In March we spent 2 weeks working with artist in residence Vivian Sming on site at Camp Colton, in support of our partnership with Stelo Arts and Culture Foundation. Vivian worked with cotton linter, Thai Kozo, Philippine Gampi, and locally harvested Scotch Broom fibers. She explored Nepalese style papermaking to create large sheets of paper on site in a pond and creek flowing heavy with winter rain and snow melt.
With a background in independent publishing Vivian was working with a variety of fibers and techniques with the goal of making a large scale book. We look forward to seeing how her work evolves at the group exhibition for this program opening at Stelo in November of this year.
In October into November we spent 2 weeks working with artist in residence Kristiana Chan on site at Camp Colton, in support of our partnership with Stelo Arts and Culture Foundation. Kristi worked with combinations of Thai Kozo fibers, daylily fibers, and long-beaten abaca fibers with materials like wild clay, seaweeds, seaweed bioplastic, and dried anchovies to make site specific joss (incense) paper to memorialize and honor lost histories of local ancestors of the landscapes that she has been researching for the past 3 years.
This October we spent 2 weeks working with artist in residence Conner Darling on site at Camp Colton, in support of our partnership with Stelo Arts and Culture Foundation. Conner explored local plant fibers such as daylily, comfrey, and canary reed grass for paper fibers. His residency culminated in making a site specific installation.
Things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes that’s for the best, and other times it isn’t. The ups and downs are part of life, and as small business owners it’s also part of our business. As always, thank you for your continued support and interest as we adapt.
Let’s start off with some updates on the ups - AKA good news!
Now it’s time to relay a few of the challenges we’ve navigated.
Before we go we also want to share our plans to offer a Day of Paper event outdoors at our home on Saturday August 27 from 1-6pm. We’ll have more details about this drop-in event in a few weeks, but wanted to go ahead and get it on your calendars. Attendance will be free with a suggested $10 donation if you participate in activities like making paper that you can take home. The vibe of the day will be a celebration of paper with mobile studio tours, demos, plant walk, and a general open house feeling. Save the date!
We are so grateful for all of the community support and interest that has kept our studio going. This fall marks our 10 year anniversary. It’s been an amazing journey and we are excited to see what the future holds.
planning + dreaming for 2022
As we look ahead to the coming year, one of the things we are looking forward to is the return of workshops and demos. With our new mobile studio trailer (coming spring of 2022!) we'll be able to travel to local parks, and set up workshops in our yard, all while readily accessing our equipment, tools and materials. We seriously cannot wait.
Here's a sneak peek at the workshops + demos we're planning for 2022. Like what you see? Donate now to our mobile studio fund so we can be sure and make these workshops happen.
2022 WORKSHOPS + DEMOS
Recycled Paper Banner Workshop
In this 2 hour workshop we’ll make recycled paper pulp with inclusions of local plants to create unique small banners. We’ll coat the papers so that they’re weather resistant and can be displayed indoors or outdoors. This is a process that encourages reuse and connection to our local surroundings and will be held outdoors.
Plant Walk + Papermaking Demo
In this 1 hour program we’ll take you around our yard on a guided plant walk, learning about the grasses, rushes, shrubs, trees, and flowers we are using for making paper from plant materials. We’ll discuss both native and aggressive species and how we are using the craft of papermaking to engage with the natural world. After the plant walk we’ll end the program with a brief papermaking demonstration using plant materials to make a sheet of paper.
Papermaking + Collagraph Workshop
In this 3 day class, held over 3 weeks (1-2:30pm) we’ll make a variety of papers using already prepared recycled pulp from waste materials like junk mail and cotton pulp from used textiles like old t-shirts. We’ll then make collagraph plates using found plant materials from our yard, that will be inked up with water based ink to make prints on the papers you previously made. This workshop invites connection with the local plants that are seasonally growing as well as thinking about the potential for recycled materials to be used for art making.
Making Paper for Journals
In this 2.5 hour class we’ll use already prepared cotton pulp and plant pulp to make papers for a blank page journal. We’ll use irons to dry the papers you make in class, allowing us to fold and stitch the papers together into a small journal. Treat yourself to an afternoon of crafting outdoors!
Paper from Plants Intensive
In this 2 day weekend workshop we’ll focus on responsible harvesting, processing, and crafting plants into paper. You’ll learn what local plant fibers are best for making paper, we'll take a plant walk around our yard identifying plants that are ready for harvest, and then learn what tools and equipment are needed for different fibers. Your papers could be used for collages, books, drawings, prints, cards, or just to hang up and enjoy. A spirit of community making will be encouraged as we collectively gather, process and create papers that are very specific to time and place. Once dry, papers will be mailed to students.
