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

Joshua Tree in Lancaster

Joshua Tree in Lancaster

California fan palm – leaves

Fan Palm tree in Lancaster

Fan Palm tree in Lancaster

Red Yucca – leaves

Red yucca plants from the AVRCD Nursery in Lancaster

Red yucca plants from the AVRCD Nursery in Lancaster

Eucalyptus, red gum – bark

Eucalyptus, red gum tree found at AVRCD Nursery in Lancaster

Eucalyptus, red gum tree found at AVRCD Nursery in Lancaster

California Juniper, Western white cedar – bark

California Juniper tree or Western white cedar in Lancaster

California Juniper tree or Western white cedar in Lancaster

Needle Grass – leaves

Needle Grass growing by lamp posts in downtown Lancaster

Needle Grass growing by lamp posts in downtown Lancaster

Rabbit brush – whole plant (only bark is useable)

Rabbit Brush growing in vacant lot in Lancaster

Rabbit Brush growing in vacant lot in Lancaster

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).

Participant gathering Needle grass to make paper on 2/20

Participant gathering Needle grass to make paper on 2/20

cedar bark cooking IMG_2898

Cedar bark cooking to make paper pulp

Beating fan palm leaves after cooking and wasshing

Beating fan palm leaves after cooking and wasshing

Workshop participant on 2/20 beating pulp by hand

Workshop participant on 2/20 beating pulp by hand

participant beating pulp IMG_3055

Participant beating fan palm pulp at the 2/20 papermaking with local plants workshop

4 year old workshop participant beating pulp on 2/20

4 year old workshop participant beating pulp on 2/20

Forming a sheet of fan palm paper

Forming a sheet of fan palm paper

Forming a sample sheet of fan palm paper

Taking off (couching) the sample sheet of fan palm paper

Workshop participant making fan palm paper on 2/20

Workshop participant making fan palm paper on 2/20

Air drying fan palm paper samples

Air drying fan palm paper samples

Taking off dried samples of Joshua tree paper

Taking off dried samples of Joshua tree paper

Checking sample of rabbit brush handmade paper...this one is almost impossible, and there is very little useable pulp from the rabbit brush plant.

Checking sample of rabbit brush handmade paper…this one is almost impossible, and there is very little useable pulp from the rabbit brush plant.

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.  sketch of Lancaster Eco-quilt copy

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.

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