Here's a press release about our newest endeavor- a mobile papermaking studio! Please feel free to share and help us get the word out. We are actively looking for funders, partners, and papermaking enthusiasts to help us stay in Portland and bring pulp to the people!
Portland, OR - July 1, 2016- Pulp & Deckle is a community studio and small business that is dedicated to sharing the art, science, history and craft of handmade paper with others. Since launching in the fall of 2012 they’ve grown exponentially, teaching workshops, making custom orders, starting an artist residency program, and filling a need for those who want to connect with the ancient and fascinating artform of papermaking.
Pulp & Deckle have taught guest classes and workshops at the Bamboo Garden, Portland Community College, Pacific University, the ADX maker space, The Museum of the Oregon Territory, Project Grow at Albertina Kerr, The Northwest Library, and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. They’ve taught hundreds of students at their North Portland studio, both inside their production space and outside under a pop-up tent. Co-founder and Lead Instructor, Jenn Woodward says, “In our classes and workshops we explore the potentiality of paper, empowering students from diverse backgrounds and experience levels to be makers. When you learn how to make something from scratch you have a different understanding of, and appreciation for, what goes into its creation.”
Another aspect of the business is crafting custom orders and selling handmade paper goods on etsy. The studio has made and sold thousands of sheets of paper and paper goods to clients such as McMenamins, for whom they’ve created a line of “beer paper” greeting cards. The primary materials Pulp & Deckle uses to create their eco-friendly products are used textiles (like old t-shirts and jeans), plants (like invasive weeds, and agricultural waste) and recycled paper (like used giftwrap, shredded office paper, and junkmail.)
One of the key reasons the studio has been able to grow is thanks to being in a business incubator with the arts non-profit, c3:initiative, since 2014. Pulp & Deckle Co-Founder Jenn Woodward says, “We've been amazingly lucky to partner with c3:initiative as they've provided us with space for our studio, promotion, and the operating support for our artist residency program. The time is near for us to "leave the nest" and fly on our own as our incubator term is ending in September, and we need your support to take the studio to it's next incarnation.”
“Being small business owners in a city that is experiencing a massive surge in population growth presents some unique challenges.”, said Gary A. Hanson, Co-Founder and Studio Coordinator of Pulp & Deckle. “ As real estate prices have risen many artists have been priced out of living and working in Portland. When we started mapping out our future plans and toured potential new locations, it quickly became clear that the neighborhoods where we would be centrally located are out of our price range. So we’ve decided to get creative. How can we stay in the city, be accessible for our students and clients, and afford our operating costs? WE GO MOBILE!”
So what does going mobile mean exactly? Ideally it means the business will pack up their equipment and go to where their students and clients are. They plan on purchasing a food truck and turning it into a mobile studio and pop-up retail shop. Why a food truck? To make paper you need water and power. Jenn Woodward says, “A food truck setup is ideal in that we can pull up the truck and teach you how to make paper just about anywhere.”
With a completely mobile studio the business hopes to broaden their reach, teaching classes at non-profit orgs like the IPRC, schools, homes, farms, businesses, and at public festivals and events. Gary A. Hanson says, “The idea is that we can bring the studio to you and customize our offerings to your needs, whether we put up our pop-up tent in your driveway, or set up a temporary classroom in a park. We can come to your art afternoon with friends, engagement party, birthday celebration, a private class, or company team building event.” The studio will also have a home based production facility in their garage in North Portland. They plan on offering small workshops and operating their artist residency from this location.
Pulp & Deckle’s Kickstarter fundraising goal for the mobile studio is $10,500. You can find it and get involved at http://kck.st/1r9i9N8. Some of the contributor rewards include a coloring book for adults made with handmade paper, cheeky greeting cards and art prints featuring iconic Oregon scenery, wildflower seed bombs, private instruction, and a “Pulp to the People” t-shirt.
The campaign runs through August 3rd, with the goal of transitioning into their mobile studio in September. To learn more about Pulp & Deckle and where you can find them around town this summer, visit pulpanddeckle.com.