Papermaking at the River Demo
Join us as we make paper for an afternoon at one of our local rivers. We’ll be using river water to form sheets of paper from a variety of recycled materials. This drop-in educational event is our way of creating connection with the local ecology of the river. We are excited to share our craft and connect to place with you!
We got a grant! woot!!!
1. Secure a $3,000 grant from RACC’s Make|Learn|Build program, as well as $5,000 from individual donors, getting us to 62% of our $13,000 fundraising goal for the year.
2. Launch a series of FREE educational demo videos on our YouTube channel.
3. Safely work with artists on a 1-on-1 basis in our home based papermaking studio.
4. Celebrate our residency partnership with Stelo via the recently opened Coalesce exhibition featuring artwork from the eight 2019/20 artists we worked with in the paper studio.
Early next year, we will be embarking on the purchase of a custom trailer from local maker Dub Box. With your support, we will be able to move our studio equipment into the trailer and travel to work with students, artists, and paper enthusiasts all over Oregon. We can’t wait to get back to bringing pulp to the people!
With the end of the calendar year right around the corner, we are asking you to add Pulp + Decke to your 2021 giving. We are so thankful that you are a part of our community and hope that you’ll celebrate the joy of papermaking with us this year by donating in support of our mobile studio purchase.
You can donate now by:
1. Visiting our fundraising page and making a credit card donation.
2. Sending us a check by mail at: 517 Sunset St, Oregon City, OR 97045. Please make sure your check is made out to our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, with Pulp + Deckle in the memo line!
This past few months have gone by fast, and December will go by even faster! Can we count on you to make a $10, $25, $50, or other gift to Pulp + Deckle today?
We look forward to seeing you next year at festivals and parks in the Portland metro area!
Thank you for helping to keep the art of papermaking alive and well!
— Gary and Jenn, aka Pulp + Deckle
2020 Year in review
This year, it's been well, different. Since we began the studio back in 2012, we've had our share of ups and downs. We find ourselves yet again at a crossroads, adapting the studio around external pressures and internal needs.
We'll take stock of the year that was in a moment, but before that we need to share some timely news about some big changes.
First off, we're moving. While we have loved renting a space inside the Disjecta Contemporary Art Center complex for the past 3 years, we have made the difficult decision that we need to move on. We are currently in the process of moving the studio to our home in Oregon City, and have established ourselves as a home based business for the foreseeable future.
As we shift to being fully home based by Feb 1, 2021, we are adjusting our operations. We've been thinking hard for the past 10 months about our capacity for running the studio while giving our all to our other jobs that pay our bills (Jenn works at the non-profit c3:initiative, and Gary began working at Cash App this July.)
Pulp + Deckle is a labor of love. Our expenses have consistently outpaced our income, and to be honest sometimes (especially this year) it's been tempting to say we should let the business go. But there's still so much we want to do and share via the studio, so rather than close up entirely, we're adapting.
Recently we applied for a forgivable loan for which we did not receive funding. We were hoping to purchase a mobile trailer to house our primary equipment for hosting future workshops and retail sales pop-ups at outdoor locations. We still have the dream of buying a mobile trailer, but for now we've put that dream on hold while we work on creating income from retail sales.
Our main goals for 2021 are both philosophical and practical. Philosophically we have found this year that our desire to connect our business to the natural world is stronger than ever. Our connection to place, as we have sheltered in place, has only increased. How can we better share our love of the natural world through our business? We'll be trying to answer that question by offering more online demos and workshops that focus on place. We can't wait to begin sharing this content in early 2021.
On the practical side of things we want to earn enough income via retail sales that we can save up funds and buy a mobile studio trailer. We've talked with 3 local sellers who gave us bids for trailers with water tanks, electricity, a retail window, and built in workspaces. The lowest bid is $25,300. Knowing that this is a significant amount of money, it may take us some time to make this dream a reality without putting ourselves at financial risk.
At this time we are not planning any in person engagements with the studio. It is very strange to plan for a year without in person workshops or our annual artist in residence program. While so much uncertainty remains around the safety of gathering in person we feel it's best to not make these types of plans. We hope that by 2022 we can offer workshops in parks, schools, and maybe even our yard. And who knows what new and exciting format the 2022 residency program might take!
For now we are grateful that we have a garage and a yard where we can make paper and record educational content to share with you. We hope that in pulling back the curtain and telling you all this that it helps clarify the changes we're making.
Before we wrap this up here's a look back at 2020.
It's been a quieter year overall for the studio. We are grateful to have the capacity to evolve and look forward to being in touch with you more regularly in 2021.
Thanks for your interest and support! We'll be renting a truck to move out of our studio in January and your financial support will help make that process a lot less stressful. If you would like to make a contribution towards the operations of the studio you can make a donation here.
Be well and take care friends!
Pulp & Deckle is a handmade papermaking studio located in Oregon.