10582993_10203535973473167_3496238680668723183_oI also run PaperShift –  a Mobile Papermaking Workshop based in Scotland, working with all sorts of people, and making new stories – with paper, books, prints & objects – from the old ones. 

PaperShift was set up after hosting a short Residency in the Moray Art Centre in Scotland with Drew Mattott and Margaret Mahan of the US- based Peace Paper Project.

An age-old process, paper-making is easy to learn. it has many angles and levels, from simple play to ecology, and anyone can do it.1919653_566347273469730_2895348312421521751_n

Learning to make paper produces satisfying results which can form the basis of books, drawings, prints and objects. It also offers an opportunity to reflect, work out and rewrite old stories into positive new ones – giving special therapeutic benefits for anyone who has lived, or is living, in difficult times.

In the process, a shift occurs. From cutting rags, through to drawing, writing, printing and assembling, makers become agents of change.10511473_10203535973433166_4664869576893007027_o

Significant fabrics and clothing become transformed into works of art, opening up insight into difficult experiences and building new understanding, forgiveness and meaning.

Transformational Papermaking – A Brief History

The original initiative, ‘Combat Paper’, started as a partnership between artists and US war veterans who, in shredding and pulping their service uniforms, were able directly to bring forth a medium – paper – that was readily accessible to being formed, printed or written on, processing and transforming difficult experiences and memories.

Building on Combat Paper’s many positive results, the ‘Peace Paper’ team now travels around the US and elsewhere around the world engaging a broad range of participants coping with trauma including ex-servicemen and women, victims of domestic or sexual abuse, and family issues such as separation or care responsibilities, and importantly, seeks to enact this activity within the local community facilitating discussions around the wider issues involved.


  1. Hello Alison

    I am the Lay Reader at All Saints Church, Whiterashes and I’d be glad of your advice regarding a project we are planning for display this September.
    All Saints Whiterashes have been asked by the Scottish Civic Trust to be part of their annual ‘Doors Open Days’ project because of the architectural and decorative features by Sir Ninian Comper. One of the stained glass windows features St Michael.

    The Vestry Committee has been inspired by an idea from St Saviour’s Church in Bridge of Allan to produce a life-sized angel made entirely of recycled tea bags which attracted hundreds of visitors from all faiths and none and raised £000’s for Syrian refugees. We would like to create a similar community supported project for display in our church at Whiterashes in September as part of a Festival of St Michael and All Angels culminating on his feast day on 29 September. We hope to raise funds for a charity we are supporting this year called Embrace Middle East which provides bursaries to educate Palestinian children (and also helps adults too).

    I have provisionally arranged with the Scottish Sculpture Workshop that they will provide a demountable lightweight metal frame of the outline of an angel so the next stage is to dress the angel appropriately. So far we have collected about 6,000 dried tea bags of a variety of shapes and colours and we would greatly welcome your expert advice on how we could piece these together! I plan to convene a small group of supporters and use our meeting room at Whiterashes as a workshop.

    Can you first of all let me know if this is the sort of project you would like to engage with and also a note of your fee, please? I have a vestry meeting next Monday so a response before then would be most welcome. I would then be happy to come across to your studio to explain this project in more detail.

    Best wishes

  2. Linzy McAvoy


    I am interested in finding out more about the Workshops you can deliver – I am the Learning and Engagement officer at Woodend Barn and would be intrested in either a course of workshops or a full day. Can you let me know what ages you work with? Kind Regards,


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