Monday, July 17, 2023


 The library where we often exhibit our work is so popular that it takes two or three years to book the space! We had a month just at the start of the Covid epidemic and now our next booking had finally arrived.  This is just a sample of what we put up on the wall. As you can see, not the easiest wall to hang on. You have to stand on two steps each time you hang a piece of work! With all the sky lights, there is a lot of glare. There might have to be two blog posts here as it takes a bit of work to attempt to lessen the glare on each piece.

More to come! 

June 2023 Making PASTE PAPER

 May was a beautiful month, as was the start of June, but in a stroke of a bit of bad luck, our Saturday meeting day dawned with drizzle, sometimes rain. To a group making paste paper, nothing great was going to come from that!!  We were working outside, under cover but the atmosphere was still humid and not very warm.

We had scrambled to find the Elmer's Art Paste - seems it is a discontinued product now. Such a shame as it works so well for paste paper. Cyndi was the most successful in finding the paste, even found some 400 miles away when she was visiting her parents. 

Remembering exactly how we made paste in my class at Rendez-vous 2019 International Calligraphy Conference with Pamela Paulsrud, I was very careful mixing a gallon of paste the day before the class. It immediately went into clumps of paste and refused to relax into the smooth paste we were able to mix without too much effort in the classroom!! Yuck! now what should I do?! I let the bucketful of paste sit overnight but sadly, there was no change in the morning! Luckily we had more than one package so I mixed a second gallon. A very similar gloopy mess happened! Using a whisk, I attempted to stir vigourously and break up the globules of paste that resembled bubble tea. I worked to a degree but it still wasn't the lovely, clear paste I was going for. I felt it was borderline useable and we had lots of members showing up in a couple of hours!  At least we had good paper, having purchased the last 20+ sheets of Text Wove from the local art supply shop.

Was our paste too thin to take the pigment? Were we using pigment that wasn't strong enough? At least the acrylic ink gave us a strong colour. We also mixed in some Daniel Smith metallic powders. It wasn't all a perfect match but the other problem we ran into was that weather with a lot of humidity hinders drying and we really wanted to do both sides! Even with drying racks, we were still transporting wet papers home. 

We did have paste left over so I decided to try again. Amazingly, the paste seems to take several hours to relax - maybe even 3 or 4 days or more because when I went back in to the air tight bucket, the paste looked like it should! Using the Liquitex acrylic ink as it was easier, I tried again a week or so later. It worked well! Note to self, the instructions of the packaging should include that you can't actually use the paste in 15 or 20 minutes like it says in the instructions. Try mixing a week before you need it! Is this because the products we are finding to purchase now are old stock because it has been discontinued? That doesn't really make sense because as far as I know, this is just methyl cellulose which used to be wall paper paste before they were prepasted. 

Our assignment was to make an artist book using our decorated papers. I have enough to choose from and must get busy! If I want to add words, maybe some sacred geometry, etc. I need to get going!

I think everyone had a good day and it was our first in person meeting for a very long time!

Thank you to Sherry for all the photos she took during our day!