Thursday, May 31, 2012

Papermaking with Plants

Our tin can deckle boxes

Julia pouring the pulp through the filter

DIY papermaking! 

Finished products

My love of plants has led me on a beautiful journey to learn about medicine, color, cloth, and many other applications of plants. Recently papermaking has been coming up in all sorts of conversations and events. Paper, like cloth and color, is something most of us use every single day and take for granted. Just like the industrial textile industry, papermaking can be an extremely exploitative, chemical laden and environmentally damaging industry. I had the chance to take a two part workshop with paper-maker extraordinaire Julia Goodman.  If you haven't seen Julia's unbelievably beautiful beet papyrus check it out - she just had a great show at 18 reasons. We watched a Japanese documentary on traditional papermaking. They say "if you're angry, the paper will not turn out" and "you must be peaceful and happy for the paper to come out beautiful." I really kept that sentiment with me. Papermaking can be a very easy and rewarding process. And you can make a simple filter (Deckle box) out of tin cans and window screens.  We used abaca (Musa textilis)  and cotton (Gossypium) pulp that came from Magnolia Editions. You can imbed beautiful dried flowers, photos, yarns, or anything else into the paper - let the experimentation begin! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Colors of Nature

I'm only sharing this one pic today, but I really think it captures alot. I've been working with this simple Shibori pattern and after the eclipse I realize why this simple beautiful resist is so evocative - it looks just like the partial solar eclipse!

This is a photo from a Natural Dye workshop held at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley, one of my most favorite places. The silk scarf is dyed with eucalyptus leaves with a post-dip in an iron bath. The bright orange red is from madder root. Enjoy!