I am a hunter-gatherer of plant materials and I use them for specific fiber technologies. Because of the rarity of some materials, the time put into the gathering of others, and the painstaking preparation of most of the materials once gathered, I have developed the habit of saving my scraps. When I met Sue Smith in the late 1980’s early 1990’s, I found a kindred spirit, a basketmaker from Texas who had a habit of sweeping up the scraps from her studio and making them into beautiful handmade papers. Since our meeting, I’ve been making batches of paper each year which I end up using in my work.
Making paper is fun, and using handmade papers as a sculptural medium is like magic. Not only does the paper add shape, structure, and surface to armatures made of branches, roots, and architectural driftwood; it covers up mistakes, solves problems, and adds a wonderful texture to the work.
This four day workshop employed many acquired and innate skills that each student brought with them, and offered them a safe, friendly environment for adding to their knowledge of woodworking, lashings, cordage-making, frame-building, basic weaving, twining, netting, papermaking, and sculpting with papers.
I was a delight for me to be with these participants, getting to know them better, and having the opportunity to learn from each person. It was evident that everyone had creative ideas flowing long before they signed up for this workshop. I’m grateful that we had this time to share our inspiration and love of nature with each other.
Here are pictures of these hard working artists in the workshop: Sculptural Basketry and Papermaking With Plants From the Northwest Landscape