Make Combat Paper

Transforming military uniforms into paper with Combat Paper Project

Make Combat Paper

Drew Cameron and Ehren Tool September 18 - 29, 2012
Opening Weekend Workshops: Friday, September 21, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 PM & Saturday, September, 22, 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Make Combat Paper is a two-week participatory project led by Drew Cameron and the artists of Combat Paper Project. Combat Paper Project works with veterans and non-veteran communities to convert military uniforms and other textiles into paper, simultaneously transforming the memories attached to the garments. From September 18-29, artists from Combat Paper Project bring their studios together to create a functioning paper mill at Southern Exposure’s Mission District space. They will produce new work, showcase recent projects, and share printing and papermaking techniques with visitors. Participants are invited to join in an open enrollment workshop to convert their own natural fiber clothing or military uniforms provided by the project into handmade paper and prints to keep. In opening their studio to the public, Combat Paper Project initiates conversation between communities of veterans and those who may have limited exposure to military culture, potentially broadening an understanding of our individual experiences and beliefs around the armed services.

Join us for opening weekend receptions Friday 9/21 and Saturday 9/22, when Drew Cameron along with artist and veteran Ehren Tool will lead participants in two days of paper and ceramic making called Paper/Cups. Tool creates porcelain cups imprinted with military memorabilia, embedding a story within the clay of each functional object. He will fabricate cups on site with his mobile pottery wheel while Drew Cameron of Combat Paper Project will instruct participants in transforming remnants of military uniforms and civilian clothing into paper, which also becomes imbued with the history of the garments.

Started by Iraq veteran and artist Drew Cameron and book artist Drew Matott in 2007, Combat Paper has been working with participants to deconstruct clothing and military uniforms, transforming them into handmade sheets of paper that contain the histories of the individuals who made them. Combat paper acknowledges that all of our experiences are encoded within the material items we carry about. Our personal geographies, memories, and accomplishments are woven in the threads of the clothing we wear. Through the hand papermaking process, the cloth is deconstructed and altered into paper sheets that retain those individual and collective stories. Combat Paper uses traditional hand papermaking to facilitate collaborative inter-generational workshops, transforming clothing rags into paper, prints, books, and art. The Combat Paper Project includes an expansive community of numerous affiliate studios across the country. Satellite studios are running in Vermont, New Jersey, and Ithaca, New York.