Materials made from the bast fiber of the paper mulberry plant (broussonetia papyrifera) are known by many names: tapa, wauke, kozo, dak, saeh, aka, malaing, gul-toot, hiapo, kapa, dualang, washi, hanji, and many others. Originally from the Asian Pacific region, paper mulberry has been transported by humans and animals so that it now is present and continues to spread in each continent, except Antarctica. The plant has a voracious system of roots that can quickly overtake native species, degrade soil quality, and cause erosion. However, in parts of the world where the plant has a legacy of a culture of use, there is not a problem with it spreading because people recognize the value of it, and it is kept in ecological balance through use. Paper mulberry has been used for millennia as clothing, spiritual material, currency, rope, paper, scripts, sculpture, wall paper, bags, contemporary art, and more. In this hands-on, two-day workshop we will survey the diverse historic and contemporary uses of paper mulberry, how to identify the plant in the wild, responsible harvesting practices, and various processing methods. Starting with the raw plant, participants will learn how to process the bast fiber to achieve a variety of effects. Each participant will form a sheet of paper from pulp and a swath of bark cloth or lace to take home.
Level: All levels
Registration: Members $200, Non-members $240
Instructor: Lauren Bacchus