Citation of Excellence
New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Combat Paper NJ

Combat Paper NJ with program final small




 “We were very lucky to have State of the Arts follow us around for one year, filming and interviewing along the way. They started with us at The Richard Stockton College in November of 2013 and ended this Fall of 2014 around our Morristown HUB focus and Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival collaboration. We are very proud of this piece and hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do. Thank you Susan and Joe.

“Let’s provide an opportunity for the veteran to transform into a storyteller. Let the process of art making give them a voice, amplify that voice, and change our culture of the ‘silent veteran’… the ‘non-storyteller.’ Let’s strengthen our community around this practice, become witnesses to our own past, make witnesses of the non-veteran, share the burden of the complex veteran experience, and change society for the better.”  -David Keefe

 Click here to register for workshops in your area!3478_441488065902617_1887676447_n


All veterans have a story to tell. Combat Paper NJ (CPNJ), a program of the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, offers artistic tools and professional instruction to veterans, providing a space to use art and writing to explore their physical, psychological, and emotional experiences. Our specialty is making handmade paper from military uniforms—Combat Paper. This paper creates a platform for veterans to share their stories, providing a new language for self-expression.

Are you a veteran or active duty service member? Maybe you’d like to make a book out of a uniform you have stored in a duffel bag; maybe you’d like to silkscreen an image from your overseas service onto Combat Paper. CPNJ can help you tell your story creatively.

In casual drop-in sessions, on college campuses, in community centers, and at VA and military hospitals, CPNJ brings printmaking and the art of handmade papermaking to all veterans.

Since its inception in 2011, CPNJ has conducted over 120 workshops, presentations, and exhibitions. The program is run by veterans, for veterans.

Even if you’re not a veteran, there are still ways you can get involved. See for more details.

Uniforms hold the dirt, blood, sweat, tears, and memories of combat that veterans experience. Each Combat Paper NJ session begins with the assembled veterans sharing their stories while deconstructing their uniforms. The process is cathartic and transformative.

The deconstructed fibers of the uniform are beaten into pulp using specially-designed papermaking equipment, creating a slurry of uniform fibers and water. Sheets of paper are pulled from the pulp and dried to create handmade Combat Paper.

Sheets of Combat Paper become the platform for veterans to communicate their stories through art. Veterans integrate drawings, photographs, iconic images, and words into their Combat Paper using silkscreen and other printmaking techniques they are taught. Each finished work of Combat Paper art tells a profoundly personal story.

Public forums and exhibitions of Combat Paper are important opportunities for veterans to talk about their military service. These forums also help the public better understand what combat vets have endured. These interactions begin to bridge the gap that causes isolation and despair, helping veterans recover and move ahead with their lives.



David Keefe’s Combat Paper Class at Montclair State University was written up in the MSU alumni Magazine.
Thank you Laura Griffin




Thanks to Lorraine Ash for a great article in the Daily Record!


Morristown Green




IMPACT 100 GARDEN STATE AWARD!! – October 2013

Selected as a 2013 Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) grant recipient

Ralph Bellantoni wrote a great article on us.

Peggy McGlone and The Star Ledger came to write us up again!

Announced 2013 Krider Prize recipient by UCDA



Design Magazine by Ella Rue

FOX News Channel came out to our Sunday Session on June 10th, 2012 and aired a Live segment of Combat Paper NJ

Combat Paper NJ was featured in The Star Ledger.

Combat Paper NJ aired on PBS Jim Lehrer’s Newshour on April 30th, 2012. You can check out the video and other links below:
TV segment:

Producer Article:

Step By Step How to make Combat Paper:

Asbury Park Press wrote a great article on our time at Monmouth University in April 2013:


Check out our Kickstarter Page!

Thank you.