Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Making paper at our place

I've already mentioned I am planning ahead.  This time I am planning and preparing for something I don't even know about - I just have this 'just in case I need it" feeling.

It all started when I sold 'Flight' at the Printmaker's exhibition at Easter, and realised I was almost out of handmade paper. Knowing that it takes a bit of time and weather-luck I started a while ago, and almost finished today.

I save all my offcuts of good quality paper.  I pop them all in a bag that hangs in the studio and I collected about a year's worth the other day and headed to the shredder.  Spent a while shredding these scraps and then popped them in a tub to soak. I added a few drops of clove oil to stop mould developing. And then it rained, and rained and rained some more, and well you really need dry weather for paper making I think. I think they soaked for about a week or more.

Sunday dawned sunny and bright and I knew I had to get into it which I did. Of course I had shredded and soaked too much paper so here I am three days later with only half the paper turned into pulp and made into paper. Still, it's been great fun!

I make the paper down on the tiled deck off a room downstairs at the house, not over at the shed.  I don't often hang around down there and I stopped often to look around me and see the block from a new perspective.

So even tho I have done lots, I'll share my paper with you later. Today I just wanted to celebrate sunny Autumn days in a sub-tropical garden...

The view from the tiled deck to the south west. With evidence of paper-making.


Lush tree fern and camellias ablaze.


Standing below the tiled deck looking towards the peace bell deck. Jennifer's peace flags have wrapped themselves around their ties again! Oh and a couple of large water tanks to keep us well supplied.


A rusted old fire pit with tree fern reflection


Looking from below the tile deck north west up to the shed studio; with Barry's rusty pile along the drive and rust-stained asphalt!


A couple of timber cubes and structures along the gravel - which is becoming a sculpture path.


Looking to the house from below the tile deck - hand made paper drying!


Oh and a beautiful dawn on Monday morning...



I hope you enjoyed the wander - well not really a wander as I just stood in pretty much one spot and turned around, but it is beautiful down there and I think I'll work out the back more often!

36 comments:

  1. Ah what a place to work.... From grey barely-spring UK it looks like paradise.

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    1. Ah indeed Charlton. I am fortunate for sure. It is beautiful, serene and today not grey! We have had a lot of mist and spend a fair bit of time in the clouds so were just about over the grey weather. I hope your Spring arrives soon - it must have got waylaid it seems! Go well.

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  2. What a delightful wander. I am in awe...especially of that sunrise as it wakes the valley. Tell me, are you up often to watch the sunrise? Grab a cup of tea, comfy chair, blanket for warmth...and just simply be. Heavenly.

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    1. I love waking early - we have no curtains and that is the view from our bedroom. I lie in bed and look out at those colours and that morning made me jump up and grab a camera. Someone once said - it's a different postcard every day and I think they got it right. Something is always happening down there - the light changes, the clouds pool, they lift, lightning plays across the horizon...

      We have no curtains on that side of the house at all so whenever we look out a window we are captured by the changing view- and never take it for granted. Like you say - it is encourages you to just sit and simply be. Life is good.

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  3. oh my goodness - how glorious is your spot! and that sunset pink is just too much to take! glorious is an understatement!

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    1. Hi Ronnie - very sub-tropical green isn't it!?! The place is lush at the moment after all the rain and things have been growing quickly - it was interesting to be down in amongst them all see how wonderful they are. The dawn sky was amazing, fleeting, but so beautiful. A great sight to wake up to. We are lucky to have a view with such a big sky I think.

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  4. Lovely view of it all, and everything looks extremely tidy after such a wet summer!

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    1. Thanks for noticing N! We did a really big clean up and weed last weekend! It doesn't look totally out of control does it?

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  5. What a beautiful place you have! It's lush Australian bush, gosh, i miss that country sometimes, I feel like I left part of me there in so many ways, it's gorgeous and the people are wonderful! the sounds are wonderful. thank you for bringing those memories back with these photos! Your paper making looks intruiging and i can't wait to see more!

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    1. Hi Louise - glad it brought back so many wonderful memories. And the noises! You are so right - the rainbow lorikeets are going off at the moment - wheeling thru the sky, screeching, chattering and squawking - highly entertaining. Our Australian birds are rarely shy... Maybe one day you could come back for a visit? Go well.

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  6. Beautiful place... love the rust stained asphalt, not a surpirse, really! The peace bell is wonderful, and the views always inspire me.

