Farm Aid 2016 Hemp Paper 101 Workshop

Fall greetings to you! On September 17th, 2016 on a beautiful full Harvest Moon, the 31st Farm Aid took place in Bristow, VA. I was honored to teach a hemp papermaking 101 class in the Homegrown skills tent and had a hemp table display all day, educating festival-goers on the wonders of hemp. Next door in the Homegrown Village, my friends at Growing Warriors and the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition had great displays full of hemp goodies. Growing Warriors brought retted hemp stalks and a decorticator and were showing people the decorticating (“hemp breaking”) process all day. It was a great experience being able to spread the word about hemp paper to people who truly value farming and a sustainable future for all. During the hemp papermaking 101 class, it was an honor to have my friend, Mike Lewis, of Growing Warriors give a brief explanation of retting and decorticating. Here are some photos – enjoy! (My phone died right after Dave Matthews’ set – then I was enjoying Neil Young sing Harvest Moon, and of course rockin out to Willie to end the night.. #rollmeupandsmokemewhenidie

Fiber Farming

After HempX, I visited a couple of hemp farms in Appalachia. Building relationships with farmers is a crucial component to the Artisan Hemp mission. It all begins with the soil.

With all the talk of how profitable a crop hemp can be, we must prove this by purchasing raw material from farmers and creating products from that hemp. If there is no one to buy the raw hemp, farmers will not grow it! Since there is no large scale processing infrastructure in the United States, small scale artisanal production can help fill in the gaps until larger scale processing is in place. The work of the artisan is two fold, bringing value added products to market – creating functional and beautiful products from what would otherwise be agricultural waste and the act of R&D – working with various cultivars/cannabis varieties, harvest times and retting techniques, creating a system of standardizations, working with farmers to realize the best for each type of processing.

We are partnering with Mike Lewis, founder of Growing Warriors and owner of Healing Ground Farm, in Livingston, KY. We use hemp waste that is leftover from the processing for textiles for their Kentucky cloth project – producing American Flags with hemp fiber.

In West Virginia, we met with Morgan Leach, founder of the West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative, who is also running for House in the 10th district of West Virginia. Morgan recently obtained a law degree from WVU and is doing great work in Appalachia. It was inspiring meeting with him and talking about plans on working together to create beautiful, functional products from WV hemp. Here are some photos..enjoy!

Hemp in the Holler at Healing Ground Farm, Rockcastle county, KY.IMG_8326.JPGBeautiful pink color on hemp flowers in W.Virginia!

HempX Asheville

August 19/20th brought Artisan Hemp to HempX in Asheville, North Carolina! It was a great event filled with educational speakers, workshops, vendors, food, and music.

The day on Friday started with a hemp infused lunch by renowned vegan chef Jason Sellers of the restaurant, Plant, in Asheville. Unfortunately, I had to run an errand and missed this- everyone said the food was amazing, and I look forward to tasting some of his hemptastic creations in the near future! Also, the hempeh people were there and I got to taste some of their creations – delicious!!

On Friday afternoon, we had a paper making station setup and children of all ages came to make paper! It was really heartwarming seeing the reactions of people, especially young children who were genuinely amazed by the paper making process! This amazing event was free to the public and featured great music by the London Souls, and more! On Saturday, I presented the Art of Hemp Papermaking and spoke about the process of making paper from raw hemp fibers and shared some images from our work over the years. Thanks to all who came out and listened.🙂 The organizers Blake Butler and Jill Lieberman are true professionals and passionate about farmers and educating people, helping hemping the movement move! Many thanks.

HEMPX makin paper.jpgMaking hemp paper with a youngin’HEMPXtalk.jpgTalkin’ hemp paper making 101!HEMPX.jpgHonored to be pictured with amazing leaders in the hemp movement!


