Molly Berkson is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in paper, print, book, and fiber crafts. She has a fondness for the subcultures and subcultural practices that employ amateur and anti-authoritarian ideologies, and an appreciation for craft in all its forms–in its distinct and intermingling boundaries. In her practice, she patchworks together these specific aesthetic practices and do-it-yourself methods.
Berkson lives in Chicago and is a teaching artist with After School Matters and ElevArte Community Studio. She recently exhibited work at After School Special in Milwaukee WI, Femme4Femme in Chicago as part of 2nd Floor Rear, and at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, where she was a studio intern in 2016. Berkson graduated with her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.
- Exhibition Opportunities
- Printmaking Commissions
Project Statement:While working at the Women’s Studio Workshop last year, I learned about processing plants for papermaking and using different print processes on handmade paper. I collected plants from the roadside, made them into pulp and played with couching different fibers on top of each other. I then experimented with woodcut, letterpress and silkscreen on top of crispy, smooth, or soft fibers.
At the same time, I began sewing my first quilt. By working in these methods simultaneously I felt the ways that these distinct skills are connected. Couching shaped sheets was like piecing quilt squares, building compositions from variations in texture and color of plant material. A woodcut printed on the surface was the top stitch connecting the pieces together.
Like quilting, these paper works used a type of waste material: ruderal plants and weeds were like the plant world versions of collections of unused textile scraps in the quilter’s studio. Fundamental to my work is an understanding that fiber craft and print media facilitate exchange, tell stories, and can occupy categorizations of both expert and amateur distinctions. Making quilt-like paper works at the Women’s Studio Workshop began to touch on these ideas.
At Spudnik, I want to push these quilt-paper pieces further. I envision this project developing over three parts: 1. Experiment with the handmade paper I already made, building up layers of prints, collaging techniques together, and developing concept. 2. Using this first step as research to make a new batch of ruderal plant quilt-paper, and then 3. Editioning prints.
Classes by this Artist:Papermaking: Pulp, Sculpt and Print (February)
Papermaking Basics (March)
Papermaking Explorations (May)
From Plant to Paper: Making Paper with Milkweed
Papermaking Workshop: Native Milkweed