Pasadena Villa Orlando Residents Enjoy Social Integration through Art Adventures: Paper Casting

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Marnita Patton, MA, ATR, CCBT, CGT, CDP, Art Therapist at Pasadena Villa Orlando, led residents on an Art Adventure involving Paper Casting.  Non-sheet paper forms can be structured in several ways. One of the easiest, most versatile way is paper casting, particularly with cotton linters and discarded papers that have been drawn or written upon. By definition, paper casting is piling up, or arranging, soaking wet fibers into a desired shape or form and keeping them there until dry. The process is simplified by having a form or shape of rigid, waterproof material to put the mass of wet fibers (pulp) in, on, or around. We used plastic bowls to support and keep the wet mass in the proper shape as it dried.

In making the pulp we recycled used paper and used linter.  These were torn into small pieces and put into a blender with about three cups of water. To create the different colors of pulp we used small amounts of acrylic paint. After blending for about a minute, the pulp was poured into a strainer. Next some of the water was gently pressed.  It is important not to take out too much water because moist pulp is best for the casting process. We used Saran Wrap as a release agent placing it over the bowl before pressing the pulp into place.

Knowing the basics of making a simple paper cast bowl can lead to many different, and very diverse, kinds of paper-cast bowls. Choosing different papers to put in the blender (wrapping paper, tissue paper, recycled food packaging), creating patterns and designs with the pulp, and using more complex bowls with textures are just a few possible variations.  Usually, methyl cellulose is used as a sizing agent and it is also an adhesive. Since this can cause release problems for casting, residents simply coated bowls with glue for a protective coating.

According to a published article by the Chicago Tribune, making art brings a sense of control to those suffering from mental disorders. When the mind, body and emotions unite in the act of creation, a person can feel that they have regained power over their life. By producing art residents start to see themselves in a different light. Through these unique art therapy exercises, residents get back in touch with what makes them the true individual they are. They can realize that despite living with a mental illness, they have something unique and truly beautiful to share with the world.

Pasadena Villa programs set out to create a comforting and therapeutic environment. We do things a normal family would do. Our staff and residents learn and model appropriate social and communication skills, from daily mealtimes, to many fun and relaxing arts and crafting activities.

Our mental health professionals work directly with residents. They observe them in actual social situations and incorporate these observations directly into the resident’s ongoing treatment plan.  This individual real life personalized attention makes the Pasadena Villa treatment experience more appropriate, relevant and beneficial for each of our residents, especially when compared to any other available adult residential treatment mental health services. As one of the very first programs in the country to base its treatment upon Social Integration, our mental health facilities offer help through a unique mix of individualized therapy and group residential programs with a clear focus towards achieving more independent living.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-215-2519 for more information.



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