Workshop-Let it Rip-The Art of Secret Collage

What: Let it Rip-The Art of Secret Collage, a paper workshop at MAH
Where: Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
When: Saturday, June 10th from 10-4

Angry at someone who’s done you wrong? A friend, lover, colleague, business associate or family member? Politics? Got a Gripe? Are you mad as hell, and don’t want to take it anymore? Want to get it off your chest? Or are you experiencing unrequited love and are afraid to let the person know? Got a secret you’re afraid to talk about but need to get out?  Have a dream you haven’t revealed to anyone yet, but are having trouble containing?  Handwrite a letter and say everything you have fantasized about saying face to face. Then rip it, cut it, run it through the shredder and make art out of it. It is guaranteed to lower your blood pressure and make you sleep better.

You will create a paper object with lots of “ju ju” that is a prime example of reveal and conceal, some of my favorite components as I make art. Learn a cool hanging technique with magnets, or maybe burn the darned thing.

This workshop is based on the work entitled Family Portrait that was in the 2016-7 MAH Collections show. That piece is composed of many years of family letters that I inherited, which were written in anger, forgiveness, happiness and everything else.

You can bring family letters, photos, any paper items that you would like to transform. You can digitize or copy the document and use the original in your art. Or, you can simply come with your thoughts ready to go onto paper. Appropriate writing prompts will be given to inspire your writing.

All materials are provided:

Paper•Writing instruments•Shredders•Scissors•Adhesives•piercing mats•needles and thread

There are still a few slots left. Workshop is $75. It is a donation to the MAH. Here is the link to register. Please include Daniella Woolf Workshop in the body of your message.

Here is the doc from the catalog Paper Trail, a solo exhibition at Glendale Community College in 2014:

Family Portrait is constructed of family letters, my mother’s knitting instructions and my dad’s calendars. It is about the energy contained in the documents left behind, intra-family communications between all the members. Many of us have the paper trail of our family, and wonder how to preserve, protect and defend these precious items. Do we pass them on to our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews? Or do we send them to the shredder or burn them in a ritual pyre?


In my case, it took me 10 years to begin going through my parents’ paper trail and making these decisions. So much went into the shredder. But there was one file of family letters from my mom and dad to each other, and to-and-from various family members. I sat down and read all of them. Mostly they were letters that I didn’t want to look at again. Many were sent in anger, asking forgiveness, making apologies, accusations, or elaborate justifications. With the exception of one very precious one from my father, which I kept intact, they were a riot of family drama, our own ugly reality show! They had their own lively energy, but they did not need to live on!


My solution was to shred them and then use them to build something new, a woven wall full of love, tears, human flaws and a desire to do better. This wall is constructed of 64 11 x 11 inch squares, with the shredded letters woven together. The intention is to contain this energy, protect the confidentiality of my family members while transforming it all into order and pattern. The mark making and simple soft whites and off whites, and occasional black and red or stamped envelope provide a hint of color and a hint of the fiery emotions hidden here.