Wednesday, May 13, 2015

100% studio

I did a total off day on Sunday before returning to the studio Monday to finish fiber prep (picking, hand beating, naginata brushing, draining fiber, storing for the next day). All afternoon, Tom and I scrubbed ALMOST every bucket that had piled up since last year. This is the downside to not enough studio hands and no consequences for not doing work. We left some for people to do but they're still sitting there.
Yesterday, I cooked four more pounds of kozo, taped the drain of the vat (we don't have a good stopper, so water and fiber gets trapped in the plumbing and contaminates the entire batch, so I plugged it), cleaned the vat, and filled it with water with one hand while eating lunch balanced on the corner of the vat with the other hand. It took me a while to finally find a clamp to hold the nozzle down so I wasn't tethered. We can use way less water than we have been and I need to mark a water line before it gets overfilled again. I patched the couching stand after Tom screwed the surface back onto the base and tested a fruit cart as an alternate couching stand (works fine, maybe even better). I finally pulled big sheets in the afternoon, and all was well—like coming home. Good fiber prep really makes all the difference.

This morning, I started a slow press on the post while rinsing and picking kozo, weeding, and learning which weeds were what from Tom while Ed came to dig up baby kozo to take back to Oberlin to plant. After lunch, I parted the sheets; the new ribbon system for parting works fabulously well, though the heat dryer is too hot in certain corners. I set everything up so Kirstin could pull sheets today while I dried, and she will find out tomorrow if her sheets + mine = enough for an order to ship as soon as possible.

I keep forgetting to take pictures of the papermaking but it is happening. The best part is weather compliance: I started the vat on our first cold day after the hot/humid blaze. Hoping to keep the vat full for less than two weeks and the patch job seems to be working. I can't stay vertical for long when I get home these days, but it's an excellent kind of tired.

1 comment:

Velma Bolyard said...

oh, to see that nice batch of paper!