Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hemp and Felt

I have just joined a new Artist book forum, the address is . I'll get off the computer some time today! It has been a week of meetings and there are more to come and a few jobs to go with them.

I am not long back from a week in Cairns. It was great to warm up a bit, we even swam in the hotel pool (I hadn't had a swim for over a year before then). It wasn't long enough but we take what we can get and enjoy that. Just before we left there had been some talk on the yahoo papermaking group about hemp and Dianne spoke of organising a conference related to hemp and I discovered that she was from Kuranda in the hills above Cairns. She was visiting Adelaide and Brisbane for some of the time we were there but we managed to catch up before I came home. I'm planning to make more paper from the hemp fabric I have at home and she gave me some raw hemp to try as well. I will need to chop it up and cook it with alkali before putting it through my beater.

I decided to use some of it to make some string before I turn it all into pulp.

I learned to make string from some members of Basketmakers of Victoria many years ago. Here are some notes I made about using New Zealand Flax to make string, the principle is the same no matter what you use for the string.

Making string from NZ flax
Take a thin strip of the flax and with thumbnails or a shell scrape off the outer skin. (optional)
Find the centre of the strip & twist away from yourself with your right hand. Cross hands by taking the right over the left then swap hands and repeat. To add in extra pieces find the centre of the new strip and hold it between the two old pieces and twist together.

The Alcove shop is holding it's Winter exhibition for the next few weeks and the opening is tonight. I have put in some books that I made a while ago, coptic journals with heavy leather covers (from Reverse Art of course!).

I have interleaved some of the sections with some handmade paper, the yellow book had red and yellow wax resist paper and the blue has denim paper.
And I've made a few more felt scarves, I got busy on Sunday and used up all the wool I had and some of the silk. I did two blue scarves with bright yellow flowers,
two landscape scarves
and one abstract.

While I was away Antje's vege papyrus postcard arrived, I missed Yabbers so didn't see the rest of the cards.