Thursday, 15 August 2013

Papermaking - day 4

Beating it to a pulp
Today we started using kozo to make japanese paper.  You might know this as mulberry paper - very fine with the fibres showing.  To use kozo it has to be soaked and cooked which Mandy did last night, then it has to be cleaned of any little bits of left over bark and then beaten with a wooden mallet or rock.  This took all morning.
However Mandy was right - it was worth it.  It is the most amazing paper and by adding tororo-aoi to the pulp suddenly we could dip our moulds and deckles more than once to make thicker paper or to add more colour.
I can totally understand why we started with the western style paper.  While we are pulling the japanese paper in the same way, it is much harder to pull a good sheet straight away and the previous three days of pulling sisal, cotton and abaca sheets have at least given us all a reasonable technique.
One of the best parts of each day is when I first arrive and I can see how yesterdays papers have dried.  Often the colours are quite different and you can really feel the texture of the paper.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how my kozo paper has turned out tomorrow.

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