Tuesday, September 8, 2015

poetry and paper

i'm helping with 
a collaboration: SLU's arts collaborative, the 
 sustainability semester, TAUNY (traditional arts in upstate ny)
we're making a poetry garden which
"makes paper from local plants as a way to celebrate the environment, engage community and teach traditional hand papermaking practices".
 the sustainability semester folks have a nice big garden
and they planted  
some flax and some milkweed
 three of us showed up on the hottest saturday of the summer
only it was september
to process some 
 iris and daylily leaves
 this little building i'd like to take home, 
it's a storage/drying shed
 sarah (the driving force behind this collaborative) and esthela
poets and slu faculty
showed up for the grunt work.
 we three attempted to prep enough plant fibers
for saturday's plant papermaking class at st lawrence
 we three
 got a lot of plants chopped, 
scraped and 
and the papers we make
will be substrate for poems
which will be planted
along with some bulbs and roots and rhizomes
for spring surprises
at the sustainability farm. (click for info)
oh, and that sustainability farmhouse
used to be the local cooperative extension office
where i worked 
(and grew a fiber/papermaking garden)
for five years or so in the 90's.
i'm so glad to be making paper here again.


aimee said...


Velma Bolyard said...

aimee, it's so very satisfying

ronnie said...

ooo velma --- this just sings to me ... this is so close to one of the things I'm dying (trying) to establish in my little part of the world --- its soooo inspiring! thank you for sharing with us xxxx

Birgit Olann said...

Satisfying, yes and a great work. Hold on!

Velma Bolyard said...

ronnie, establishing this sort of thing is an exciting goal, keep on!
birgit, thank you, i do, and welcome, i think your name is new (or i have, sadly, forgotten it...)

Mo Crow said...

oh this is great Velma, love the thought of planting a poem

Velma Bolyard said...

mo, imagine, wrapping a new narcissus bulb in a piece of daylily paper with a poem about the neighborhood coyotes...and digging a nice deep hole in well prepped soil for a new perennial garden. it's a beautiful thing.

mansuetude said...

Love this too. Fascinating. Mind is stretching.
To feed the eart the root bulb word.

mansuetude said...

Earth. But ear t. Works too ')

Velma Bolyard said...

m, thanks for both-yes, i find this concept to be really rich, glad they asked me along for the ride

Barry said...

Hi V - I am in awe of you and the other folk who can harvest the plants and take them through the process of breaking them down into fibre and paper - such patience and vision. Go well. B

Velma Bolyard said...

barry, i so remember my first attempts at doing this work, and now, well, now it's still good work!

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