It’s Been Awhile…

13 Aug

Dear Friends,

It’s been awhile. Now I know why serious bloggers do this for a living. At the end of the day, sometimes it’s just too hard, too tiring to think about writing down what happened. Hence, why you haven’t heard any of the exciting things we’ve been doing recently. Well, I am here to try and fix that. Sit back and enjoy the paper-making ride.

In the past few two weeks, we have been taking the paper-making world by storm. By that I mean, we have made a lot of paper. High on the cool factor list – denim paper. The process happened like all the rest. Denim was cut, soaked, and put into the beater. The pulp came out an incredibly radiant and a beautiful blue.

Besides the denim, we finally pulled the cattail paper which made gorgeous, thin paper.

Incredible, right? It feels so light and the transparency is a delight. But the most amazing part is the strength of the paper. It seems so delicate in the drying process, yet, when all the water is finally squeezed out- the strength is astronomical.

Other favorite moments of mine recently:

-dyed cattail paper.

-friends in the studio (shout-out to J. Buckwalter and family!). They definitely brought a fun energy to the studio!

-learning the Eastern method of pulling paper. Let me just say, it revolutionized the way I pull paper. Repeatedly last week, I told Jillian that I wouldn’t go back to the Western method. I stand by that proclamation. In trying to figure out a way to explain the difference between Western and Eastern, I figured that an expert could do it better than I could. Here go.

“Inside the sukibune are two narrow boards or ottori that are used to rest or support the keta (papermaking mould) when opening it to remove or insert the su (flexible screen). The major difference between a Japanese style mould and a Western mould is that the Western mould has a removable deckle and a rigid surface screen attached to the mould. The Japanese mould is hinged together with the deckle and the screen is a flexible removable surface” (http://www.awagami.com/basics.html#process).

Now, a picture to explain what that just meant!

After the sheet is formed, it’s necessary to pull the su off of the pulp…like so:

I wish I could put into words why this method resonates with me so much. A lot of it has to do with the way the su feels and moves- it is fluid and natural. I love it.

So, there’s a bit of what we’ve been doing. Thanks for taking the time to read and as always, come visit us in the studio!

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