Tom brought over the white developing tray that Tim suggested for picking bark, and set it up on top of a light table at the Morgan for my apprentices. Here, Charity and Ivey pick away to yield what is in that small container between them. It is looking very lovely, but we can barely keep up with processing because of these tedious steps. This is why almost no one in the world does this kind of work.
I'm still determined to do test batches, though, of kozo cooked in soda ash, and wood ash, and hand beaten, and machine beaten, and then we will go into full-scale production. Of course none of it goes as fast as I'd like, but That's Life. But to gauge some kind of progress, they laid out all of the paper they've made in the last month to inventory. I showed them samples of high-quality hanji, and also an excellent video on sheet formation around the world by the Koretskys.
What sustains me during these sleep-deprived days is the generosity and huge hearts of friends. Today, Julie's package arrived from Portland (OR) with two huge jars of healing body balm, whose ingredients include wildcrafted herbs and flowers and buds, shea and cocoa butters, Vitamin E oil, beeswax, lavender oil, and love. The last bit being most important. She also sent beautiful hand-beaten daphne paper, one with an inclusion of indigo-dyed bark lace. Hoping this all keeps me awake as I finish up 2,000 words for a publication deadline.