Art history, printmaking classes collaborate for two-day papermaking and stenciling project

Art is an expression of ourselves and the world we live in.

— Dave Riep

Led by Dave Riep, assistant professor of art history, students in ART 265 Introduction to Printmaking (taught by Johnny Plastini), ART 316 Art of the Pacific (taught by Riep), and Fibers professor Tom Lundberg all participated in a two-day process of papermaking and stenciling in the style of the peoples of the Pacific.

In the first class, students made paper that was modeled after bark cloth found in places like Fiji and Samoa. Students used a combination of cotton and cellulose from mulberry. They pulped the materials with water and strained it through cheesecloth bordered with embroidery hoops.

In the second class, students stenciled the paper, using stencils they designed and natural dyes created by Donna Brown of Chatfield Farms in Littleton, Colo. Jacob Jaso, a graduate student of fibers, mixed the dyes, which are made of earth oxides and gum tragaganth.

This collaboration of classes and students (both studio art and art history students) provided an interactive way to apply process and product from other cultures into the students’ own art practice, and bring together art historical concepts with studio methods and techniques.