Friday, November 03, 2017

Last haul

Mid-week, I thought I'd harvest milkweed on Thursday. But the evening before, I happened to check the weather report, which called for rain. I rushed home to make a quick dinner, checked time for sunset, and drove to David's and Allie's beautiful field to harvest before I lost light and got drenched. For the first time, I thought of Robin Wall Kimmerer's words about not taking the first plant, and not taking all. That meant I got to wander more of the land, and have a different relationship to these plants. I was amazed that some were still greenish and a few pods hadn't even burst. Those that had had a lot of seeds that hadn't gotten far, so I tried to help them along.
It has been really hard this season to forgo seed silks (only because of time restraints), but what bounty I've gotten has been so welcome.
This is just a few pieces of Thai kozo mixed with bleached kozo. It's marbleized fiber! It may be heinous, but beating the tough white stuff actually brings the Thai down faster. Also, the fiber that was cooked and bleached must have been either poorly cooked, or really tought (likely the latter), because it barely comes down with hand beating.
After finding out that I got into the Smithsonian Craft Show for April, I went into a panic and cut down at least 20 big sheets of hanji to start more cords. I know this will NOT get done before I leave, but I have to stay on track for this. I'm going to have to more than double my inventory because of a concurrent large show.
Last night, I realized I had been off since getting back, and that is because I haven't been making paper. I knew my last tiny batch of milkweed would not even charge the hanji vat, so I did smaller sheets on my sugeta. Smart, since I only got about 17 sheets (most of them laminated to embed pieces like what's above). Composing books at the vat has become really pleasurable, and amazingly all of the sheets stuck to the boards so that when I came in this morning, I had 100% flat and beautiful sheets.

I finished the labels for this book, that has been sitting, essentially done, for at least a month. I have two other books that are half finished. I would LOVE to get all the books done before I go. The rest of this weekend will be hanji filled, as long as I can keep up with hand beating!

1 comment:

Velma Bolyard said...

oh beautiful!