Claudia has been teaching me how to pigment pulp using a Whiz Mixer. I have learned about how to add Retention Aid, Sizing, and Pigments. I made pulp in tan and terracotta- which I now know press and dry much much lighter than they appear when wet. I also have been adding Supersparkle from Carriage House, testing out what happens when the powdered mica (which is Supersparkle) is added to the vat or sprayed onto pressed wet sheets. It is very pretty and really seductive.
In addition to learning about pigments and other additives, I've been experimenting with beating cotton rag- specifically denim found in the "free box" (where students donate/ recycle old clothing here at the Appalachian Center for Craft).
I was warned by Claudia that we have so much soap in our clothes that I didn't need to "wash" the denim, I could simply rinse it a lot before beating it. I was lucky and the suds didn't get too out-of-control. The color is BEAUTIFUL. I still have a ways to go in beating it, so i had to put it on hold for a while.
[Cotton rag shredded on the left and halfway beaten on the right.]