Pulp & Deckle is currently located at 7326 N Chicago Ave. Portland, OR 97203.
Open by appointment, event, or workshop only.
Contact Jenn Woodward for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? -T.S. Eliot
It's been a long week at home and at the studio. Our eldest chicken, Barbarella, passed away yesterday. We got her just about 6 years ago. She was a sweet and curious lady who liked to get in the middle of whatever we were doing while we gardened. And she loved tortilla chips. One summer day we were having a snack in the yard and she discovered how delicious they are.
When we realized Barb was sick we wanted to jump into action and pick up meds to try and perk her up. But we both needed to go to work. Even though Jenn is mainly self-employed via P&D, we have meetings, orders, classes to prep. for, etc. that are mostly time sensitive. I.E., being self employed doesn't mean you can necessarily drop everything at work to take care of things at home. Clients and students have deadlines and expectations, and if we don't meet them, our business looks bad, and our financial bottom line suffers. You could argue that things come up, emergencies happen, and that people will understand. And that is often true. In the end each of us has to decide how to make the best choice for that moment in time. When you're your own boss, you call the shots for better, or worse.
We've been thinking about what a disservice it is to only post happy, upbeat posts about our business, because even though those posts are real, they only tell part of the story. We are all too human in our fears, worries, stresses, etc. We count our blessings and good fortune every day, but sometimes the scales tip and we need to process and work through frustrations and disappointments.
One of the things that's been on our mind lately is what's next. Our business incubator with the c3:initiative is wrapping up at the end of Sept. and we will be moving out of our current studio space. While we're working on an outline of a plan for next steps for our business, we're not quite ready to put it out into the world just yet. In the next few weeks we will firm up some things and then we'll be able to move forward.
There's been a lot of talk in Portland about artists being displaced as the city grows and the cost of living rises. As owners of a creative business we are all too familiar with the balancing act of income vs. debt. Our studio continues to evolve and grow, and we are excited every time we sell out a class, sell something on etsy, or get a new custom order inquiry. But the reality is we don't always make ends meet, and there are some very sloooow times. We sweat being able to pay our mortgage, our student loans, our credit card bills. We, like so many others in Portland, are trying to figure out the new normal. How do we evolve with the city and grow with her?
These past two months, in between teaching classes, making production paper at Oblation Papers and Press, and working with the artists in the residency program, Jenn has been hammering away at our latest McMenamins card order. We're in the home stretch and need to make just 200 more envelopes to finish up the 400 cards. The pics. from above are of the studio from the past few days.
Recently we've had several people ask us how we manage it all. And the answer is simple. We just do. Sometimes things don't go the way we plan or hope for, but at the end of the day we have to figure it out and make it work. And if one of the metaphorical plates that we're spinning comes crashing down, that is a part of the journey. It's a sucky part to be sure, and then there's all the mess of cleaning up the broken pieces, but what other choice is there really?
We find the best way to keep things in perspective is to come back around to being thankful. Thank you for going on this crazy ride with us. Thank you for your support, your kind words, and your encouragement. Thank you for taking our classes, for telling people about what we do, and for buying our paper and our art. Life can get dark, and messy, and stressful but at the end of the day we know there will be bright, beautiful, lovely times too.
Overall, it's been a good year. We taught, we learned, we spoke, and we listened and most importantly, we're still here! There were more ups than downs. The biggest hurdle continues to be getting the word out about our classes and our offerings. Reaching new students and customers is essential to our continued growth and existence. Thanks to everyone who has spread the word and told your friends and fellow creatives that we're here. We couldn't do it without you! We ask that you continue to share the love of paper and tell people about our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and of course our website, Patreon and etsy pages could always use more eyeballs too.
The new year will start off on a fantastic foot as we welcome our 2016 papermaking residency artists to work in the studio from January - April. Stay tuned later this week for the press release announcing the awards! The four selected artists will each get 60 hours over 1 month to develop new paper based art work. Any time we get artists working in the studio, whether it's through the residency, in a class, or via a membership, the studio hums with purpose and life. While we enjoy doing our own thing and having the space to do it, it's such a gift to be able to share our love of papermaking and our space, with others. Many thanks to our incubator sponsor, c3:initiative for their continued support of the residency program, and of our studio all around.
