Drew Matott and Peace Paper Project was our Maker In Residence for August and September 2018.
We asked him to share a little bit about his residency and he shared a summary of his work below. Thanks so much for being part of Generator’s community, Drew!
Peace Paper Project is an international organization of hand papermakers, art therapists and social activists. We set up hand papermaking studios around the world that in turn engage with the communities addressing specific issues.
Since 2011, when Peace Paper Project was founded, we have established over 40 studios and worked with more than 30,000 survivors of war, terrorism, human trafficking, incarceration, mental illness… transforming clothing into paper, transforming associations of trauma & loss into the building blocks for healing.
While Peace Paper Project is currently based out of Hamburg, Germany, we spend most of our time traveling the world conducting workshops and setting up papermaking as art therapy programs.
The extreme portability of our studio and the transient nature of our operation allows us to have a wide impact with communities affected by war & terrorism and trauma & loss. The trade-off is that we rarely are able to spend quality time off the road focusing on developing specific projects. Our residency at the Generator afforded us with this much needed time and space to make innovations to, not only our program but also our tools.
For our Maker-In-Residence at the Generator, we set out to make improvements on the tools that we use. Specifically, we focused on the Hollander beater, the machine that transforms the old textiles (rags) into paper pulp.
While hand papermaking field is growing in popularity and practice around the world, there are only a few individuals who make Hollander beaters for sale. Since there are so few individuals making these machines, they are extremely expensive, which presents challenges to Peace Paper Project operations when setting up studios in countries that are often disaster-torn.
With our time at the Generator, we set out to design and build a DIY Hollander beater that could be built for less than $1,000, using locally sourced materials and labor.