Sunday, September 24, 2017

hot weather around autumnal equinox

having students who stay late after class
or who come to work in the studio 
on other days
makes me really happy.
 book arts does that.
 at home i've had a second pot of black walnut
on the stove for several days,
dyeing up some cotton tubular yarn
and deep ,dark, delicious silk.
 drying quickly in the heat

and then there's this silk
 i love making small sample sheets
 and i bought a copy of this catalog
which includes india's work.
 and all of the linen suit paper is pulled, pressed, dried,
some of it pigmented,
shown here in the last pile of blotters and books.
 and here are some lake superior agates
some have eyes
and lanscapes inside
 the flax suit, linen rag papers
natural, yellow ochre, st lawrence riverside woods earth
 here they all are
a big harvest from a blazer and pants
not counted, 
not my habit to count
 and here's a gift 
that i've taken apart in preparation for spinning
 details like glued on tiny notes
sort of post-it notes (two of them)
and a paper thread sewing up the signature

 one page rehabbed by gluing on a new paper.
a sort of white out.
 not throwing or xing out
 taking apart a book, even a simple account book, 
is extremely instructive.
it's a lovely gift from a friend
who understands my love of these old books
which i use for kami-ito making.
it was 85 degrees here, 
in town it was 87.
predicted to be hotter yet tomorrow.

Monday, September 18, 2017

a gift of summer in fall

i have continued making paper with hemp and linen and earth pigments. 
managing drying at home can be tedious
using blotters and weights helps, but oh for a dry box!
these are hemp (the indigo) and hemp plus linen (the pale with threads) 
and i like their strength and presence.
making small sheets 
(about 5 x 8 inches) 
gives me a chance to really enjoy these slow draining pulps
without pulling out my hair in waiting frustration.
which is what i do when i move to larger sheets.
sunday i made 12 x 14 size, 
not large, 

meanwhile i decided i would buy 
a heavier jenkins turkish drop spindle
for kami-ito making.
it's a pretty thing.
and the next photo is a bit humbling, but...
you need to see and understand the mistakes which are signposts of learning 
or re-learning.
because i have to practice skills i haven't used for years.
(this reminds me of driving standard again after years of automatic.)
but when you scrutinize less
you can see some interesting things here:
all recycled book except the thread.
book cloth was gifted.
pages were failed silkscreen prints
foraged from the trash can at school.
board recycled from another use.
and it was a way to stretch myself:
lots of sewing
four needles
estimating thread lengths
gluing the bookcloth
guling the endsheets
double or not the attachments to boards
pagination: how to keep the green, blue, yellow, and white interesting
so you want to turn the pages.
i like setting up challenges for myself.
and learning that i have to keep that sewing pattern
right so the book is not an embarrassment.
yesterday i was stunned by this
and this
we are having such warm weather
that we can have windows wide open at night
and it's sunny and so different to have this wonderful time.

Monday, September 11, 2017

september is always so busy!

the second day of peace paper at zone 4
drew and jana set students up to prep cloth
here a multitude of retired t shirts
color batched into the hollander and ready for papermaking.
z4's little valley beater
(drew says it's the best one in the country)
makes short work of a pound of t-shirt
actually about 20 minutes or less per load. 
 below, combining peace paper blurb, military uniforms from drew's work with veterans
and our sophomore seminar (melissa and me doing book arts)
 intergenerational chopping
in the print shop at slu.
 and then sheet forming.
our class really became quite skilled.
in the background is tom lascall 
who lives here and always lends a hand when peace paper is in town.
 the paper production line
 sara lynch and her friend viola came by
and made a couple of sheets
sara is an artist/potter from potsdam, 
she taught me a bit about clay last summer
 we dried paper in the dry box and by hanging the pressed papers on their felts 
 a full mill
 on the home front
we had the sawyer in to make boards from the trees
m. felled last winter
practicing forest health
and making lumber.
 the piles of drying lumber 
are behind the extra firewood (look between the two front stacks).
 saturday afternoon/evening and sunday morning we unloaded 
two wagons of lumber
mostly white pine, but also
oak, ash, black cherry, and poplar.
 pallets sourced from local businesses
are the bases for our drying stacks
 and where, oh where, are the final stacks?
if your body was as weary as mine was
after 6 hours of helping (and i was only the helper)
you'd have forgotten that photo, too!
back home i made some kami-ito
steamed it
and wove a small long cloth
for a tsunobukuro
 grapes for size comparison.
 and then i made a second one
with only one strand of linen sewing the seams.
 if you have Hirokos' book you will have seen her set up for cutting kozo
and Susan's shows it as well.
my set up included shanna leino's leather weights
which serve to hold the sheet while cutting
and serve and a hand rest for my left hand
which gets mighty tired holding down that straightedge.

 i kept a candle lit to keep me focused and happy
i love the smell of beeswax.
 and am almost ready to use these covers i made
years ago with local jeweler and bead maker 
mary harding.
and today i get to teach again with melissa
book arts
and we get to see and touch all our beautiful new paper.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

peace paper

in the mill that healed me last winter
 many vats full of pulp
made from t-shirts and a few other bits (like hosta)
our intergenerational students
 joined drew and jana
 with some support from tom and melissa and me
 (this is our book arts class, by the way)
 making paper,
for peace, for life, for love
 we hung our pressed papers to dry on lines at the end of the class.
our class is part of this sophomore success initiative
and today, 
yard alchemy 
fresh stuff to make prints.
it's been a long time.

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