Friday, 12 April 2013

Ginkgo Paper

The Ginkgo is a beautiful tree. Every year late Summer/Early Autumn the leaves are mature enough to pick and turn into the most unique paper. I do have to get there before they fall and begin to rot on the ground.

My Ginkgo Tree

A trug full of leaves translates into a pot full of leaves and caustic soda.

After it has cooked down for about 15 minutes.
After an hour or so the leaves are all brown and the outer cuticle begins to separate away from the veins inside. Time to rinse off the caustic soda.
You can see really clearly here how the veins of the leaf begin at the stalk and radiate out from there in straight lines, not dividing like other leaves from a central  rib. The Ginkgo is the only tree that grows in this way.

I soak half the pulp in bleach, which turns it a beautiful golden yellow. Unfortunately, as it dries, it looses this lovely hue.
The vat of bleached pulp and a jug of unbleached leaves that I choose from to decorate the sheet of paper as I make it.
A freshly pulled sheet of paper waiting to be pressed and dried.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

This Morning

This Morning 

As I write my kiln is warming
Mandrels dipped and drying
I should use up the silver leaf I cut yesterday
I don't want to
Instead thinking
Tiny spacers
& play with C.I.S.