I've been elbow deep in abaca pulp and I liked it!

Ok, really only wrist deep...if that. But still, I've been messing around with the over-beaten abaca, and it's opened up some new possibilities for me.

I'm a strong advocate of taking any opportunity to learn a new skill, to stretch oneself and explore new media when given a chance. Unfortunately, I don't often follow my own advocacy, and I let the excuse of time prevent me from exploring. It's something I've been trying to work on.

This past weekend, I took a paper making workshop with local paper making legend Helen Hiebert. Paper making has been on my list of *things I want to learn* for years. YEARS. It may take me a while to get around to doing things, but eventually, I come around to it.

So worth it.

The sheets I made were still in the dryer as of today, so I intend to update with images of the paper I made from off-cuts and mis-printed paper scraps from my studio. In the meantime, here are some shots from my weekend of paper making.

I can certainly see myself incorporating paper making into my studio work. It's so physical, and all about the process. So much of my work centers around concepts that I labor to translate, and tedious (but of course enjoyable in it's own way) fussiness over technical issues revolving around the press. Paper making is, at least so far to me, such a straightforward process - you acquire plant fiber/you beat it into pulp/you create a water and pulp solution/you form sheets.

It's wet. You can stomp around the studio in galoshes and a big rubber apron. You can sling buckets of water around. It's great!

It's the polar opposite of what the Studio Cat would like to do for fun. She prefers warm and dry. For those of you interested in an update, she's currently sandwiched in between the warm glow of my studio clip lamp and the space heater blowing beneath my desk. Despite the lack of soft surface anywhere, this is where she's chosen to camp out and nap while I click away over here.