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The Alaskan Invasive and Native Paper Project

My plan is to teach people about invasive and wild Alaskan plants through papermaking. Collectively we will harvest, forage and process plant fibers and then make them into paper and natural dyes. We will construct the deckles with the aid of local volunteers and woodworkers. Deckles of varying sizes will be created to allow participants to explore various papermaking techniques and projects. Participants will engage in papermaking at all stages, ensuring familiarity with the entirety of the process, from plant to paper.

This project serves several purposes. It allows a wide demographic of people to be introduced to Native Alaskan and invasive plants as well as the papermaking process. Papermaking is labor intensive activity which requires many hands. It is naturally a communal craft. I am able to share my knowledge of papermaking and fiber with my community while encouraging participants to engage in the natural world. This project will allow for networking and skill sharing among participants while providing a social connection to other members of the community. Personally, this project challenges me to become more familiar with invasive plants and to explore the characteristics and possibilities of plants that I am already familiar with.

Not only is this a creative, collaborative project but it also an educational one that has the potential to involve many people. I enjoy facilitating collaborative art projects because I feel that the artmaking becomes a rich dialog among participants. I have headed several collaborative art project within the last year and consider it a crucial aspect of my artmaking process. I feel that craft is a process of sharing traditional skills and adding your own voice to them. I have felt very passionate about this project for several years, but finally feel I in a position to execute it with all of my energy. Thank you for considering my project and for your continued support of awesome projects throughout Alaska.

Funded by Alaska (March 2016)