Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rainbow days

red (purple) onion skins
what remains after persimmon, brazilwood, onion
persimmon brushed hanji corners, for a different project
ground cochineal (the brazilwood was too weak, time to overdye)
this was the day when it looked like a murder scene
pre cochineal
after the 3rd extraction of bugs
All that remains: another batch of cochineal that is almost dry + a new batch of onion skin that is overdyeing persimmon that is drip drying. The question now is how this all transforms into an installation, and I only have two weeks to answer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


I'm now in the phase of being home where the panic has set in because there is suddenly so much less time. In less than a month, I will be in France. Before that, New York. In between, a brief change of bags in Brussels. The cold days of making string and cord will soon end.
These are rough, intentionally, and gleefully made from many of my broke hanji: the stuff I've kept for years that has all kinds of problems. They don't necessarily disappear in rope form, but are much less offensive and much more useful.
Yellow onion skins, check. Indigo vat, check (thanks to Pam!). On the stove right now: red onion skins. Waiting for tomorrow: brazilwood shavings (also thanks to Pam, from several years ago. Some gifts last a long time). What comes next will hopefully unravel some serious frustration and constipated ideas. There are lots of other things in the wings, but now, time to make some green cords!

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Another moon, another year

We had another lesson this weekend, upstairs in the room that has my jiseung garbage can. It's fun to have a student who is willing to grip the basket between her feet like I was first taught. Another reason to work with flexible, growing youth: it's much easier for them to sit this way than those of us who are slowly ossifying.
This vat was delayed a week through a mix of my inertia and unwillingness to do hard labor during the super cold temps last week.
But yesterday I was much better about agitating my vat (it's terrible that I get lazy about this step, of all steps, as it is one of the easiest in comparison and makes a big difference in the final sheet). That means that I was sore immediately and today. It uses a lot of muscles in a way that I usually never do.
My new camera makes it possible to get better action shots, though I still need to sort out compression because these look worse than my cell phone pics. I dislike spending so much precious time learning the device, but am grateful for my lesson from a pro friend so I understand the most important basics.
What's this? An experiment I have wanted to do for a while!
Powdered persimmon coating sprinkled between layers of hanji. I used a pepper shaker, but it dumps a bit too much so I want to find a better tool, maybe like a tiny sifter. Results are very promising as the color migrates through layers and layers to create almost photographic layers of blur and crisper points. Sadly, I have to put this aside while I work on another deadline, but glad to have another batch of fiber tested. Happy new year (though a friend warned me that the year of the pig may be a difficult one for me, a snake. That's not how I want to start out the year, though, so I won't)—this is my final month laying low before big travel.