Monday, July 13, 2015

Getting out

Radha taught her Islamic World papermaking class this past weekend and it went great! I showed her our frozen dahlias, so she was able to include that dye in her class. They got lovely results, totally different from our dye last year.
I like this part, where she pours water over her hand for more subtle coverage. I learned that in Korea for a different process (pouring water over fermented paste) and generally think it's one of those expert touches that makes all the difference.
Radha had these lovely samples of hemp in various forms, as well as madder and another flower for dye that is traditionally used. She is so excited that we seeded madder, so in a few years, that will be ready to go. I'm happy to have a new studio person on staff who knows and cares about paper on a whole new level than we are accustomed to. I taught interns how to letterpress over the weekend and told Radha that she is in for a LOT of work, given the state of that studio. But she's up for it!
After enjoying folk music and the Creole Joe Band (two live concerts in one night!) on Friday, I had an invite the next evening to Blossom, the orchestra's summer home, and was happy to visit for the first time. Big crowd, perfect weather, so much good food and company. My duck approves of all the tasty treats in this photo.
Watching the orchestra made me miss the days of being in that world, where everyone works really hard towards a shared goal, everyone is qualified to do the work and practices hard daily to stay on top of their game, and there's a pretty clear path out of the kitchen if you can't keep up.
To try and remember what keeps me joyful, I started this tiny duck with paper mulberry bark that had been cooked, laid flat and hammered to a surface to try in sheets, and then coated several times with persimmon dye. Then I re-soaked the dry bark and pulled it all apart to make weavers and spokes for this wee one.
Finished it last night! Re-learned the lesson that weaving damp gives much neater results. Weaving dry may be easier in some respects, but you can see how bumpy and uneven the chest is, and where I resumed weaving damp up in the head. This also proved that making small ducks is just as hard (if not harder, since my fingers don't get any smaller) as the larger version. My first bark duck is very happy to join the paddling.


  1. that small duckling, superb!

  2. Anonymous11:34 AM

    oh, I hope this little duck goes on adventures, too.


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