This month has been a whirlwind, and I've barely been able to keep up with this blog, as exemplified by the tardiness of this post. Two weeks ago I taught an intensive papermaking workshop for the Fibershed. Specifically, it involved a group of teachers from the Marin County school system who are incorporating sustainable and bio-regional art making activities into their curriculum.
The class covered how to paper from vegetables, invasive plants, and clothing. Here, some students harvest Andean Pampas Grass seed hair.
The class also covered various preparation methods, from hand beating, to blenders, to the beater itself. Many of the teachers really liked the idea of a classroom full of kids expending their energy by hand beating fiber, but to me it sounds like a cacophonous nightmare.
After learning about prep, we moved on to actual sheet forming. I also discussed techniques on preventing water from getting everywhere in a classroom situation. Over the course of the day, I kept making jokes about kids and how they react to various art classroom situations, and how I tend to handle them, which kept the teachers amused. One even commented that it would be very entertaining to watch me handle a group of kids making paper.
It was a great class, and great to share papermaking with a group of enthusiastic people who asked so many good questions, danced around my studio, and kept me on my toes the entire day.