of anxiety and depression in many beneficial ways. I have witnessed so many veterans enter the room, practically crawling out of their skin with anxiety, or nearly catatonic with depression, yet within hours, they’re sharing stories with other participants, connecting the dots between their individual and collective experiences, sometimes crying, always laughing, and momentarily transformed back to themselves again.”
This book is filled with therapeutic stories about papermaking, community and the transformative power of making paper from cloth with history and meaning (military uniforms, hospital gowns, the clothing of loved ones). Wright ends his essay with this reflection:
“Perhaps one day we may learn to use paper solely as a medium for love letters and creative art, rather than declarations of war and suicide notes.”
How cool is this? Lego printing plates! I grew up with legos, and my son adored them as a kiddo, too. Lego Letterpress for Families will take place November 11th at the San Francisco Center for the Book. I wonder what paper they’ll be printing on?
Hand Papermaking produces a annual year-end broadside, and they are debuting the 2023 edition, “i am graffiti,” a stunning, provocative, and timely collaboration between Derick Wycherly, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and Rachel Melis. Order your copy today!
- Trish Witkowski is ending her popular Fold of the Week series after 15 years. What an amazing run, and all 655 inspirational episodes (plus the 10 last ones that are coming out soon) will always available to view.
- If I lived closer (to Cleveland) I would attend the annual kozo harvest, which takes place next weekend!
- Kelly Taylor Mitchell is teaching a Studies in Southern Fibers workshop at the Robert C. Williams of American Papermaking on December 2nd.
- The Red Cliff Paper Retreat will focus on Paper & Thread next August. 7/12 spots have been reserved. Will you join us?
- Sarah Brayer’s exhibition, Scintillate, just opened at Ronin Gallery in NYC last night.
In the Studio
I am excited to be partnering with the Arnold Grummer family to provide a paid internship at Helen Hiebert Studio. Alyssa Roggow will spend two weeks in the studio, starting tomorrow. She is considering graduate school, and prior to investing in another degree, she wants to see what running a papermaking studio takes – smart! Arnold Grummer’s family and Helen Hiebert Studio will provide a stipend, and I will provide personalized training geared towards enabling Alyssa to pursue a career in paper.
Alyssa Roggow is a classical musician, writer, and multifaceted educator. As a certified Master Naturalist and a trained VTS (visual thinking strategies) facilitator, she can often be found incorporating her passions for the arts and the outdoors into interdisciplinary workshops for learners of all ages. Her writing has been published across multiple platforms, and Alyssa is a violist and avid chamber musician who performs throughout the U.S.
The internship I had early in my career was instrumental to who I’ve become as an artist, author and instructor, and it is my hope that the experience will have as much of a positive effect on others as my internship had on me. This is one way I can give back to the community that gave me my start.
Arnold Grummer is remembered for his broad contribution to paper education. His videos, entry-level books and user-friendly paper kits continue to introduce the creative possibilities of hand papermaking to new generations. Interns have the option of completing Arnold Grummer’s Papermaking Instructor Certification as part of their internship, with credentials to teach in school and community settings.
If you read this blog regularly, would you consider making a donation to support the research, writing, design and delivery of The Sunday Paper?
Tell 3500 paper enthusiasts about your work by promoting your business in The Sunday Paper.
SHARE THIS blog post with your paper-loving friends!
I occasionally have affiliate links in my blog posts – links to products in which I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!