February Flow


These are tests I am excited about, but the why doesn’t photograph well: yet.

Hello, February! A groundhog out in Chicago today would find nice diffused white winter light and soft fluffy snow gently falling.  I’ve had a sweet productive work week and after one more (odd )session today, I’ll hit a natural pausing point. Sunday, I’ll ready the studio for some ‘meanwhile’ projects that can happen while other work goes on, and then it’s time to focus on that other work.


A fridge and a fridge: winter is wonderful for keeping pulp fresh for extended periods: three 5 gallon buckets stayed very cold, enclosed in pink insulation scraps.

January was an entire month of almost no admin, except a wee bit by e-mail: a lovely long breath of fresh crisp air.  But admin really never ends, so a couple of days of keyboard action will commence on Monday, then I’ll move on to my next two house projects.  My reward will be more useful, pleasing space and more sweet studio time (I postponed the project I have slated for my backyard kozo, so that’s to look forward to).


This part of the bindery is an armature-building station for awhile.


Paper studio configured for double-pulp, small-sheet day; below, adjusted for stack dryer unloading the next day: 12 hours to thin flat sheets.


In this new, extended way of working, I’ve ‘finished’ nothing – though several pieces were  stopped at certain stages to become new, improved class samples.  My studios are absolutely wonderful but still small, so there’s always a pause to clear out after one process and set up for the next.  As we draw closer to spring and extended light, I’ll have a mass dyeing session that will complete these and other new projects. I’m not only making experimental pieces, but am also exploring known processes in greater depth, and testing new processes, materials and equipment (and doing a lot of thinking as well).  Today’s photos: random views from the past wee while.

Detail: thin, crisp, rattly, strong dogbane.  I beat the seed hair at the same time as the bast; the seed hair was tougher and took much longer to break down while the bast overbeat, resulting in a stringy pulp like flax or hemp, and beautiful striations in the finished sheets, but the color is more accurate in the photo below.
Some, definitely not all, of what went on in 3D.
Following up on a happy accident: look at that texture!

3 thoughts on “February Flow

  1. this is a happy january’s work. awesome dogbane, and that texture in your last photo is sweet. i love the broken shell shapes…i remember sifting through sand dredged up from the niagara river which was full of similar shapes, mostly holey, too. lovely memory, melissa.

  2. these make me SO happy!! wish you could have more time like this. all of us, actually, could benefit from such fruitful studio time, hidden away in the quiet of snow!

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