Like many artists, I am concerned with the impact my materials have on the environment. As much as it is my mission to turn beaten pulp into engaging artwork, it is imperative that the materials I use do not inadvertently harm the natural environment in the process.

With this concern in mind, I excitedly read about the positive impact my primary pulp painting medium, abaca, has on the environment and the many creative ways the scientific, medical, corporate, and environmental research communities are using abaca to combat climate change and improve environmental conditions. Through scientific research that includes state of the art technology and ever-changing software programs, discoveries have been made about the many uses of traditional hand papermaking fibers that have proven beneficial to suit modern circumstances, including climate change; and cultural shifts, such as economies in under-represented nations that can benefit from growing this ancient plant.

There is a start-up company in The Philippines, Fibex Corporation, that seeks to share the benefits of this and other traditional papermaking fibers including flax and linen, with the world in an effort to improve and combat weather conditions caused by climate change.

CEO of Fibex, Hanna Padilla, and I will be co-presenting this research during the annual North American Hand Papermakers (NAHP) presentation on Saturday, September 25. This event is virtual and free to all members of the NAHP community. Please consider joining this community if you want to learn more about how ancient fibers are bring used to offset climate change.

Artists have the ability to make the world a more colorful place, but we need to read the label of the materials we use, as do our cohorts in other disciplines.

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A very well worn plastic cup filled with organic abaca pulp. The color comes from minerals such as titanium and manganese.

Please join us! We can do this.

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