Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Shrinking Flax Paper Over Armatures

September 14 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm



The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available

A 3-Day Hybrid Workshop!

Wednesday, September 14, 6pm-9pm ET via Zoom and Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25, 10am-4pm In-Studio

View our current in-studio Health and Safety Policies >>

About this Workshop:

Join us for an exciting workshop to learn how to make three-dimensional objects with high-shrinkage (overbeaten) flax paper over an intrinsic armature (an underlying form that is not removed after the paper dries). Techniques/skills learned will include: 1) making armatures (steel wire; reed) to shrink the paper over; 2) sheet forming with flax pulp in pour molds; 3) attaching wet sheets of flax paper to armatures (stretching, ripping, wrapping). We will address planning versus winging it, choice of tools, types of wire, stability of armatures (build for strength or flexibility), the thickness of paper, rips, and tears, strengthening connections at intersections, combining with other fibers, and surface treatments (rusting, printing, pigments/painting, waxing, sealing). 

Level: Intermediate – Basic papermaking experience, such as Introduction to Hand Papermaking or similar, recommended

Registration has been extended to September 5, 2022. Material fees are included with your registration, though a list of additional items needed to be gathered/purchased will be sent with your confirmation.

Sample images by Jessica Beels


Please Note: The online session will be recorded for Pyramid Atlantic’s private use to better optimize our programming and share as examples for funders. You may mute your microphone or turn off your camera if you do not wish to be recorded. Access to the recording(s) will be made available to all participants for a limited time.


Registration includes a $33 materials fee to cover consumable materials provided during the in-studio sessions, including: pellon, high-shrinkage flax pulp, 16 gauge black annealed steel, round basketry reed, painter’s tape, and polyester thread/cord. Students will need to supply additional materials of their own for work leading up to the in-studio sessions, including:

  • Wire cutters for steel (cheap ones OK since steel will ding nice ones!) – example
  • Chain-nosed pliers (void chunky pliers with wide serrated gripping surface – smaller pointed ends are better, like this example)
  • Round-nosed pliers (optional)
  • A pair of flat and round-nosed forming pliers, example 1; example 2 
  • A personal apron, waterproof suggested for in-studio use
  • Waterproof shoes and/or shoes with good tread for in-studio use – the floor will get wet!


Jessica Beels is a Washington, DC, sculptor working primarily with handmade paper to make structures inspired by microbiology and other forms in nature that comment on global issues such as climate change and evolution. She has a background in art history and the history of decorative arts, as well as experience in technical theater and a wide range of fiber arts. She considers herself an accumulator of techniques and a tool addict. Learn more about her work at jbeelsdesign.com.

Sign Up for our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.