– Ukiah Daily Magazine

– Ukiah Daily Magazine

First Friday workshop showcases the Lost Coast Culture Machine

Special to Ukiah daily newspaper

On February 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a special “Papermaking with Plants” workshop taught by the Lost Coast Culture Machine. This free event, in which participants will learn how to make paper from pampas grass, is part of Grace Hudson's monthly First Friday Evenings, when the museum is open from 5 to 8 p.m. and is free to everyone.

While some people see only grasses and barren lands, others see opportunity. This is the creative vision of Anne Beck and Dietmar Kromrey, founders of Lost Coast Culture Machine, an innovative arts, education and performance space at Fort Bragg. Since 2010, the duo has engaged in a number of lively activities – art exhibitions, talks, films and classes – all aimed at making and presenting art as a way to engage our imaginations to confront and solve the many challenges our world faces. An important part of running this “culture machine”—which Beck and Krumrey define as a process that “draws on what we know best and creates new models of what we know is broken”—is their paper mill. At this mill, flax, hemp, unusable clothing from local thrift stores, pampas grass, and even shredded U.S. currency are blended together to produce art paper of various sizes and thicknesses. (To learn more about the Lost Coast Culture Machine, go to www.lostcoastculturemachine.org.

Pampas grass, originally introduced to the California coast to control erosion, is an invasive species that stifles the growth of beneficial native plant species. Fortunately, the Lost Coast Culture Machine has discovered that it can be harvested to make high-quality hand-produced paper. In this workshop, participants will participate in part of the process of preparing this paper. Using pre-cooked pampas grass, they will beat the leaves by hand into a paste, then use this pulp to pull out the paper sheets, which will then be pressed and dried off-site. Pre-made samples will be available for participants to take home so they can learn about the whole process and enjoy their final product. Photos of the process of turning pampas into paper will also be on display, along with a pop-up shop where the organization's unique paper products can be purchased, starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

This First Friday evening, visitors can learn more about the art and science of plants and their conservation by viewing the museum's current exhibition, “Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering the Botanical Legacy of John Muir,” a collection of high-quality, digitally enhanced works—high-resolution images of specimens Muir's extensive flora, as well as pages and drawings from Muir's nature journals.

First Fridays at the Museum are part of Ukiah's First Friday Art Walks, where many art galleries and community spaces in the downtown area remain open. The Grace Hudson Museum is located at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is part of the City of Ukiah Department of Community Services. For more information visit www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call 467-2836.

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