Hello everyone! Welcome to a new year, a new start, full of new opportunities and continuing challenges.
In November last year, I posted about an online papermaking workshop that I have been participating in. Read about it HERE.
Since then I've progressed further with my process - including cooking and beating, as well as the most exciting part - the forming of the sheets.
It was a long, very physical process, different to my usual fibres of native grasses and banana trunks. A surprisingly meditative process (in other words, lots of patience and attention required!). Not something I'd do if I was in a rush.
I produced a small series of sheets, using both a Japanese-style sugeta and my western style mould with a circle deckle. I've very happy with completed sheets - they have the softness and strength of kozo, though a little more beige than the white sheets I made in Japan a few years ago. That's most likely from contamination from the outer bark. But I'm very proud that I made it myself - from the sourcing, the collecting, the peeling, the stripping, the cooking, the hand beating, and the forming of sheets. An intense journey over a couple of weeks!
During the workshop I enjoyed connecting with papermakers from the other side of the world (Northern hemisphere) and listen to their own journeys with this beautiful fibre.
Many thanks to Amy our tutor in Florida for her documentation and videos which will continue to assist me as I work my way through the rest of the fibre that I have collected (I have only used a tiny fraction of what I collected so far!).
I'm planning on using my kozo sheets to create an artwork for submission to the International Paper Fibre Art Biennial Exhibition Kozo Contemporary exhibition later this year.
|Paper Mulberry inner bark fibre during cooking.|
I used washing soda to break down the fibres.
|Hand beating with a mallet, an art in itself|
as well as a work out!
|The beaten fibre. I preferred my fibre|
with a bit of texture, so I probably didn't
beat it as long as I should have....
|I used okra to create my formation aid,|
which is a viscose liquid added to the vat
to help the fibres float in the water.
This helps to create more even sheets.
|My circle sheet of paper on my|
ready to couch off.
|My homemade Sugeta,|
using an old sushi mat.
There's a sheet of paper on there ready to couch.
Luckily I used one of these in Japan a few years
ago so I had some idea on how to form the sheet,
but its still very tricky as I remember!
|You can see the beautiful textures|
of the dried kozo paper.
|Circle sheets drying on my board.|