SLU Students Learn Art Of Paper Making

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While the art of paper making by hand is centuries old, a new wave of the age-old technique is gaining momentum using the papermaking process as a means of social connectivity and therapy through symbolic expression.

"If you follow a few steps, you can leave at the end of the day having created something," said Margaret Mahan of the Peace Paper Project.

Members of the Peace Paper Project, which was born a few years ago for a street intervention in Detroit, have been working with St. Lawrence University students this week turning fibers made from cloth into meaningful words or art pieces.

Sheets of handmade paper containing printed messages, images and designs allow each person to release an artistic expression.
 
The process involves converting clothing rags into pulp and then into paper.
 
It can take upwards of an hour to process one pound of fiber, which eventually becomes a thick wet sheet of paper that is then dried leaving each with its own visual story for everyone to see. 

"There's local people here in the north country who are wonderful paper makers," said Melissa Schulenberg of St. Lawrence University.
                                                       
The Peace Paper project is also being used nationwide as art therapy for victims of trauma and as an expression of solidarity against domestic and sexual violence.

Friday, November 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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