Edible Papers Marked by Chance, 2011

Handmade papers made from zuchini, sunchoke, fennel, corn, artichoke, mint, and iceplant. Each paper measures 7 ft x 30 inches; entire installation 9 ft x 21 ft.

In 2010, I had the fortune to speak about papermaking at the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gaitlinburg, TN. One of my fellow speakers was Beverly Plummer, who worked with Rugg Road Paper to make the papers for John Cage that became known as his Edible Drawings.

The fibers used for Cage’s papers were harvested from the East Coast, and depended on the chance of what was growing and accessible during that time, which in turn is part of a larger series of chances that related to weather conditions, insect activity, and soil health that allowed for certain plants to thrive while others did not succeed. Responding to these ideas, I harvested edible fibers from California, from what I could grow myself as well as what I could find in the wild, interacting with the same series of chances that Plummer and Cage encountered when making his paper.

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