A new workshop at the Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center in New Jersey is helping veterans reconsider their experiences by reworking the camouflage fabrics they wore in battle. The Combat Paper Project, organized by Iraq War veteran Drew Cameron and Drew Matott, and brings together war veterans, activists and artists. The workshop teaches veterans how to transform military uniforms into fiber papers which can then be used for creative expression.
The former soldiers are instructed to remove buttons, patches, and ephemera from their uniforms. Then, the clothes are cut into small pieces, mixed with water, and beat into a pulp. The pulp is then transformed into a number of materials, and some past veteran projects have included masks, artwork, and chapbooks. Throughout the course of a workshop, veterans use an innovative approach to fiber arts to examine their military experience through a creative lens.
Organizations wishing to bring in the Combat Paper Project can contact the group through its website, http://www.combatpaper.org