Gneiss, Very Gneiss

(I thought I’d better get that title out of the way, or Smith or PRH would be racing to be the first to leave it as a comment).  I had a nice time making paper most of yesterday afternoon. And (don’t you love when this happens?) though I was winging it, everything went right, with the first sheet.  I was focusing on substrates for the more elaborate experiments to come, and I wanted to make paper that looked like rock, based on the standing stones at Callanais, which are a variety of Lewisian Gneiss, the oldest rock in the British Isles.

For papermakers, I was sheet forming with the Tibetan method, mixing overbeaten abaca (for strength, a bit of sheen, and some translucent areas), black denim, cotton rag, and recycled flax. No dyes or pigments. I didn’t refer to photos or sketches of the Callanais stones while I was working, but I’m pleased with what happened. It’s not lumpy either; they’re nice smooth gneiss-like sheets, with pattern on both sides. (Though they’re still wet, and in the current Catskill weather, are likely to be for awhile; it’s raining for the next three days.  Time to work on the grant proposal, and maybe find the patience to get the Scotland photos up on Flickr). 

So you see, the time travel is not only fun; it’s what I’m working from.


The first row hung to dry.  There are several more.


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