Monday, December 5, 2016

Earth | Paper | Sky 2016 - Demonstrations at the Palace of the Governors, by Sarah Krupa

Demonstrations at the Palace of the Governors, by Sarah Krupa

This year’s conference had a inspiring range of paper-making ingenuity demonstrated to us at the Palace of the Governors. To kick off the demonstrations the ever-ambitious Yama Ploskonka set up a full water-recycling papermaking studio (or was it a carnival?) right outside the back doors of the museum leading into the courtyard. The roar of his vacuum pump sucked the crowd in and his energy kept them interested. On site he demonstrated his pulp-mixer (a giant Tupperware container with a garbage disposal within), his water-saving vacuum pump (a shop-vac contraption complete with movable parts fit perfectly for his mould and deckle) the full process from one large vat, vertical couching station, and the huge layered pulp-imaging station used to show that the vacuum pump works even on large-format paper sizes.

To compliment this set up was the meditative large-scale modular mould demonstration by Hong Hong. After showing off her 12ft x 8ft paper pieces during the presentation sessions, her demonstration was small by comparison—but magical nonetheless. The deep blue kozo was splashed and sprayed and poured beneath a tree still shedding its leaves. The small yellow leaves embedded themselves within the forming-sheet and pulled together the connection between Earth Paper and Sky.

Set up in the sun was the dye-namic duo with their steaming cauldron of natural dyes. Rachael Mayer and Naomi Adams were showing off the beauty and simplicity of steam-dyeing fiber materials. They walked each group through the full process of which raw sources of dye work best for spreading across and rolling into paper, then the protective fabric to hold the capsule together with string (which were accidental beauties on their own). They did a few rounds in the allotted time and by the end you could see the results of varying times and types of dyestuff in the steam pot. They came prepared with well-organized binders full of past experiments and projects which were well worth the look-through.

- Sarah Krupa

Many thanks to FDH Member Sarah Krupa for this article!

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