This year we're also looking forward to teaching workshops at the NW Library, the ADX maker space, Portland Community College, WildCraft Studio School, and Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. As our business continues to evolve we hope to partner with more art centers, businesses, schools, museums, and community groups to offer additional classes outside of the studio. Getting out into the world furthers our goals of connecting more people to the art, science, craft, and history of handmade paper. We believe papermaking is an empowering skill that opens up a world of possibility. When you learn how to make something from scratch you become connected to the material and final product in a whole new way.
We had hoped to get a Metro grant that would give us the bandwidth to expand our free outdoor classes and allow us to purchase the Lee McDonald beater we've had our eye on for the past few years, but alas, it wasn't meant to be and we did not get the grant. If you have any ideas or contacts for helping us expand our community presence we'd love to hear from you! Drop us a line at email@example.com.
To wrap up, here's a slideshow featuring some of the orders, workshops, events, travels, talks, and behind the scenes highlights from 2015.
Our New Year's Eve wish for you is that you have a super duper 2016 with much love, laughs and more ups than downs! See you next year!!!
A few months back we were contacted by the Ned Jaquith Foundation about teaching a bamboo papermaking workshop for their annual campout and BBQ potluck fundraiser. Yesterday we had the pleasure of teaching the workshop and connecting with 6 wonderfully enthusiastic and engaged students. Doing offsite workshops like this is something we really enjoy, and want to do more of, as it gives us the opportunity to reach new audiences and spread the joy of papermaking.
The workshop was 2.5 hours, so we knew we needed to bring pre-prepared pulp to work with during the class. About a month ago we visited the beautiful Bamboo Garden in North Plains, OR to get a feel for what our set up process would be for the class. We also scored some bamboo canes and leaves (fresh green and dried brown) from their compost pile that we brought back to our studio for processing. We ended up using a little over 1 pound of dry canes to process into pulp. We also prepared bleached bamboo halfstuff from Carriage House Paper to use in the workshop. Below is a breakdown of the fibers we used and how they were processed.
Paper fiber source 1: 100% bamboo canes (green and dried)
Plant source: Bamboo Garden
Fiber type: Grass
Fiber weight: Approx. 1 - 1.5 dry pounds
Fiber preparation: Crushed with hammer, mallets and feet. Approx. 1 ft. pieces submerged in water and left to rett for one week. Thoroughly rinsed prior to cooking in caustic (see next step)
Caustic cooking solution: 10% soda ash (you could use lye and decrease cooking
time to 1-2 hours)
Cooking time: 6 hours
Hollander beating time: 5 hours
Sheet formation: Western style
Drying style: With wet/dry vac. directly on mould and hung to air dry
Paper color: Varies from yellow/gold to cream depending on thickness and cooking treatment
Paper fiber source 2: 100% bleached bamboo halfstuff
Plant source: Carriage House Paper (carriagehousepaper.com). They source the fibers
Fiber type: Grass
Fiber weight: 1 dry pound
Caustic cooking solution: n/a
Cooking time: n/a
Hollander beating time: 2 hours
Sheet formation: Western style
Drying style: With wet/dry vac. directly on mould and hung to air dry
During the workshop students made papers with both of these fibers individually, a mix of the 2, as well as a blend of the bleached bamboo and blenderized bamboo leaves. They also used bamboo leaf inclusions. Here's a few photos from our process of making the bamboo pulp and from the class.
Here's a few quick photos from the installation and opening featuring the work of artists from the inaugural residency. Click here for more info. on the show (including upcoming events with visiting artist Helen Hiebert, and a gallery walk through with this year's residents.)
To view more photos from the opening reception check out this post at Permanent Record.
We're thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the 2016 residency program! Click here to apply.
Pulp & Deckle is a handmade papermaking studio located in Portland, OR.