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SPAIN: Students learn entrepreneurship with paper project

“Fern to Paper” project launches with aid from two Salesian schools

The “Fern to Paper” project in Spain.

The “Fern to Paper” project in Spain.

(MissionNewswire) The “Fern to Paper” project in Spain focuses on training, socio-employment, and entrepreneurship and was funded by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The project included the Salesian School of Pamplona’s Department of Graphic Arts, Don Bosco Center Toulouse, Malerraka Common Services, Tecnalia and Conexiones Improbables (Unlikely Connections).

The project was presented on April 27 in Sunbilla, where the initiative will be developed. The project looks to the past to learn from traditional wisdom and craft regarding fern management in rural environments and artisanal paper production. The goal is to combine that wisdom with modern technologies and digital printing techniques.

The process began with fern collection and preparation for chemical treatment. Cellulose fibers and nanofibers were extracted to produce paper, and then printing and finishing techniques were applied. The project  included the study of entrepreneurial developments with students from Salesian vocational training centers in Toulouse and Pamplona and Malerraka Common Services.

The exhibition in Subilla allowed participants to see and touch the new papers made from ferns. Isabel Elizalde, from Malerraka Common Services, explained, “We were able to make paper from ferns thanks to the collaboration of all the people involved, and here we have proof of that.”

Miren Garate, from the Salesian School of Pamplona’s Department of Graphic Arts, said, “It was a great experience, a challenge, to be able to apply a different way of learning with our partners. It was about trying different ways of printing and finding a finish for the paper that was already printed.”

Mentxu Aiertza, from the Don Bosco Center in Toulouse, explained the process of starting with ferns collected from the Malerraka Common Services and making pulp and paper from it. “Fern is quite complicated to work with. In our school, we work a lot on the industrial side of paper, whereas this challenge required working more by hand, in an artisanal way, and the students brought this knowledge with them, which is equally important.”

The future of the project includes further research and the possibility of creating a handmade paper from fern. Some experts believe that a local shrub may be a viable candidate to work alongside ferns for pulp extraction. A feasibility study will be launched to see if it is possible to set up a craft workshop to create paper from ferns and other plants. Other studies will assess what products could be made from this type of paper, with the goal of developing local job opportunities.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

Spain – Retro-active project “From fern to paper”: rediscovering the past, looking to the future

Salesian School in Pamplona

Salesian Missions – Spain

Video highlights of project

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