Awesome bag. Good work. Nice skull and crossbones and the colours are fun. I've used old belts for straps on bags and painstakingly (and painfully) hand sewed through the leather. Hot glue sounds much easier.
That's fabulous. Those papers look beautiful! Maybe I will experiment with using more variety of fibres for their different properties. Particularly the abaca for some sculpture ideas I'm musing about. I can see why you're excited to take another course. The book:
"The Art of Papermaking with Plants" by Marie-Jeanne Lorente, has "recipes" for single types of fibres (i.e. a maple leaf recipe, a garlic skin recipe, a reed recipe, etc.), and thus far, I've only added inclusions like flowers, blossoms or holly leaves for colour and texture. The garlic skin one I have yet to try. It is a little different, since garlic skins are fragile. The book recommends bringing the water to a boil (with some lye) first and then briefly immersing the skins. Apparently they turn orange, but with copious rinsing, the white colour returns.
I think you are absolutely right about the blackberry leaves-- neither enough nor sufficiently long fibres. The leaves broke into ~ .5 cm chunks, and the paper I suppose could be useful for something, since it is hard like cardboard. I have dried my papers under weight, but find that they dry so slowly that I'm concerned about mold and when the weights are removed I have often encountered cockling. If nothing else, these papers do look lovely and semi-translucent next to light, so maybe I should start building lanterns or something.
I'd love to see the corn leaf paper... I was just thinking about corn husks last night! I will post some pictures soon.
Hey, I've had the same sort of experience. I make lots of cakes (or did) and decorate them in interesting ways but this one time I tried to make this cake for my brother's birthday and it just had no "structural integrity" at all! It was cooked and delicious and all, but it just fell apart and looked like a cow patty. I tried to shore it up with apple slices on the slides (we were on a small island on Lake Huron at the time and there wasn't much available to fix baking disasters at the tiny island store). Luckily my brother thought it was hysterically funny and loved it. At least it makes a good story... better luck next time.
That's all really great information. I've done all sorts of different things and it's only just recently occurred to me that a lot of it would qualify as fiber arts. I'm glad to hear from someone else patient enough to make paper by hand, especially some of the labour-intensive stuff you describe. I would love to take a course on this since I've learned it all from books and it would be great to see how an experienced person worked (and learn if I'm doing things "the hard way"). The mulberry paper sounds amazing. I'm not adverse to making paper which isn't very "papery" (more fleshy as you say) since I also enjoy sculpture, but did get a little frustrated by the the unexpected results of say, blackberry "paper" which is a sort of piecemeal undulating cardboard-like material which smells strongly like tea.
Do you think that the determining factor in whether the paper is papery is the material, or is it a matter of needing more boiling? My fern paper was extremely brittle- any insight into how to avoid that (maybe I shouldn't have bleached it? too much lye?).
I'm quite pleased, as I said with the crocus paper; soft, paper-like, semi-translucent, yet strong!
I've only got an internet connection at work, so I'll check the book title and author and reply on Monday. It's a really good book- basic paper making, many "recipes", profiles of paper artists with beautiful photos and line drawings of the plants (I should have noticed that the line drawing of the "blackberry" plant was all wrong).
Did you buy the abaca and cotton somewhere?
I've been trying to focus on things I can collect myself (hence the fern, reed, pampas grass, crocus leaf and blackberry leaf selection). I'm planning to try some maple, oak, pine needle, holly, ginkgo biloba and cattail paper when I get a chance.
I was wondering if anyone else out there has tried making paper with plants (and only plants)? I'm sure many of you have made recycled paper, from other paper or from pulp, and some may have included plant material (leaves, petals, etc.), but has anyone else started from scratch? The BF bought me this beautiful book which describes how to make paper from a whole variety of plant materials (reeds, leaves of various trees, grasses, even garlic skin and pine needles). The photos are gorgeous. Basically you gather huge amounts of the plant material, boil the living daylights out of it with something caustic like lye, rinse excessively, bleach and dye if desired, and then proceed as if making recycled paper with frame and deckle.
I've tried a number of the recipes (instructions include proportions of lye to plant and water, times involved for boiling etc.) with mixed results. I've made "paper" from pampas grass, blackberry leaves, ferns, crocus leaves and reeds. Unfortunately the book is somewhat inaccurately translated from French-- the recipe for blackberry paper was really for mulberry paper and I REALLY DON'T RECOMMEND attempting to make paper from blackberry leaves. So far, my greatest success has been the crocus leaf paper which is truly lovely... but some of the others, while perhaps "interesting" as fibre art, would not necessarily be recognized as paper.
Anyway, sorry to be so wordy... since this is a labour-intensive thing, I'd love it if anyone with personal experience with this could share any advise!
That's really crappy. I think your "friend" is extremely cheap and shouldn't treat you so shabbily over a small sum of money that you are requesting to cover your costs. I imagine the difference between $30 and $53.10 probably means more to you than to her. Though, I'm sure that LRS is right and that you should take the high road and not tell her off.
There is such a thing as a "verbal contract", but you are talking about small sums here, so it's probably not worth pursuing. The other advice I can offer is what my father the lawyer always say- in the future, get it in writing.
Oh wonderful! I have more washers than I care to think about. And a bunch of old coins from various places with holes in the centre. BTW you can get stainless steel washers, which will not rust, but they are more expensive (though certainly not prohibitively so).