Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Iris abaca paper, ready for prime time

I was able to peel off the paper I made yesterday, from the glass sheets in the studio I'd slapped it off onto, add it to the previous day's work, and here's a post of iris/abaca paper.  

It worked out as I'd hoped, a lovely golden color, soft to the touch from the inclusion of abaca, and with some fiber shreds here and there.  It's lovely.  The last sheets to be made, as the pulp in the vat gets used up, are usually lacy, and very transparent, and I like them a lot.  I wish you could reach in and handle them!  this paper is a lot more sturdy than it looks.

 Post, that is stack, of paper, seen from above. About 20 sheets, forgot to count them. As you see, paper making is labor intensive! two days' work here.  I still have more pulp to use up, so there will be more in the next few days.  The advantage of hot weather is that the paper dries pretty fast.  Most of the pulp sheets are in fact water, so even when they look pretty sturdy when you first turn them out, they thin down to fineness when they dry.

I have another bag of iris cuttings from this year, which I'm keeping in the outdoor storage which gets hot in summer, in a big paper bag, to use in the fall when the foliage has dried naturally.  This will give me a different color of paper.  But I like the abaca in it, so I think I'll do that again.  I also have cotton linters (that's the second cut of cotton after it's on the cotton plant, after the seeds have been ginned out) which is bright white, comes out crisp as paper, and might also be a good experiment to mix with iris pulp. 

And I'm thinking of using some of the plant dyes I've made as inks. They will be fugitive on the paper, being natural not synthetic, but will be great to try.  Except that black walnut and turmeric will probably stay bright forever just about. 

PS on the brain artwork:  Cynthia C. supplied me with the web address of the project, whereupon I sent them an image, and heard back in about thirty minutes, amazing.  Very excited, asked me to fill out questionnaire (this is a neurological research experiment as well as an art project), and talked about an exhibit next year in Amsterdam. They'll keep in touch with me before then. So we'll see. Who knows what might happen.  I'm up for it!

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