21 September 2011

Experiments In Papermaking 2: Plant Materials

So it looks like I'll be doing a papermaking demo and providing letterpress-printed-on-handmade-paper menus for an event in late October. While the client would be perfectly happy with made-from-recycled-paper paper, I'd like to make something rather more special. Plus, if it turns out, I can add a new product to my shop(s).

So a few minutes ago I came back in from cutting this from my back field:

That's a whole lot of super-tall grass (and there's an even bigger whole lot still uncut if I need more), and (I think) two different plants which are both locally called goldenrod. Although, they're similar enough that it's possible one could be a later-flowering variety of the other. My knowledge of local plants really isn't what it should be, so while these are drying, I'll be researching to find out exactly what they are, so I can include that information with whatever I end up making.

So now I have to let the plants dry (for now they're out in the sun, but if it threatens to rain, I'll move the bins into the shed). Later, they'll be cut up and boiled for a very long time to break the fibres apart. Then comes the blender. Oh, for a proper paper mill! Maybe someday, after I build my printshop (I am very good at dreaming).

And for anyone wondering what the place looks like these days, here's the hill leading up to the back field:

And here's the house with some lovely blue sky and the tree that rattles on the roof in the wind and drops fat water drops on the roof after it rains:


Rhonda Miller said...

Very cool, can't wait to be seeing the goldenrod paper. But just wanted to say that I was on a guided nature-walk-thing here in NS one time, and the guide referred to goldenrod as an "herb". Not sure if that means anything.

Niko said...

Hm, I don't know either. I need to make a trip to the library and see what I can learn. If this experiment goes well, I'll be adding paper made from local plants to my repertoire. Whee!