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    1. Hi Valerianna - I often wonder how I would explain the driveway to folk if we ever wanted to sell the house! It holds marks of our days and our doings.

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  7. Glorious view, glorious sunrise and glorious handmade paper!

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    1. Thanks so much Robyn - it is a gentle, quiet place to live with constant inspiration and care. The paper is looking good too!

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  8. What an amazing place you have!

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    1. Thanks Connie Rose - we are fortunate to live here and don't take it for granted. A wonderful space to share...

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  9. I wish I had a place like yours to make my papers - it is really beautiful!
    Christine

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    1. Hi Christine - it would be fun to have lots of people together to make paper here! Of course, if it didn't storm or rain...I've decided you have to 'make paper whilst the shine suns'!

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  10. More than 10 years in suburbia and I still feel the tug of 10 acres of bushland.

    Interesting note about the clove oil to deter mould. Is clove better than any other essential oil?

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    1. mmmm Di - i can imagine this place would tug me too if we left. I like the nobody around me thing especially. Clove oil definitely! We have bottles all over the house. It is the no. 1 mould killer and we use it all the time. A few drop (3-4) in a litre of water and wipe over anything.

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  11. Oh gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Thanks for letting us wander with you.

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    1. Hi Annie. I think I saw it afresh and with new eyes spending time down there - outside and at tree level so to speak, and I was quite entranced by it so thought I would share... Plus we had sunshine which makes me happy after a few weeks of dreary grey and much mist. Go well.

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  12. smile! I enjoyed wandering around your pad with you, Fiona. Simply stunning...

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    1. Hi Kim - it does make you smile doesn't it - when you can just stop and appreciate the beauty around you. Gow ell.

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  13. Clove oil is going on my shopping list, in bulk. Thanks for the tip, Fiona. Such beautiful views, glorious sunrise, lovely garden - and you find time for paper making as well.

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    1. Hi Carol - glad to share the clove oil tip; we go thru a fair bit during the damp weather months. It was so restful and gentle out there making paper - it's quiet (after the blender stops) and slow and rhythmic...then I looked around me and stopped often, breathed it all, smiled and started making again. Go well.

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  14. beautiful spot to work, and oh, my, how lovely!

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    1. It is indeed a beautiful spot to work Velma - I think it encourages peace and stillness...

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  15. You live in paradise Fiona, thanks so much for the tour about your place! Hard for me to really understand sub tropical, the green is almost unreal and your views spectacular. What a place to live and work and toast each day good morning.

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    1. Hi Liz - yes we're at opposite ends of the spectrum almost aren't we? The green can be soooo vivid at times! I really enjoyed being down amongst the garden - I so often observe it from above, inside the house, and look over the valley. Or if I'm down in the garden I'm weeding! So to be with it and not working on it was just lovely.

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  16. What an absolutely beautiful place to live. It looks so tranquil. Do you get waylaid often by the views? It would be worth being waylaid anyway.

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    1. Hi Lyndell - I do think it is place of peace and tranquility and I always enjoy coming home. I stop and stare at the views and the surrounds several times a day - and it's one reason we built our work-work office at the front of the house where I can only stare at the driveway and plants! I'd never get any work done if I gazed out the back...

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  17. ~a circular wandering journey!!! so serene and beautiful...surround by so much beauty rust and all : )

    as for your paper making...a WHOLE years worth...yikes...i have down just small amounts with our littles...will be exciting to see your plethora of handmade wonders! much love light and blessings~

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    1. It is a lovely and serene place to spend time Brandi. I am beginning to think that Autumn might be paper making season - once a year really get stuck into it whilst it is still warm and sunny - rather than cold and sunny or warm and wet!

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  18. It looks idyllic Fiona. Your own tropical paradise. I'm interested in the papermaking too and have heard of clove oil before to stop mould. May I ask if you sized the pulp in any way before pulling the sheets? My brain tells me that you can use oil based media on it but not water based unless you've sized it. Is that an issue or not?

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    1. Hi Lesley - it is a pretty special place I think, and we certainly love being here and spending time at home. Because I recycle high quality papers that already have size I don't yet add it to the mix. but I do have some methyl cellulose in the studio which I could add to the next batch to see what happens perhaps? I have found water based inks print fine on the paper but calligraphy inks still tend to bleed a bit more than I'd like, so maybe if I sized it that might help the calligraphy!

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.