Well…Artisan Hemp taught a hemp papermaking workshop..and i’m sorry but there are no photos. here’s one of the dreamcatchers at Floydfest…our assistant who was going to photograph the workshop was unable to attend and unfortunately we do not have images from this great event. It was awesome tho! And Nahko and MFTP put on an amazing show!!!

Update: Thanks to Wendy Steckroth for sharing this photo of her precious daughter making paper at Floydfest! Also the cool bug who helped oversee the process.

FF girl makin paper

14100240_10208549772759610_6902542047390602286_nIMG_8044Dreamweavin’IMG_8048IMG_8057Nahko & Medicine for the People


Hemp Heals Music Festival Posters

On July 22, 2016, the 4th Hemp Heals Music Festival took place in Philly. It was a great event, as always. I missed last years event, and during the time since I attended in 2014, PhiladelphiIMG_7992.JPG decriminalized marijuana…and there were many joints lit, including a giant spliff smoked on stage. Times they are a changin’. Riley Cote, former Philadelphia Flyer and founder of the Hemp Heals Foundation, has been a great supporter of Artisan Hemp. In 2015, we made custom printed posters for the festival and did again this year and included some cool new products, including posters with cannabis leaves inside the paper. Here are some photos. The headlining musicians were 311 and Matisyahu and it was a true honor to go backstage and meet Matisyahu, while he signed the posters.

Here are some photos. Make sure to check out Hemp Heals next year! IMG_7989.JPGHemp Heals posters on handmade 100% hemp paperIMG_7994.JPGPoster with cannabis leaf inside!IMG_7992.JPGHemp Heals logo on cannabis leaf hemp paper with botanical print…IMG_7997.JPGClose up of poster coming out of printer..IMG_8014.jpgMatisyahu signing Hemp Heals postersIMG_8016.JPGSelfie with Matisyahu!

Hemp in the Holler!

On June 10th and 11th of this year, I attended and presented at Hemp in the Holler, a celebration of hemp at a hemp farm in Livingston, KY. Activities included workshops on hemp farming, hempcrete construction, hemp breaking and hacking, and paper making. I brought Emanuel, the portable beater, and we made paper with fibers grown right there on the farm.

It was a great event, with many industry leaders in attendance and a laid back, family friendly atmosphere. I enjoyed sharing the art of hemp paper making with so many interested people. Thanks to Eric Hackworth for getting these photos of the paper making workshops and supreme gratitude to all who attended, to Blake Butler and Jill Lieberman, who worked day and night to organize this event and make sure everything went smoothly, and to Mike and Melinda Lewis, who welcomed us all to their beautiful farm.

cooking_fiber_HEMPinHoller.jpgCooking hemp fibers

checking beater hemp in holler.jpgChecking pulp in the beater

pressing paper.jpgPressing sheets

sheet drying hemp in holler.jpgApplying sheets to a board to dry (sheets of paper and vat of pulp in foreground)


Portable Beater!

In late may of 2016, Dr. Bronner’s generously donated a portable beater machine to our paper project. This made it possible to travel and teach paper making workshops anywhere. It also allows us to process fibers and make paper pulp on the farms where hemp is grown. In June, we made paper at Hemp in the Holler, at Healing Ground Farm in Livingston KY, from hemp fibers grown on their farm! See the next post for photos and a recap of that awesome event.

The critter beater is awesome – it chews up hemp fibers and fabric scraps like a beast.

Thanks to David Bronner for generously donating towards this purchase and to Adam Eidinger for allowing us to work in his home office and for letting us use hemp/cotton fabric scraps from phrygian hat production!

Here are some photos of the initial beatings with Emanuel, the beater, named after the Dr. Bronner!IMG_6985.JPGIMG_7010.jpg

Emanuel and Kentucky grown hemp fiber!IMG_7012.jpgEmanuel being loaded with phrygian hat fabric scraps!IMG_7038.JPG

IMG_7023.JPGPulp…almost done!


Pulp going into the vat for sheet forming. IMG_7061.jpg

Phrygian fabric scrap paper with DC grown cannabis leaf!