- Radha Pandey gave us a look at Auroville Papers in South India and how they've built a sustainable and innovative facility.
- Dallas Price discussed the ways handmade paper helped her communicate the personal narratives of Central American immigrants via her artwork.
- And our talk focused on the first year of the papermaking residency program that we co-founded and operate with the non-profit org., c3:initiative.
We were understandably nervous when starting out our presentation, but overall we're happy with how it went. (On a side note: We'd love to give a modified version of this presentation to any interested groups and/or schools who would like to know more about how paper is being used as a contemporary art medium.) For our fellow Dardos who were at the conference, if you didn't remember to write down the name of Gary's podcast, it's I'll Have a Beer and Talk.
In between talks we went on a guided tour of the papermaking studio and amazing library (that's chock full of artists books) at the Banff Centre. We spent a good amount of time oohing and ahhing over the paper studio, and while there we were treated to a demo. by Radha Pandey in Islamic Style Papermaking.
After Friday's talks concluded we were invited to join some of our fellow attendees on a walk along the Bow River concluding in beers at a local German style pub. Being fans of beer and beautiful scenery we were happy to join. Afterwards we made our way over to the Willock and Sax Gallery in Banff to enjoy an artist reception for the Members' Exhibition.
On Saturday morning we high tailed it to the conference so we wouldn't miss a thing! The day started off with a talk from Eveline Kolijn discussing her 2011 residency at the Banff Centre, wherein she collaborated with artist Romy Straathof and collected native and invasive Alberta plant species and processed them into beautiful papers. We then heard from Donna Koretsky (co-founder and owner of Carriage House Paper!) as she told us about her journey with silkworms, exploring their role in papermaking history. Donna even brought along her current batch of silkworms for us to enjoy! (They are pretty amazing in action, check out the video Gary shot below.)
Then Helmut Becker gave us an overview of processing fibre flax for paper, including a demonstration using his beautiful tools. There was a break for lunch, and a yoga for papermakers group (we opted out due to time constraints and wanting to check out more of the Banff Centre facilities), and then reconvened for an amazing video tribute to Dard Hunter, and then the final presenter took the podium.
Sue Gosin (founder of Dieu Donne in NYC!) discussed the important role papermaker Douglas Howell played in the history of the craft, inventing new methods and processes and sharing them with pivotal artists like Jackson Pollock and educator Laurence Barker in the 50s and 60s. Her presentation included a wonderful onslaught of images from artists who have worked with handmade paper over the years, our photos don't do the images justice!
After the speakers concluded we attended the FODH business meeting and enjoyed a few cocktails with the group to wrap up the conference. As we'd never been to Canada before, we decided to stay in the area for a day and do some sightseeing.
Our first stop was Lake Louise, known for it's beautiful blue/green glacial water. We had planned on checking out Moraine Lake too, but the road was already closed for the winter. Did we mention it was pretty cold in Alberta? Not to be thwarted from visiting more lakes, we went to Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake, stopping for a quick walk in the woods along the way. The sun was starting to set and the views were stunning. We also enjoyed the many ravens and magpies. The only other wildlife we spotted were ground squirrels and a bull elk way off in the distance, too far for a good photo.
On Monday we started our trek back to the good ol' USA, taking a different route home so we could check out Glacier National Park. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and most of the views were obscured by snow and rain. Just after sunset we crossed the border and made our way to another great AirBnB rental for the night in Tonasket, WA.
Our last travel day was scheduled for 8 hours of driving, so we knew we needed to make good time. Jenn got a little overzealous with the idea and ended up getting a speeding ticket (yikes $125!) which put a real damper on the afternoon. Don't you hate it when things get you off track like that? Anyway, we set the cruise control on the car and settled into listening to the final episodes of the Serial podcast, and got the rental car back to Portland.
Looking back at this, our second year of attending the conference, (if you'd like to check out our adventures at last year's conference in San Francisco, the blog post is here), we've been thinking about what we get of going, and what it means to us. Since this post is already a bit on the long side, we're going to come back with a follow up post with our musings.
Many thanks to all who made this a wonderful trip and conference! We raise our virtual glass to you (you know who you are, AirBnB hosts, FODH board of directors, papermaking friends and colleagues, all you guys!) Prost!!!
***If you'd like to see more photos from our trip, check out our Facebook album.****
Pulp & Deckle is a handmade papermaking studio located in Portland, OR.