Wednesday, January 18, 2017

here and flax

a mild but windy stretch
of winter
has really assisted my barn 
in falling apart.
so weird to see the raw inside timbers outside.
the sky
when clear
has had odd clouds
sometimes just hanging out
little bits of rainbows.
trying to beat fiber with sticks
and the giant mallets at zone 4--
my hands hurt so much after using them
i ordered these lovely
apple and maple ones
the last bit of my personal paper intensive
has been all about flax.
linen rag papers
below are off cuts from new painter's canvas
i pull lovely little samples
that are business card size.
driving one morning an owl watched as i 
stopped the car,
rummaged through all my stuff in a big basket
finally finding the camera,
and finally aiming, 
owl said, enough, and flew off.
(i think it was a barred owl)
always have your camera ready to grab when you're driving!
so here's the linum usitatissimum stash
(there are about 60 more large tan sheets in the drying stack at Z4) 
dark = linen canvas cloth
tan = cut flax fiber from belguim
white = one small tablecloth, minus decorative edges
(largest sheets are about 13 x 18)
flax and linen rag paper has a fierceness about it,
it's lovely to pull
makes a delicious scent in the vat
but dries tight and cockles easily
turning the edges into potato chips 
something to understand.
i like that it's not easy.
this little sheet below
is maybe my favorite paper from this winter
sits on nigel peake's drawn grid
holding pebbles from maine.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

winter paper intensive

the animals around here 
certainly have a sense of humor.
this black walnut is hidden in plain sight.
(hidden after the cushions were removed for the winter)
on the old, many times repaired glider on my porch.
there was a lot of milkweed prep & papermaking
 an almost empty pod
 finished stack
 a sense of translucency
 meanwhile, a little tour of Zone 4
 making paper with lee mcdonald moulds
(see the tiny one on upper left?)
 surface design
 further Z4 images
 i keep finding more
 sending this out to our pres
 thought crime
 and home curating milkweed
reading the recipes
winifred lutz, gin petty, lilian bell.
lilian bell's helpful book was a treat to re-read
right there were my notes in the margins from ages ago.
 at Z4 i was going through a basket of paper offcuts
and leftovers
meant for recycling.
and there was a bit one of my first milkweed papers.
it was great to see this
and very informative because i keep learning.
left: milkweed circa 1986
right january 2017
 what changed?
fiber was cut to 1 inch in the old sheet, and formation aid was tororo aoi.
new paper i left fibers long, hand beaten until my hands hurt
 eventually i chopped and blendered a bit.
i also used prepped formation aid leftover from peace paper at Z4.

and then, 
 i got to the linen rag paper.
that pulp that clogged the hollander a month ago,
was set aside, fermented a bit, frozen on the porch 
(see the walnut above)
and thawed and beating completed.
the first little linen rag paper sample
 the levis after papermaking
linen paper with jasper beach stones
there are also some large 12 x 18 sheets.
(the largest here is 8.5 x 11
smallest is business card size)
 it was cold outside yesterday morning
and today it's snowing. 
we can use it, and if we get enough, 
the new snowshoes will get a workout!
 the woods was etched with rime.
 beautiful beyond belief.
this project i participated in
love trumps hate
shu-ju wang orchestrated this, made the print (in my case)
and just sent the whole bunch out to the 53 participants.
now i will make the prayer flag.
and i have an idea where it should hang.

Monday, January 2, 2017


evening and night
 my meadow,
where i harvested all that milkweed
 we celebrated new years eve
listening to our local public radio, wslu,
and talking.
wakening to a lovely day.
we often drive from the place i call home
to cranberry lake
down tooley pond road.
i had ice cream for lunch
and then we went out for a walk in the woods
at home.
evidence of an old tree stand
and some amazing trees
that have grown in unusual ways. 
 this one holds two dead trees.
 this birch really really wanted to keep growing
after winter arched it down
 it continued on.
 this woods is very rich,
but actually the soil is thin
and galacial erratics pepper it.
 and so many 
rock ridges follow the same path,
of course there are sugar maples
red and striped maple, hickory, hemlock spruce, white pine
june berry...
 and here's another.
a stream makes an S 
 through this little bit of the
 great north woods.
at home
the barn continues to bend.
 isn't it crazy
that something so huge 
just melts away? 
i am so happy
that the days are a fraction of an inch longer.
i sense it, know it, and celebrate it. 
happy new year.
and thank you all for your attention, 
your caring.

and there's a new interview with me
over at zoneone arts.
seems that zones are currently in my world 
(zones one and four, that is).

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