“What attracted me to papermaking was the synergy between growing and caring for native plants while making productive use of them”. This is the mantra at the basis of Rob’s papermaking business and the thread that weaves through the workshops he offers. The idea that improving the environment and using natural resources can be compatible as part of a management plan enables long-term engagement and active maintenance of areas that otherwise risk being ignored and neglected.
These practical workshops will take you from a novice to a competent papermaker.
The content covers the basic skills needed to make paper and the issues and concepts required to turn plant material into pulp for making paper. Additional to the techno-creative aspects of papermaking, the workshops Rob offers delve into the fascinating relationship between paper and society, which provides some perspective and insight into how society, technology and economics interact to drive innovation and how change feeds back again, further influencing development.
Native plant papermaking can mesh with many different curriculum areas. Some ideas for more in-depth investigations include:
- We are identifying native and non-native plants suitable for papermaking in the field and learning how to harvest plant material to enhance the health of the plant and plant community.
- Processing materials into pulp: biological, chemical and mechanical processes
- Making papermaking equipment – woodworking
- Papermaking – Making different types and weights of paper, working with inclusions, watermarks, seed paper, and producing paper products such as notebooks, decorations… there is endless scope for creative projects!
Finally, as well as gaining skills and understanding, participants can create their paper suitable for letter writing, drawing, painting, gift giving and crafting. This will be posted when the material has been dried.