LINDSBORG — Jenny Davis has been making paper out of recycled shirts, rags and other clothing items for four years.
She will share her technique with Lindsborg during her upcoming Art in the Park workshops from 10 a.m. until noon on June 18 at the large shelter in Riverside Park, 520 S. First Street.
Cost is a $20 session and spots are still available, but register early to make sure she has enough material, Davis said. Davis said the class will be messy, so don’t wear your Sunday best — and be prepared to shred some shirts.
“...I have a Hollander beater, T-shirts get cut up into tiny little pieces and then they are put into the beater a pound at a time. The beater then turns them into pulp. We will use a mold and dip it (the pulp) into water and then it is pressed and dried. We will make it more sculptural by adding it into something with a shape,” she said.
While this is only her second year of hosting the class, Davis said she is excited that she has had multiple people interested.
“Last year, I only had a couple of participants. I’ve had a lot of adults interested this year,” she said.
At first, Davis wanted her class to be geared for younger children, but since decided that the class is open to anyone.
“Whoever wants to come, they can. It’s very therapeutic and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Davis turned to paper making when she was diagnosed with breast cancer about four years ago.
“I turned to art as my therapy, to keep me busy. The Salina Art Center was hosting the Peace Paper Project and I was asked to come down and was told I needed to check it out. They were doing combat paper for veterans. I took my bra and draining tanks... I destroyed those and turned them into paper. I was absolutely hooked — or unhooked,” she laughed.
From the time she destroyed her past and turned it into art, creativity has become a passion for Davis and she now shares it with others — whether it’s teaching her students at school or teaching those in the community.
“This has really set a new path for me in my life. I just finished my second year of teaching art, but I have been teaching in Salina for 22 years. It’s always been my nature to teach. I love seeing the enjoyment of adults and children when they’re learning a new skill in art. I am teaching others or helping others to think creatively and to try new things,” she said.
When Davis explains to friends — or strangers — that she makes paper, she often gets baffled looks.
“I tell people that I make paper and they kind of look at me and say, ‘You do what?’ ‘What’s that all about?’ I tell them that I take old T-shirts and make them into something new. I also tell them that until you have your hands in that pulp and you create that first sheet of paper, you don’t truly get it,” she said.
While the paper making class is on June 18 only, Davis said she is also hosting other workshops from 10 a.m. to noon at Riverside Park. Classes will include:
n July 18-June 22: Paper making, metal tooling, collage, print making and creative creature, where participants will design a monster.
n July 23- July 27: sketch books, Papier-mâché, kinetic sculpture, jelly printing and air dry clay.
Davis said her favorite part about teaching workshops like these is watching her students think outside the box.
“They honestly inspire me. We may be doing something like painting or printmaking and I see them maybe changing the color palette just a little or the design they’ve created. I see what they’re doing and that inspires me. Creativity inspires creativity,” she said.
For more information, contact Davis at 785-643-1115 or visit her Facebook page Silver Linings Art or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.