Fifteen years ago, my ecological concerns and the politics of materials drove me to an art practice that revolved around the reuse, repurposing and transformation of discarded materials. Initially I made handmade paper from gathered discarded paper, which lead to me to learning about the history of rag paper. In 2010, inspired by the Jewish mourning tradition of tearing garments, the current environmental costs of the textile industry and the belief that fabrics carry with them untold and powerful personal histories, I shifted my practice to creating handmade paper from discarded and exhausted textiles. These different colored cotton bedding and t-shirts from thrift stores, friends, family and my home previously existed in domestic spaces close to people’s skin.

Papermaking is not magic or alchemy, but a powerful model for transformation through tearing apart and breaking down existing bonds, shifting into an open and malleable state and finding new connections. Like so many facets of our society that hold us together, we are simultaneously dependent on, and largely removed from, the history and craft of papermaking. Over the years, this ever evolving and deepening studio practice has become a rich vehicle for grieving for my Father, reinterpreting Jewish mourning rituals, making visible the invisible labor of women, reimagining power structures and honoring the complexity and vulnerability of human relationships, love and interdependence.