Monday, February 20, 2012

no rice paper

there is NOT a thing called
 rice paper.
that term makes a papermaker see red.
not a happy red.
recently aimee mentioned this to me.
i try not to fuss, but then i saw it on a painter's blog
and begged to clarify.
a drawer of my papers
this week's new york times magazine profiles
one of my heroes
timothy barrett.
who wrote the amazing japanese papermaking
and also this week
i found this video about another of my heroes
hedi kyle.
hedi's innovations in book structures are amazing
she is a fine and generous teacher.
milkweed bast
once upon a time my ex,
who worked in the paper industry,
brought home an inquiry
from tim at iowa.
it included some small samples and 
a request for donations of surplus lab equipment.
i don't know if the mill made a donation
but i kept the letter, the samples
 a treasure for me
one isolated adirondack papermaker.
out back 


kaiteM said...

i followed that link and eventually saw the slides, magnificent, and those hands - those fingers - such spirit.

aimee said...

yay for that clarification! funny timing b/c i did one, too, today on the plane home from berlin when the guy next to me asked if the newspaper in his hand was made of rice paper. i did not hold back :)

and worthy recognition of worthy teachers!

onesmallstitch said...

I hear you - and Aimee. How about "hand loomed"? as opposed to machine loomed or factory loomed? I see orange! and felters get annoyed when folks mix felting and fulling terms. whew!

onesmallstitch said...

and when I think about it what about "homespun" generally used to describe hand-woven fabric. ok you got me going, I'll stop now.

Velma said...

kaite, honoring our teachers is a joy.
aimee, you go girl!
jean, yes! however, there isn't even rice paper!

deanna7trees said...

well, i just talked about rice paper this week. it is what i was told it was when i bought a roll of it in the 1960s. used it for projects with the kids for many years. i didn't really think it was made from rice and didn't know why that's what it was called. you can still buy it and it is still referred to as rice paper. sorry that upsets you but most people are not paper experts. i learn from you.

leFiligree said...

what about that edible cellophane on those chewy pink candies sold in the "international aisle" at the supermarket...isnt that rice paper?


Velma said...

deanna, we were all taught this misname. it's just that the name is incorrect.

Velma said...

lF, traditional japanese paper has been touted as pure enough to eat...but don't know about the chewy pick candy wrappers!

iNd!@nA said...

just for the record
we can buy a papery substance [uncoloured] made from rice starch
which behaves like paper [can be folded, stitched etc]
as children we wrote secret messages on it with milk
that were legible when the paper was warmed in the oven
being on important missions, we ate the notes.
these days i use the stuff on the rare occasions i make nougat

they call it rice paper.
it exists in my whirled.

Velma said...

ahh, i wonder if your stuff is the same stuff as leFiligree's? anyway, what we were taught was rice paper, is just machine made "japanese" paper. there is actually a style of paperlike substance that is carefully carved from rice stalks....
BUT, i want to make secret messages that can be eaten, too!

aimee said...

a paperlike substance carved not from rice stalks, but even MORE confusingly: the "rice paper plant." why they had to go an name it that, agh. i think that first, asians (i am being vague b/c i am not sure who exactly) had sliced away this pith from a plant that had its own name, and then decorated it and sold it in increasing quantities to europeans (i think mostly british). and then the europeans got all confused when they saw asian paper, since it looked like that pith stuff. they thought the paper was made of rice and must have christened the plant that yielded pith the rice paper plant. confusion and misunderstanding piled one after the gets mind boggling.

Judy Martin said...


I went to the link about Timothy Barrett and thank you for it.

It is inspiring to see someone work at his craft so diligently and for so long. And to write a book about it.

The videos put out by senior artists are a worthy project.
Good of you to share such information here. Thank you.

Velma said...

aimee, i remember seeing a video about that stuff LONG ago (at carriage house, perhaps?) and it wasn't even rice stalks (which are thin as opposed to that stuff which was not thin). will the confusion never end???
judy, tim and hedi are both treasures, i hope to someday meet tim.

Jenny Weissel said...

Dear Velma,

Enjoyed seeing your paper drawer - question: in that drawer what are plant fibres for sheets top left, bottom left, and bottom right? Such interesting tones compared to what we generally get from Australian plants. Hope to meet you at IAPMA in Cleveland this year. Cheerio,

Jenny Weissel,
Hand paper artist/IAPMA member,
Sydney, Australia.

Velma said...

jenny, the papers are daylily, slippery elm, and milkweed.

Jenny Weissel said...

Thanks Velma, we have daylily but not the other two. I was in Scotland last year making horsetail+Scottish linen paper and fascinated by difference between northern cf. southern hemisphere tones and textures - even our Pangaean remnant plants have adopted Gondwanan characteristics. Re Melbourne:Cleveland, my email separately. Love your paper! Jenny.

Velma said...

and this daylily was gathered very early in the season, when the leaves had matured, but WAY before blossoms appeared. there was alot of green in there!

Velma said...

...which is, alas, fugitive...

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