Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Monster post

Re-entry has been very, very slow. I didn't go near the water often, but Kerri took Frank and me into a canoe on the last evening of the last class and though I was unprepared for hiking over a sand dune to see the sunset on Lake Michigan, I was really grateful that she got me out on the water!
I only managed to make a few miniature books in the first session before I realized that I had to prep for my own class, so I missed the other bindings.
In the mornings of the first session, I inhaled lots of sawdust while making awls and other wood tools (a piercing cradle and travel lying press). Bob Walp was a wonderful and generous teacher.
I liked working with the sticks on the ground because they were so much easier to carve than the hard woods.
Other students got way more carried away, in the best ways.

I think I only sat out at the fire twice but this first time Sarah Rose roasted me a marshmallow.
I gave my students a big lecture about taking care of their bodies while working.
The weather was PERFECT for class. Otherwise, we never would have been able to do the volume of work we did.
I sometimes wonder if I should just leave the entire first day to beating fiber and lacing bark.
Ariel was one of many working outside on a board to lace. And we had a surprise visitor, who has a book coming out next month all about lace bark in the Caribbean! I was excited to hear about these trees and traditions (nearly lost, of course) that he has been researching.
MAKING HISTORY. When have 3 hanji vats ever been set up in this country? It was never until two weeks ago. They all worked great, in styles reminiscent of their makers (Julie, Tom, and me).
Frank taught the first session class and I was SO happy to get to spend so much time with him at PBI. He taught me about socialist papermaking, where no one labels their paper and everyone gets the same number of sheets in the end. It helps remove the element of failure and encourages students to make better paper since it will be shared. Genius! I used a modified version of this system for the hanji.
For the first time, I had a press with a gauge for hanji, so we determined that somewhere between 400 and 500 psi is ideal (though I bet we could have gotten away with 500, we didn't get much beyond 400).
I set up the dye station late in the 4-day class so it was just a mad rush at the start and then no one seemed interested because they were so consumed with doing other things.
The sun dried so many of our sheets so quickly! Thank goodness for Andrea's amazing paper studio at Ox-Bow, equipped with a zillion boards. Thank goodness for Andrea, period. I can't have done it without her. The last time I was at Ox-Bow was as her TA, 10 years ago.
We had a visitor in the studio later at night, hopping around the hanji vats.
We also had a robin trapped in the studio for days. I was so scared that it would poop on my things, and then it did, and again, and again (Velma's book, post-treatment).
Fortunately, Giselle was in this class, and she took out her conservator chops to help rescue what could be rescued. I lost a portion of a hanji rope (which was halved when I had to cut out the fecal matter), but she got one book to the point where you couldn't tell. Velma's book is permanently stained but disinfected.
Grace got really into thread making.
They ended up making almost 400 sheets of hanji! If not for parting errors and desperation where sheets were dried as 4-ply instead of 2-ply, this means that they made 800 sheets. That doesn't even include the smaller ssangbal-style sheets (probably about 200 of those). A few troopers were there late into the night and pulled and pulled. I was really amazed that they were able to produce so much.
I wanted these bananas so badly that Sarah Rose made and put into the auction, and I got them! I was going to add them to my teaching collection but they might just stay home. I wish I could stay home for a good long time, but there's a lot on the books for the summer. Here are the rest of the photos; I'm back to work.


Velma Bolyard said...

lovely and very very REAL. and bananas! all those photos made me feel like i was there!

one small stitch said...

love it all - toothbrush awl, paper banana, beautiful tools and excited robin!