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Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory|
Combat Paper Project
The Morgan Conservatory hosted a week-long Combat Paper residency in July, 2009, in conjunction with their exhibit, "War as Art/Art as War; the Artist Looks at the Horrors of War".
Workshop leaders Drew Cameron and John La Falce were joined by veteran Leonard Shelton (who experienced his first workshop at Martha's Vineyard in 2008) and other veterans who pulped their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. Participants made paper sheets and bound them into personal journals, tried their hand at pulp printing their personal images and collaborated to make large pulp paintings. In this way, veterans were able to use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to reconcile their experiences as a soldier in war.
Morgan Conservatory Executive Director Tom Balbo also introduced Combat Papermakers to the technique of creating three dimensional paper reliefs using a vacuum pump.
"Liberating Rag" - Papermakers begin the process by cutting up uniforms for pulping while Marine Corps Barbie looks on
"Pulling and Couching" - Major Hudson pulls a sheet of combat paper from the vat and transfers it from the mould to the pellon (called couching) for final pressing
"Pulp Printing" - Leonard Shelton lays stencils over a freshly made sheet of combat paper, sprays fine pulp through the stencil, and removes the stencils to reveal the finished broadside
Sculptural piece showing items in relief
Collaborating on a large sheet
A live Skype video-link was set up with the opening of the Fabric of War exhibit at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton, England to give English viewers a taste of a traditional Combat Paper workshop.