Lake Paper II

Today I actually got a chance to make paper in the lake.

Nashville Public Libary

On a recent trip to Nashville, Claudia and I scheduled a "tour" of the Wilson Limited Editions Collection at the Nashville Public Library. It is such a wonderful resource in a city so close to us and we had a great time seeing the handmade papers, prints, and bindings. Having studied printmaking, I enjoyed seeing prints by Betye Saar, Jim Dine, Benny Andrews, Barry Moser, Robert Motherwell, and Faith Ringgold. The bindings --especially the later books that focused more on artistic quality-- were so beautiful. Many had clam shell boxes, pockets, portfolios, and even bronze decoration on the top- like The Temple of Flora (containing Jim Dine's gestural prints).

Hearing the history of the collection from Elizabeth Coleman as she showed us some of the most interesting pieces was a real treat. She is a great storyteller, knowledgeable about both historical and aesthetic aspects of the pieces and so enthusiastic about everything.

From the Wilson Limited Editions Collection website linked on the right hand side:

"The Limited Editions Collection includes over 800 books, dating from 1929 to the present, most published by the Limited Editions Club and Arion Press, as well as separate portfolios of some of the fine artwork that illustrates many of the beautifully-bound books. Books and artwork from the collection are on display in the East Reading room at the Main Library during regular hours. Individual appointments to view materials not currently on display may be arranged by calling 862-5800."


The Gilded Leaf

So Claudia and I went to pick up a guillotine from Robert Owen Roberts whose business is called The Gilded Leaf. He is upgrading a lot of his equipment and had some things for sale. Trained as a bookbinder in Chicago, Roberts has relocated to Maryville, TN. His work is astonishing. While some of his work is extremely creative and has beautiful texture and color combinations as well as unusual decorative elements, he actually specializes in historic restoration. Much of his work is in restoring family bibles and historical ledgers. He showed us a sample of a springback ledger, a style of binding we had never seen. He has an extensive collection of very high-quality marbled papers, made for historical accuracy. Even the cases for the books were as amazing as the books themselves.

There is more information about his work and detailed photos on his blog for the Gilded Leaf:
http://gildedleafbindery.blogspot.com/ (Also linked in the list to the right.)


Itajime II

These are my paper samples using itajime block resist and non-waterproof ink. I found it best to let it dry, then unclamp. Claudia mentioned I should look up orizomegami and shiborizome gami rather than itajime. However, I still have yet to find anything online that shows the crispness and geometry of itajime methods on paper.


Itajime Paper

In teaching a class this weekend on Itajime (traditionally folded/block-resisted/dyed fabric), I wondered if this has been done with paper. It has, of course-- but not much. I couldn't find much online on how to do it. However, I decided to work with some of my eastern-style handmade papers.

Here's what I came up with after a couple tries:
1. fold then wet the paper by spraying it with water.
2. clamp the paper with plexi blocks and C clamp.
3. brush on INK- I used black non-waterproof (but I read somewhere that waterproof is best?) I think this is better than having to rinse the paper after dyeing
The result:

The problem I ran into was: Should I let the piece dry, then unfold it --or unfold is when it is damp so that the folds do not stick permanently?? This is something I'm still experimenting with. The ink bled into the resist very quickly when it was unclamped while damp- so maybe I'll try letting it dry and see if the paper survives...

[My original Itajime samples which inspired this project.]


So the denim pulp idea was put on hold for taking forever-- also the studio had to be used last weekend for my Itajime workshop. Today I divided up what I had in the beater initially and decided to resume beating it in smaller quantities. After restarting it today, I had to call in Cherry Cratty to troubleshoot. The material was not breaking up. She brought over a great book and suggested that I lower the beater blade more- and also cook the rest of the material in soda ash. I had lowered the beater blade when I had the original large load in the beater and felt like I was overworking the machine and getting it too hot. With less material circulating this time, it was safe to lower it and make it work. Within minutes I could see a difference. Thanks, Cherry!!!

*Claudia returns from John C Campbell folk school today. One of her upcoming workshops, Handmade Paper: Beyond the Basic Sheet, will be here at the Appalachian Center for Craft July 18-23. Registration is still available at 615.597.6801. I'll be there as an assistant, Claudia's workshops are always a hit (very productive too), and this place is so beautiful this time of year.