Bagasse is the fiber left over from the industrial process of sugar cane production, a major crop in Louisiana. Bagasse paper was first made in Louisiana in the 1800s. I went to Alma, Louisiana to obtain the bagasse fiber from the Alma Plantation, one of the 11 remaining sugar mills in Louisiana. Bagasse is used to fuel the processing plant during harvesting season, but still each year about 60 percent of it is unused and discarded.
Constructions are a gathering, binding and combining of light and delicate sheets of bagasse paper and Mississippi River mud paper to form a whole object. Bagasse Construction rises, both sides echoing a slope constructed of layers of material. The paper is dried and formed according to its own characteristics, and peering through the side of the ream, one can see the crevices and caves formed by the cockled paper. Books are now mass-produced, but time and care was put into making this sculptural object.
Constructions of Invasive Plants of Coastal Rhode Island
Handmade Paper from Phragmites Australis, Japanese Knotweed, and Codium Fragile – 2014 - A variable installation of 15 book constructions
Seekonk River Mud Constructions
Installation of handmade paper sculpture made from Providence river mud and recycled papers, 30 objects at 16” x 8” each, 2013
Material studies of Phragmites australis (Common Reed), an invasive plant species common throughout North America. The handmade paper sheets are pressed together and allowed to dry organically into book-like sculptures.