I Heart Grey

24 Jul

Hello Friends!

Half of the fun of this project is never quite knowing what the pulp will come out to be. We start with something like this:

And when the paper is finally pulled, it comes out like this:

Notice the warm grey on the right of the picture. The light/cool grey on the left and the dark blue on the bottom were from the cotton we pulled at the beginning of the project. Over the weekend, we prepared the pulp that you see in the first picture and then today pulled the grey ovals.

Our collection of paper is slowly amassing! We have more plant paper than I was anticipating. When we were collecting the fibers, it seemed outlandish to me that we could ever make very much paper with what we had. But, I am quite pleased to say that the daylily and hosta were good to us and made beautiful, strong paper…and lots of it! We finished cooking the lake grass today and I anticipate that we will put it into the beater tomorrow.

We haven’t yet talked about how the daylily and hosta paper has to be dried under restraint. Without doing this, the paper curls and even calendering can’t quite fix it. We place absorbent sheets between each piece of daylily or hosta paper and then place a litho stone on top. On goes the fan and then we wait. It’s quite the process.

My favorite moment of learning about the restraint drying technique was when we were moving the stones and Jillian said, “Don’t hurt your back and don’t break my stones.” Litho stones are expensive…really expensive. To date, I have heeded her warning on both accounts.

As I was trying to think of how I wanted to end this post, I decided to include other facets of our days in the studio that don’t necessarily relate to paper-making but are still intrinsic to what we do. Here goes:

Self-explanatory, I think!

Fresh blueberries made an appearance today in the studio. They taste like summer. I wonder if they would dye the paper? Hmmm….

Rocco. Jillian’s dog who is super loving and always super excited to meet new people. He is our mascot in some ways.

There you have it! Our day in the studio and the little things that make this job so wonderful. Thanks for reading!

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