Saturday, December 29, 2018


it's time for the reckoning, or in modern americanese: inventory.
i've taken a totally arbitrary approach here, 
picking photos from my desktop:

1. copper pipe marked by goldenrod leaves from a workshop years ago 
with india flint at long ridge farm.
it's resting on one of the stump looms.
the right kind of alchemy.
 2. linda marshall of washi arts is an amazing advocate for japanese paper
a fine friend 
and host who took care of me in vancouver last fall. 
she's a terrific guide for me, 
and provides all kinds of 
help for artists wanting to use 
really good papers.
 3. this book, 
Indigo Patterns 
was purchased this year by Owen D Young Library at St Lawrence University. 
it's a book i loved making, 
the cover is "shifu" with dyed pattern paper, 
linen paper, 
and slippery elm bark weft, linen paper warp. 
pages are indigo dyed pattern papers,
tacketed binding.
 4. my little Flax Notion edition sold out!
i loved making this one.
all flax.
 5. fern dust: 
i'm in a conversation with mari newell who also works with it.
and yes, it IS a thing.
 6. rocks. 
i love rocks, 
these are from jasper beach
and i love how shanna wraps lake michigan rocks. 
 7. milkweed. 
as ever my favorite ever paper that i've made, 
my fist edition done so long ago that my children 
(now 33 and 36) were in grade school while i made it. 
it's a generous and strong plant.
 8. we lost gwen this year, 
shown here in the foreground.
 unusually behind her pack 
 9. raw flax paper. 
absolutely nothing like it.
 10. i think this book, 
12 Moons, 
sold this year to Baylor University by Alicia Bailey 
(but maybe it was last year, sigh) 
shifu cover, silk endpapers, pages all botanical contact printed.
double pamphlet stitch binding.
 11. still contact printing mostly on paper, 
occasionally on shifu 
(which IS paper). 
 12. my papermaking class. 
only one student in the bunch was an art major. 
the four adult students and i meet every so often to talk 
and make books. 
it's nifty. 
this group was such a blessing to me, 
keeping me thinking about papermaking. 
all autumn.
i started a post today and meant to go way elsewhere, 
but here we are instead. 
you all who read are blessings, too.
thank you, you are a joy.
please feel free to contact me through the website, 
blogger seems to be ignoring me here and out on others' sites, too.
as for from now until february 2 when hannah and i get on planes for california, 
i will be working on 
for CODEX .

Friday, December 21, 2018

eagle solstice

there have been bald eagles this winter
four so far, 
two last trip into the forest preserve.
there were many years without eagles altogether,
so this is good.

 there was some snow left on the setback near newton falls last weekend.
 a real wilderness sense
despite being near old industrial sites
(newton falls paper mill, benson mines)
 and someone left an apple.
 now it's warm and the snow is gone and they're predicting rain and floods and wind
but it's
 i began the day early
finishing up the leftover pulp from the semester.
indigo pigmented abaca
may this solstice sustain your heart.

Friday, December 14, 2018

winding down

another class has ended, 
the moulds cleaned and felts washed and stacked neatly.
and i am happy with my class, 
so many beautiful (in the richest sense) young people, 
and my four mature students, also beautiful.
there was some leftover pulp 
so after giving away all that was wanted
 i brought the rest home for some kitchen papermaking,
aka making little papers.
 the studio is equipped with lee mcdonald miniature laid and wove moulds
business card size: purchased during handpapermaking's auction one year.
 and a 5 square inch mould from the paperwright, britt quinlin
on loan from slu.
 aimee sent me a little stack of kozo papers.
this was my favorite, 
 it's now a nifty ball of kami-ito

 turkey trot: 
arrows going somewhere, 
pointing or not to 
they were atop one of the rises on my walk
disappeared into the woods
leaving behind evidence. 

 and a spruce near the highbush cranberry 
seems to be the place where whomever eats the berries

 spruce and cranberry
and partially eaten

Monday, December 10, 2018

too long

the fall semester seems a little too long
about now,
but there is a sense of catching up as everyone makes their
last sheets of paper:
cotton rag (recycled)
when rachael asked for color
she was delighted with how purple happened
when we added in some off-cuts and beat them with the abaca/kozo
and then she 
chose what she thought might be a rich teal.
she mixed off cuts of green, yellow, and midnight blues...
the pulp promised a deep teal
but resolved into a layered light summer green.
this color mixing was more like working with paint than pigment,
or a chemical alchemy unpredictable
because we worked with leftovers.
 my 15, six vats,
eli's wee moulds made at the farm.
 we got some waterproof aprons! 
and supplement with the printmaking ones
 so many folks in a small space
shared with the silkscreen class, too!
i have them fairly well trained...
six of the students are living at the farm
where the sustainability program runs what looks a lot like a supported commune
(remember communes? now called intentional communities around here.)
the sustainability program has taken on the motto:
they understand they why of making paper by hand.

winter supplies on the porch:
milkweed pods
 dead leaves and sticks (iris, daylily, milkweed)
 new snow shovel
contact printing bundle of plants
 slippery elm bark
 more sticks
 black walnut dye
i often wonder what delivery or service folks think. 
my friends know that the porch is a bit of a supply/storeroom/disaster.
 one of my favorite neighborhood buildings
a wobbly roofline 
indicates it won't make it much longer.
 not all tracks left behind are wildlife
 snow caps on cut birch
 icing up

 if i'm really brave i harvest some greenery for printing
it's really hard on your hands.
so cold.
that old barn in the last sunshine of the day
 snow comes and goes as winter locks in.
on a fine day in december, as the sun begins the fast setting
it's time to reflect.
the year winds down.
it's time for hunger in the woods.

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