Posting Date: September 25, 2009
Papermaking workshop on campus a successBy Jarmea L. Boone
Participant works with new paper
The papermaking process
Photographs by Linda Tincher
Visions, KSU’s student art guild, presented a papermaking workshop on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m-2 p.m. The event, which took place in recognition of Constitution Week at KSU, drew an unexpected crowd, as approximately 50 participants pulled about 250 sheets of paper. Participants were surrounded by colorful signage and were serenaded by live guitar music by a KSU student.
Natasha Lovelace Habers, assistant professor of visual arts and coordinator of the event, was excited about the turnout. “We thought the participants would come and pull a couple sheets of paper and then leave, but they really got into it and stayed for a couple of hours at a time,” she says. “I think an unexpected, pleasant surprise was in the diversity of the participants. We had students from Georgia State, students from a local high school and even parents with small children.”
Habers was thrilled to be able to organize an event where guests could take away a unique skill and an unrivaled experience. “A KSU senior art education major, who is currently student teaching, came to learn papermaking so that she can teach it at her high school. The participants had definite plans for their paper. Some were going to make sketch books and use the paper for drawing, painting, and printmaking. We were successful in getting our message across about the value and power of the medium of hand papermaking.”
Visions president April Marten shared the same sentiment. "I expected that students, staff and would come together to learn an interesting art form and that they would walk away with a sense of accomplishment. I expected that non-artists and artists alike would enjoy learning about the process of making something, often viewed as a utilitarian product that we often take for granted, and see the beauty in it and realize that making paper is an art form."
The members of Visions were open to learning more about papermaking themselves. “A memorable part of the day was getting to meet a KSU student who brought his own handmade paper to share with us,” says Habers. “The paper was called ‘combat paper’ because military uniforms were used to make it.”
The event was co-sponsored by the KSU Visual Arts Department and Ralph J. Rascati, dean of University College and campus co-coordinator for the American Democracy Project & the Political Engagement Project.