Arte Papel Vista Hermosa S.C. de R.L. de C.V., Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca

Arte Papel Vista Hermosa S.C. de R.L. de C.V., Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca

El Taller Arte Papel Oaxaca was formed in 1998, in San Agustín, Etla, Oaxaca and is housed in a refurbished hydroelectric plant that once provided Oaxaca's electricity. The stately stucco and brick building overlooks a valley of rolling hills and unexcavated ruins.

Inside, young men stir vats full of murky gray pulp. They explain that they use native bark, plants, flowers, cotton, hemp, silk, linen, berries and even bits of shiny mica — all renewable resources. The sludgy substance will be drained, pressed, and dried on framed screens into textured sheets of paper in subtle hues of pink, beige, yellow and white. Artists buy this paper for painting and drawing. Photographers are experimenting with printing processes. I buy several blank page journals, which to me, are works of art in themselves.

Francisco Toledo, a well-known Mexican painter, was founder of the cooperative, teaching locals how to make handmade paper free of contaminants They use the natural fibers of Chichicastle, agave, Majahua, white cotton, cotton Coyuche, the cotton kapok tree and lion's paw.

Paper products made are notebooks, cards, bags, envelopes, boxes, origami (paper figures), jewelry and paper kites. In order to make their products available to the consumer, they offer a diverse number of products such as a variety of notebooks in different sizes and prices. The cooperative also makes paper jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, and bracelets featuring original designs.

The workshop has worked to become a self-sustaining business where surplus money is invested in reforestation, nurseries, cultural and educational programs for the community.

Soldedad S/N

Barrio Vista Hermosa

San Agustín Etla

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca

951 521-2394