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Papermaking with local plants


Papermaking with local plants with Patti Shanks

Come learn how to process local plant materials into paper. For this workshop, you need to be willing to gather and prepare some of the plant materials we’ll use. I’ll provide the rest. I’ll also prep some base fibers (abaca and hemp) that can be combined with the local plant materials we bring in. There will be no dyes or pigments used, simply the beauty of combining natural materials into as many combinations as we want in order to create an array of handmade paper.

In this workshop, we meet twice. There is a REQUIRED orientation and information session in the summer (June) before our Fall meeting where we get together to process and make paper out of plant fibers we’ve gathered.


•REQUIRED ORIENTATION, TBD. Anyone can attend this for workshop details before you commit.

•WORKSHOP DATE for papermaking: Saturday, November 9, 10:30-2:30

Cost $100.


Papermaking with local plants

MEETING 1: TBD. ORIENTATION: ANYONE CAN ATTEND THIS MEETING, even if you’re simply interested in knowing the details of the workshop and aren’t committed to taking it yet.

This first meeting is an orientation where we look at handmade paper made using local fibers. I’ll address what fibers to gather as summer is winding down. Signing up for this workshop means that you commit to:

•gathering some plant materials in late summer and early fall as the growing season ends. No one person needs to gather a lot. We’ll figure out which materials we’re interested in, and we’ll coordinate so that everyone brings in something.

•you’ll need to prep your materials which includes: gently cleaning, laying them out to dry, cutting, then cooking them so they’re ready for papermaking in November. (these steps can happen over a period of weeks).

•I’m providing and prepping several natural materials, so suggestions for what materials to collect and prep will be addressed in orientation. Right now, this is a list of some you may consider (I’ll address the differences in the orientation):

LEAF FIBERS: lily, yucca, cattail, iris.

BAST FIBERS: okra (not the vegetable part, the stalk), milkweed (the stalk).

GRASS FIBERS: papyrus, pampas, lemon grass. 

MEETING 2: November 9, 2024, 10:30-2:30. MAKING PAPER: we’ll prep our gathered fibers by hand beating while others are run through the Hollander beater at Liggett Studio. Then we’ll start pulling sheets of paper with our various fibers while later mixing these and then combining with abaca (white base) or hemp (tan base) to see what amazing blends and appearances we can achieve. We press and dry (which takes a week), but each participant will end up with an assortment of handmade papers made of natural fibers.

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