Combat Paper

An old uniform

Military memories

Good/Bad make paper

I have been asked this question many times. On May 30 our blog was about the making of Combat Paper – the process of cutting up old uniforms and beating them into pulp, from which paper may be screened. pressed and dried. So then what, you ask? That is, of course up to the individual paper maker.

In Reno, during July, we have a area wide, month long event known as ‘Art Town’. This event of drama, music, visual arts and crafts is in it’s eighteenth year and is truly a celebration of the arts, with something for everyone from toddlers to Centenarians.

Combat Paper Nevada & Northern Nevada Veteran Writers Project had a reading of works by the workshop members and a display of Combat Paper at the Northwest branch of the Washoe County Library. What follows is a photo layout of the many varied uses of Combat Paper I hope this begins to answer the question posed at the beginning of this blog.

Perhaps the mast obvious use for paper is as a printing medium for works by an author:
IMG_0405Poems  and paper by Eric Hobson
In today’s digital world any paper can be easily used as a medium for photographic images:
Photos, paper and printing by Tina Drakulich
Another option is to add images to paper while the paper is still wet. Spraying a silk screen like stencil with an ink emulsion. Allows the pigment to bond with the fiber during the drying process:
paper by Northern Nevada Combat Paper, images by Eric Hobson
paper by Northern Nevada Combat Paper, images by Eric Hobson













Japanese mythology says that if a person folds one thousand origami cranes good fortune will come their way. The Combat Paper project is attempting to fold 1,000 cranes out of as many different uniforms as possible – each telling their own story:





Women veterans have their own unique stories to tell. Two books of their stories have been published by Shotwell Paper Mill. These volumes, titled ‘Paper Dolls’ are a unique use of combat paper:





Paper has been a foundation for the visual arts since its invention by the Chinese.

Mixed media artist Tina Drakulich demonstrates this with “Canter” and “Trot” horse hair and ink on combat paper:

















Reflections I and II by Tina Drakulich


Perhaps the most unique use of combat paper at the exhibit was a quilt made of paper by Luana J. Ritch:

C B paper quilt_edited-1








quilt inspiration_edited-1











In much of the history of paper in Western Europe, paper was used for religious texts.  Hand written many of these were ‘illuminated texts’ done in calligraphy.  Sullen Johnson in conjunction with the Western Nevada Community College Visual Foundations students presents this example:




Paper Dolls (above) is an example of using combat paper to publish books commercially. Many veterans prefer to tell their stories in a book of their own making and binding.  Jan Barry is one such with his sown bound book:




Finally, paper can be used as a medium for painting. Joyce Wojak and James Ward presents us with two examples: one a collage and the second examples Paint on paper:





Peace and Joy by Joyce Wojak



Curves and Yellow Window



Hopefully this gives you a glimpse into the world of Combat Paper.


To see more try cutting and pasting to this page:



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