Kimberly A Schwenk

Kim Schwenk

Lecture & Workshop Host

LECTURE: Untimely Ripped: The Ontology of Paper

Paper is born of blood, fire, soil, and water. It is a vessel of the plant spirit. It is product that absorbs the history of the Earth both in content and context. Paper is a pliant chameleon created to capture the essence of knowledge and document an evolving imagination. While the process of paper making is complex, it reveals much about visible culture, including our ecology, economy, and consumerism. What about non-visible culture? To err on the side of mystery, paper is the flesh of a book which has infused the properties of both plants and animals; the binding of a book is the skeleton. In those structures, we sometimes don’t see an embedded cultural formulary or the ritual process of saturation, separating, and sitting, even the ancestral trauma in plants. It is a volatile and resilient material; it retains an alchemical quality. Whether made of animal or plant, paper is a manifestation of composite chemistry and spirit, often overlooked in repertoire of esoteric bibliographic studies and uses in ritual practice.

WORKSHOP: From Plant to Paper
1.5 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 10 participants

From plant to process to manifestation, workshop participants will collectively understand the process of papermaking from the deconstruction to the re-binding of the materials to form a single sheet of paper. The uses of the paper range from spellcraft, wrapping, sigil work, magical stationary, collecting and documenting plant craft to ritual use. Participants will have the opportunity to collectively add plant or other soluble material to the base pulp from which the sheets will form.

$35 workshop add on fee
$15 materials fee

BIO: Kim Schwenk is a rare book cataloger at UC San Diego, Special Collections & Archives Library and an antiquarian bookseller with Lux Mentis, Booksellers with a specialization in American and European witchcraft history, history of early printed occult texts, and bibliographic studies of early magical curses using plants and objects. She operates Of Oak and Ash apothecary. Currently, she is writing a book on the materiality of books and magic, otherwise known as “h(ex) libris.”

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