Monday, 26th November
I then decided to add cooked straw fibre to the abaca and beat the fibres for a lot longer than the first tests, in order to see if I could create more movement and structure to the finished papers. The total beating time was seven hours. The results were interesting; a rich golden coloured pulp that when sheet formed and air dried, shrank to three quarters of its original size forming wonderful crinkles and folds. The final effect resembled skin or dry seaweed and made a light dry crackling sound that resembled walking through leaves. I had great plans to use this pulp to make large rippling pieces but as it was so difficult to sheet form I wasn’t technically sure how to achieve this.
I decided to pour the pulp onto a long screen and let it dry naturally once the water had drained. The end result was disappointing as it was extremely fragile and difficult to get off the screen.
I also experimented with hand beaten Japanese Kozo but found no real shrinkage or movement in the samples. The most interesting find was that fibres could be transformed from a stiff stick like quality to the feel of a soft shammy leather by manipulating them. (The results are documented in the data file.)