Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Library Cafe

Thomas Hill, at The Library Cafe at Vassar, conducted a short interview with me after my lecture there. The podcast is posted on their website here.

What is Library Cafe? According to their website:

The Library Café is a weekly program of table talk with scholars, artists, publishers and librarians about books, scholarship, and the formation and circulation of knowledge. It is hosted by Thomas Hill, and can be heard on WVKR FM 91.3 Wednesday afternoons between 12:00 Noon and 1:00 p.m. ET (17.00-18.00 GMT) during the academic year.

Thank you for listening!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

East Coast: Paper Tour Stop 4 & 5

Another wonderful adventure at the excellent facilities of Longwood University in Virginia, where I gave a talk, and a 2-day workshop thanks to the wonderful Kerri Cushman; and the Asian Studies Department at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie where I gave a talk as well as a demonstration, thanks to Michael J. Walsh. Both were well-attended and well-received. Noah Purdy of Miscellany News, Vassar's student newspaper, wrote a wonderful article about the event.

Day 1 at Longwood University's papermaking department was spent making paper! A group of enthusiastic participants is all you really need. 

It took a bit of getting used to for people more accustomed to western papermaking. Fighting the muscle memory is hardest.

I prepared some Logwood dye for the next day.
About 20 grams gave us 15 or more extractions which was more than enough.

Day 2 was spent dyeing, and sizing using egg white size also called ahar. We also used black tea dye, and wheat starch tinted with turmeric. The mordants we used were alum and iron.


Logwood is so sensitive to the pH of the paper, fiber, water- everything.
Some amazing unrepeatable patterns appeared in the paper before mordanting. I just left this one as is, because it was just so gorgeous. 

Kerri's Logwood sampler with different mordants, and sizing treatments.

I had dyed this piece with Brazilwood in Florida, and decided to egg size it during this class. To my surprise, it turned bright, bright pink! Talk about alchemy.

Some people tried some really beautiful experiments with the mordant and dye overlays.

Vassar College has a beautifully old campus. I didn't realize what a small student population it actually has. The trees were huge and in the back of this photo, the largest Sycamore I have ever seen.

After the talk, I did a short demo of the technique, showed the paper samples from the Kagzis, papers dyed by me and the burnishing technique that is employed to prepare the papers for calligraphy.