Online Workshops

Making Papyrus with Fruits and Vegetables


with Tracey Cockrell

Section 1 – January 14-16, 2022, Friday 5-7 PM, Saturday 12-4 PM, Sunday 12-4 PM-  This sectionis full.  Email to be on the waiting list

Section 2 – March 18-20, 2022, Friday 5-7 PM, Saturday 12-4 PM, Sunday 12-4 PM

Sliding Scale Fee: $150-$350

The ancient Egyptians used the stem of the papyrus plant to make fiber for use in a number of everyday and decorative objects. Above all, wild and specially cultivated papyrus was used to make writing paper. Today, modern papyrus is used as a specialty material.

This class will provide an in-depth exploration of how to make vegetable papyrus, decorative sheets and objects, from both fruit and vegetables. Colorful, translucent sheets will be made by layering and pressing slices of fruits and vegetables. We will experiment with cross-sections and longitudinal slices to highlight the intricate internal structures and rich colors of the plant material.

The workshop will be spent learning how to process, press, dry, and preserve vegetable papyrus while experimenting with a variety of plant materials. Each student will build a simple paper press and a simple botanical press for preserving and transporting finished papyrus sheets. The remainder of the workshop will be spent producing vegetable and fruit papyrus sheets and, if time allows, using these sheets to make sculptural objects. Each student can expect to make an array of experimental decorative papyrus sheets.

Space required:
Table-top workspace, preferably at standing height
An area that will allow for using wet materials
Stovetop or hot plate for boiling water)
Optional, access to washer/dryer (to clean and dry couching for re-use)

Note: The process of making the papyrus involves slicing vegetables/fruit, par boiling in water, laying out slices into layers, pressing (very wet process), frequently changing wet couching for dry couching, and pressing final sheets as botanical specimens to completely dry. Because these sheets are highly textured, tea towels or cotton muslin sheets are used to couch while pressing and drying.

Sliding scale:  $150-$350.  Please pay what you can

I can pay $150

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