This week I have been busy using local plants to make handmade paper for the Lancaster Eco-Quilt Project sponsored by WEAD (www.weadartists.org) and the Lancaster Museum of Art & History. For more information about programs and exhibitions at MOAH and Cedar Center for the Arts in Lancaster, CA, take a look at the website for the Museum: http://lancastermoah.org and the Cedar Arts Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MOAHCEDAR
The plants here in the “high desert” area are challenging to use for hand papermaking, but the results are exciting and surprising. I am making a recipe book with samples for the plants I have used for papermaking in Lancaster. These are the local plants I have used for papermaking so far:
Joshua tree – leaves
California fan palm – leaves
Red Yucca – leaves
Eucalyptus, red gum – bark
California Juniper, Western white cedar – bark
Needle Grass – leaves
Rabbit brush – whole plant (only bark is useable)
On Saturday Feb. 20, I conducted a workshop with public participation for learning how to make paper from local plants. People enjoyed the process including gathering some local plants, cooking the plant materials, beating the cooked and washed plant material to a pulp with wooden hammers and then using a kitchen blender to finish the pulp preparation. The prepared pulp was then put into a tub of water, and participants made samples of the different plant papers. The samples of the local plant paper will be for the Lancaster papermaking plants recipe book and also used for the border of the eco-quilt.
Here are some photos of the process of making paper with local plants and the Saturday 2/20 workshop at Cedar Arts. The photos were taken by my husband Timothy S. Allen (http://allentimphotos2.wordpress.com).
Beating fan palm leaves after cooking and wasshing
This Saturday, Feb. 27 from 11AM to 1 PM and 3PM to 5PM, I will hold another public workshop at Cedar Center for the Arts, Lancaster, CA. Participants will make handmade paper quilts blocks for the Lancaster Eco-Quilt. Here is a photo of the sketch for the Lancaster Eco-Quilt with the blocks featuring California poppies.
For more information about the workshop and this project, see the Facebook page for MOAH Cedar – https://www.facebook.com/MOAHCEDAR
Check back here for more posts about the Lancaster Eco-Quilt project and photos of my WEAD Artist in Residency Project at MOAH Cedar, Lancaster, CA. The project concludes with the installation of the Eco-Quilt on Saturday March 12.