Monday, July 24, 2006

Artmaking is NOT relaxing work...

Sometimes... It is just hearbreaking.
I just posted this letter to the Yahoo Papermaking group:

Well, after a couple hours of crying and muttering explextives and picking up my neice for a week's visit, I am finally settled enough to ask for some help...

I am making 20 paper, sculptural "walls" for my thesis installation. The walls are made by means of pulp painting on poly/ cotton sheets draped over tree branches. My tests all came out really well and withstood 8 days (!) of steady rain! The pulp didn't slide and I was able to add to them when it was dry again and they seamed to retain the same strength as
the tests pieces that were not rained
upon. It is important to mention that these pieces were all sprayed, recycled office paper pulp of one color mixed with wheat paste and a small amount of plaster. They easily pop off the sheets when done, hang nicely, and hold their shape well. They range in size from 3feet wide to 6-10 feet tall.

SOooooo... guess what happened Sunday? Murphy's Law, that's what. After years and years of mostly drought conditions and NO hail... we had a massive downpour and dime sized hail. In twenty minutes, about 2 weeks worth of work was destroyed. These pieces are too large to keep inside, btw, and you can see them in progress at my blog at .
During the beating, the one piece that was nearest completion mostly held up... The other 4-less finished-did not. The pulp slid into the "wells" created by the sheets.

My first inclination w
as to wad it all up and throw it in my recycled paper receptacle, but then I started wondering...
Am I being overly dramatic or is it all truly ruined? Can this mess be saved?

What are your thoughts? Many thanks,
Laura Murphy (really...)

PS-thereally wonderful bright spot is that Denny built me a table for my beater! No more bending over the beater-yay!

*sigh*.. That about says it all... Except that I went back to add: I meant to add that the work caught in the hailstorm are beaten cotton with wheat paste and a small amount of plaster....

Emma and I knitted with beads today and perhaps tomorrow I'll take her out to do some pulp painting and papermaking. She'sbeen doing the latter with me since she was three And loved it. What child wouldn't? It's really wet and sloppy. She's recovering from a major surgery to her legs and hips so I'll set up a papermaking station that she can sit to work.

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