I couldn't wait! Between the storms, high humidity and constant dampness, the restrained dried paper that had been made in the pour vat a few days ago and dried in the sun before it was put next to fans in the wet studio was STILL not completely dry. So I decided to peek. To my suprise, not only had the burlap coffee bag fibers and seams embossed the flax paper, the red, green and blue printing on the bag had transferred to the paper.
Handmade Overbeaten Flax Paper Embossed with Burlap (paper on pellon felt on left, burlap on right)
Handmade Overbeaten Flax Paper Embossed with Burlap (detail)
Overbeaten Flax Papers and Abaca Paper Final Drying on Felts
Overbeaten Flax Papers Awaiting Stitching and Dyeing
Overbeaten abaca and flax with burlap bag inclusions
At this point, I am hesitant and a bit skittish about taking the plunge and dyeing the paper. Maybe I'll only work with one of the sheets and see what happens. Although one flax sheet has both embossing and printing, the other sheet of flax did not have the printed side of the burlap bag facing the wet sheet of paper while drying. It has wonderful marks, but no color. I'll start there.
Having been an illustrator, art educator, and an avid gardener for many years, I have always been drawn to aerial views of land, maps, rivers, soil, and organic systems. Experimenting with handmade plant fiber paper is a culmination of that attraction to texture and natural materials. By combining my papers with ephemera collected along the way, my work layers history, meaning, and place into objects that are no longer lost or mis-placed, but reconstructed and transformed.