6-6-06 (A storm on May 31 knocked out my
modem. No, it hasn't taken me this long to get it fixed, but I had to
play catch-up for several days, and this is my first chance to update the
journal since then.) I may regret this, but I'm taking a beginning
watercolor class at the Berea Arts Council. It's taught by Dinah
Tyree. I'm clueless when it comes to watercolor, or any form of
painting, for that matter. My insecurity is unbelievable, but I trust
Dinah. She's a hoot and just plain fun to be around.
6-7-06 Survived the first evening of
watercolor. This stuff is neat. And I knew most of the
participants in the workshop, which helped with the insecurity. More,
with pictures next week.
6-8-06 Yesterday, I pulled a couple of
very thin mulberry sheets like
those that went over the ginkgo leaves on the
book fronts. Because
the fibers in the sheet seem to disappear
when waxed, I wanted to have these to show the workshop
participants what is holding the leaves in place. For me, couching
sheets this thin requires a perfectly rounded post. Otherwise, the
fibers won't come off the mould properly. Thicker sheets aren't as
particular, so I've been getting by with a slight hump in my couching
station. Yesterday I had to redo the station to offer a nice, smooth,
curved surface before the thin sheets would come off cleanly. After it
was fixed, no problem. I found out right away that I couldn't see the
mulberry on the white cotton couching sheets. It totally disappeared.
I knew it wasn't on the mould, so it had to be on the post, but I didn't
like that I couldn't see it, couldn't tell how thin the wet sheet was.
Fortunately, I had some dark turquoise couching sheets and that solved the
6-9-06 I was going to write up an entry
about what my husband and I did last night, but he's the writer in the
family, and he'd already done such a good job, that I figured I couldn't add
anything meaningful. Instead, I'll just offer you a link to his blog
the pickin' on the grounds.
6-11-06 Yesterday's Coptic workshop at
the Lexington Art League was just plain fun. The facility is
excellent, even awesome in some respects. The
classroom was spacious with gorgeous
windows that gave it an airy, open feeling. Lighting was
excellent. LAL provided a monitor to help. Just a great place to
teach. But even better were the participants. Sometimes class
groups work and work well together; sometimes they don't. This
particular bunch was a delight, fun to be with, fun to teach. The one
thing that I truly regret is that I didn't get a group photo. I did
manage to get these six shots (1 -
6) while we were working. If
all groups were like this one, I would teach every weekend. Thoroughly
Back to the top
quick plug for this coming weekend's Bluegrass in the Park. If
you're planning on being in Berea, put this on your calendar. Bring a
chair or blanket, even a picnic dinner, then sit back and enjoy. It's
free and a great place to enjoy an evening of music with friends and family.
June 16-17 Bluegrass in the Park
7 pm Dave Hurt as Grandpa Jones
8 pm – 10 pm The
Dale Ann Bradley Band
5 pm – 6:30 pm Lewis & Donna Lamb
8 pm – 10 pm
New River Line
6-14-06 Okay, so
I lied. No pictures from tonight's watercolor class. I was
having too much fun and simply forgot about having the camera with me.
Maybe next time...maybe.
weeks ago, Kathi Pruett gave me the hickory bottom out of a one hundred year-old
settee. The boxes of hickory (yes, it took two of them to hold it)
have been sitting out in the garage ever since. Today I finally found
time to get started with it. The stuff is dry beyond belief, basically
lifeless, so much so that it could be broken more easily than it could be
cut. You even be able to get a sense of how brittle it is in
this shot. (It was
also incredibly dusty, so please excuse the dirty hand in the picture.)
At some point early on in its life, the settee bottom had been finished with
what I'm assuming was
varnish. That doesn't really concern me. The hickory will be
cooked in lye, and I've used lye many, many times to remove paint from old
boards. What does concern me is that brittleness and how that plays
into fiber strength for paper. It was interesting, though. Once
the hickory had been soaked for half and hour, it was as pliable as new bast
just off the tree. I'm glad I broke it up before soaking! I'll
let it soak a few hours, and probably cook it either this evening or
Saturday. **While I was waiting on the hickory to soak, I pulled some
extra thick sheets of
with partially beaten hickory inclusions for booklet covers. Gack!
I don't like pulling thick! The sheets seem bulky and utterly
unlovely. Still, these had to be thick...but that doesn't mean I have
to like the sheets or like pulling them.
I cooked the 100 year-old hickory a couple of days ago,
but didn't have time to beat it until today. Cooking only took 2.5
hours and beating 2 hours, as opposed to 3.5 hours and 3 hours for new
hickory. That's a plus. The
pulp from the old hickory is
darker than new hickory, but that's no big deal, and I doubt that it
will be noticeable in the paper. However, there is another problem.
Apparently some of the hickory in the seat bottom contained the black, corky
stuff that I find in #2 hickory. When I was breaking the hickory up
before cooking, it was so dusty, I didn't bother checking for that.
And, too, I'm not accustomed to seeing #2 hickory used in seat bottoms.
(The craftsmen here are far too particular about their work to do something
like that.) I first noticed the stuff about an hour into beating.
It had collected at the bottom of the outlet....gritty, nasty feeling stuff
on the bottom. I've been through this before when I beat #2, so I knew
what was going on. When it came time to empty the tub, I carefully
skim-dipped, staying away from the bottom, hoping that the majority of the
chunks would stay on the bottom and allow me to get at least part of the
pulp out clean. Dipping that way worked for about half the load, and
it was fairly chunk free.
That batch I kept separate. The second half was
full of the gritty stuff.
Bad. If I knew then what I know now, I would have checked the pieces
as I broke them. It's easy enough to see what will cause problems and
what won't. But then...I would have had to wash them before I could
actually see the wood. Remember? There was 100 years
worth of dust on the inside of that seat. As it turned out, the paper
really isn't all that bad if it's well pressed. This is a shot of
the worst section of a sheet.