SHARJAH – In an engaging and innovative workshop for children organised at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), visual artist, papermaker and calligrapher Pamela Paulsrud, along with Cori O’ Connell from the USA, taught children a unique process of making paper in various shapes, sizes and colours.
Each participant was provided with colourful scraps of paper and a jar half containing about an inch of water and five to six marbles. Acting as ‘paper shredders’, they began the paper making process by tearing the paper into little bits and putting them in the jars they were provided.
Then, they assumed the roles of a ‘paper pulper’, shaking the container for about two minutes in order for the water and marbles to loosen up the fibre contained within the paper. Next, they proceeded to becoming ‘paper makers’, pouring the viscous liquid from the jars into mold and deckles, straining excess water and turning the wet pulp into different shapes.
Next, the children pressed the pulp straight down using a mesh, sponges and blotter papers which made them play the role of a ‘paper press’. After completely drying the paper they created with their own two hands, the children ended up with a vibrant and colourful product in different shapes and sizes. They then finished the exercise by adding personal tree stories and imagery on the paper they made.
“Trees have a profound impact on our lives. Trees are symbols, resources —inspiration. In remembering our own personal experiences with trees, we deepen our appreciation, our awareness, our connection to trees, to the earth and to others,” said Paulsrud.
The workshop highlighted the role trees have played in our lives since the beginning of time, nurturing, calming, influencing and protecting us. It also taught in a very engaging way to its young participants how to be respectful and responsible towards their environment by loving, protecting and nurturing it.
The 35th edition of SIBF is running from 2 to 12 November at Expo Centre Sharjah, and is organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).