Through the transformative process of creating handmade paper from water, cloth, fiber, and recycled materials, we work to strengthen communities through the connective practice of pulp, process, and presentation.
Paper Connects is a mobile papermaking initiative that teaches the art of making handmade paper as a connective practice and storytelling experience to communities across New Jersey and the greater region. Artists, students, parents, marginalized communities, and the larger public benefit from this user-friendly educational and transformational hands-on experience.
We educate. We listen.
We create side-by-side.
We bring the program to you. Our instructors, mobile paper beater, and full papermaking workshop will travel to your community to teach the art of making handmade paper to tell your community's personal stories. We utilize a peer-to-peer format and tailor your Paper Connects workshop to your community's unique needs. We can incorporate particular fibers or cloth into your paper that are symbolic to your community. This will produce unique batches of pulp for your group to create handmade paper that holds a personal, deeper significance.
Our workshops teach the history of papermaking, the transformative process by which we break down fibers to create a slurry of water and pulp, and the step-by-step process of using the mould and deckle to pull sheets of newly formed paper from the slurry to then couch (pronounced 'cooch') onto the post, or stack of newly formed paper. The stack is then pressed to remove much of the water and dried in a number of different ways, depending on the aesthetics of what you want and the availability of a dry box. We are very adaptable and can make most anything work. A table in the sun can even do the trick!
Our workshops can be tailored to your community's goals and budget. We can accommodate shorter, half-day workshops without bringing the mobile paper beater or incorporating symbolic fibers or cloth, or we can accommodate full days, repeat visits over several weeks, or a full week-long intensive experience. Prices vary depending on your location and specific request.
What we ask from your organizer is that you have a connection to your community in mind. What is your goal? How will this papermaking experience connect and transform your peers, your students, your community? There may be a particular current social topic that you'll address, a shared experience, or a larger social theme to explore. Our experienced staff can help you consider these questions as we work together to make your unique workshop come to life.
We are happy to review requests for Paper Connects to come to your community, school, university, art center, or institution in New Jersey and neighboring regions.
Submit the form below to request more information on how we can connect with your community!