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Paper casting with Maria Patrizzi…Guest Blogger – Donna Lee Dowdney

June 16, 2016

Recently in March, the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts hosted a three-day class called Handmade Paper Casting: Texture and Form.  Maria Patrizzi, the instructor, introduced us to paper casting so that we could use the paper we create to make books, cards, collages, and vessels.  During the class, we admired and examined all of  of Maria’s beautiful examples. A quick overview of her process is to carve an insulation foam mold, mix cotton sheets (linters) in a blender, press the pulp into the mold, and dry and embellish the result. During the class, Maria gave us detailed notes and illustrations for paper casting and recommended a work sequence for successful experiences. Throughout the class she used humor and was sensitive to our ideas and experiments.

We created a theme and kept it simple enough so that we could finish our post-card sized samples in the allotted time. We learned to carve insulation foam molds and experimented with varied pulp recipes and linters.   Maria demonstrated how to use a mold and deckle (a frame placed atop a papermaking screen). She revealed several of her stunning vessels and shared how to make full-size cardboard mock-ups. 

We learned how to connect the sides of vessels and work on edge embellishments.   She encouraged us to “think backwards” so that we could imagine future pieces and use reverse engineering to figure out how to make them. We were encouraged  to recycle and incorporate alternative papers, embed plants, flowers, glitter, or other items, and to laminate materials to create collages. We learned about varied fibers and additives and alternative image-making techniques. In addition, Maria provided handouts for dyeing paper pulp with Procion MX, frame building illustrations, and schematics for building our own molds and deckles. We all left the class inspired to create new projects and explore paper casting. It was fun, easy to do, and is relatively inexpensive.  

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Penny Peters permalink
    June 16, 2016 5:23 am

    Such happy paper casters. Would love to see your finished work!

  2. June 16, 2016 5:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience in the class. It looks like fun and I too would love to see what the students created 🙂

  3. July 13, 2016 12:12 am

    Thanks for great comments. It was a fabulous group of women.

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