New Zealand Flax and ginger lily growing in the garden.
The New Zealand Flax being stripped, to make the pieces smaller and thus speed up cook time.
The stainless steel pot being used to cook up the plant fibre, in this case 'fox grass'.
Once cooked the fibre is drained in a net bag and washed thoroughly. I use lage garbage bins full of water and change the water until it runs clear.
Ginger lily fibre which has been cooked and washed.
The ginger lily after it has been beaten with a wooden mallet. If you wish your pulp to be finer at this stage you can blend a little at a time in a vitimizer(blender).
Formation aid being added to the vat. Alternatives to commercial formation aid are ochra or prickly pear cactus chopped into pieces and soaked overnight in water then strained into the vat.
Adding the pulp to the vat. I like to disperse the pulp in a smaller container first so mix the pulp with some of the water from the vat in a yoghurt container.
Dipping the mould and deckle into the vat to form the first sheet. Note that the mould and deckle are round this was used to make the paper for the Message Sticks Installation. In most instances a rectangular mould and deckle would be used.
Couching the sheet onto calico resting on a wet sponge.
Once several sheets have been produced they can be pressed and then hung to dry or they can be rolled onto fibre board, the type used for tile underlay, to be dried under restraint.
&Copy 2021 Gail Stiffepapergail.email@example.com