Friday, January 30, 2009

Now my hands are really tired

They took a battering today. It didn't help that I sewed books all last night until I couldn't see anymore. I realized that it wasn't glue I was peeling off of my skin, but my skin. No wonder why thimbles were invented. Of course mine is at home in NY.

Today was my final day at the vat. It was combined w/a very concerted documentation effort, ALL on self timer. I dreaded doing it since it completely messes w/a papermaking flow, which just makes me look all clunky and disconcerted on camera, but this is my only chance. Halfway through, I thought, "hm, maybe it's not a good idea to be dripping water onto all my camera buttons." My tripod is drying right now. I did my best; we'll see how it looks tonight when I see all the footage.

I pulled regular sheets and then after taking a 2x4 and whacking it for a little while on the floor, I pulled the Swamp Thing. AKA the green and black layers - the outer bark layers that we scraped off of the white inner layer used for prime paper. I felt like I went from this nice pristine vat where I had all this space to think and mull things over, to a green swamp w/crap floating all around. It's HARD pulling that stuff b/c it's so much heavier and the huge bark pieces don't stay on the screen so it takes more manipulation. Leading to lots of back pain. My right knee gets all freaked out when I am at the vat for a while. I haven't figured that one out. But I wore hot packs on my soles and my back, which kept me warm.

At lunch, my hands were a big red swollen mess. I was so zonked that I went straight to the box container after eating and laid down w/the three other women (in their late 60s/early 70s) and took a nice siesta on the heated floor. Then I got up and tried to sew another book but my hands hurt so much that I couldn't. I eventually got up the nerve to get back to the vat to do swampy swamp action and now, after cleanup, I'm ready for a vacation.

Seriously. The thought of six more months in Korea right now is not a particularly pleasant thought. I think I need to spend some quality time back in Seoul looking for a vacation, out of the country. If anyone has good ideas for Asia/SE Asia for a tuckered out papermaker who might benefit from a partial lobotomy, pass them along. [Though I might just go ahead and make do w/a papermaking excursion to the Philippines. But the idea of an 8-hour bus ride from Manila to the papermaking village isn't my idea of a vacation...]

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