Wednesday, August 02, 2006

all wet

Thanking all you that have been so helpful during the "rain trials"....

The saga continues, though I have slowed down the damage factor. I've been covering the work with cloth (old, sunbleached drapes that I dug out of the future paper pulp pile) and screens. The cloth seems to protect them just fine, but it's all just so nerve-wracking.

And now, having seen that our unusual rainstorms will continue, Denny and I have devised anothe plan. He's volunteered to clean out our second greenhouse. We had such a poor showing of tomatoes a couple years ago and we've been so busy, it has sat fallow, more storage than anything else, for the last two Summers. I'll move in there. It will be HOT for a couple more weeks, but the work will dry faster and it will be protected. And then... I will have a warmer place to work in Sept. and October...

I really MUST start reading more and writing the paper, but my hands are so restless, so.. loud... when I read that I am terribly distracted.

That said, I've been making pulp as fast as I can for the three days since Emma left. We had a great time. I think she has the knitting well in hand now. She made several pulp paintings herself-she LOVES playing in it. "It's so soft!" she would exclaim over and over. She built some paper mache animals, we painted, played computer games, watched movies, read, made beaded jewelry... I'm not sure who had more fun! OK... probably Emma. She is only 8 and isn't required to cook, LOL.

I've made pulp from linen, cotton, jute and abaca fibers... I put three coats of Spar on the table Denny made me for the beater and it is a real back saver! It is, however, a bit of a challenge to get the beater working again. It seems that I didn't have it set up as level as I thought and I am having to rework all the settings on it again. It's taking a good bit longer for the fibers to process, but I think I made the critical adjustments last night. American Science and Surplus has a deal on dried ababca fiber-in a craft, raffia-like form on sale for .95/4 ounces. I bought 5 and tried it out and it makes beautiful paper. I also did some research and it is a 65-70% savings on abaca from other, more traditional sources of the fiber. I have 25 pounds of it on the way at a savings of over 200.00! The beater has paid for itself in two years in fiber alone. And.. that isn't even the best part.

Have I mentioned that I only have three more days in the shop? I am shutting down at the end of the day on the 16th. I couldn't be more relieved. And.. that makes it official. My official career is artist/educator.

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