Finished Washi from 2010

A while ago I posted a video of me making washi while we were in Prince Edward Island but I have yet to post anything about the results. Unfortunately we did not take any video of pressing the post, separating the sheets, or drying them.

The sheets would not separate cleanly so most of them were removed as double or triple thickness sheets, and they were applied to the windows of the guest house to dry. Once dry I had problems with some of them sticking, so there was more damage peeling them off the glass. However, I did get a few good sheets, and we have about 15 left now. Being dried on glass, one surface has a sheen to it which does not show in the photos.

Washi batch

Seven thinner sheets, eight thicker ones, and some torn bits.

Better sheet

This is one of the better sheets, held up to the light. This one is probably still two sheets laminated together

Single-thickness sheet

This is one of the sheets that is (mostly) a single thickness, again held up to the light. It is fine like tissue paper, but there are three or four darker patches which are thicker because patches of the next sheet tore off onto this sheet.

Typical sheet

This is one of the more typical thicker sheets. It is probably three or more of my original formed sheets laminated together, with uneven thickness resulting from patches of the laminated sheets tearing off and staying attached to other sheets in the batch.

There is at least one mistake in the sheetforming that shows in all of these photos: A dark wavy line across one long edge of the sheet which seems to be related to the way I throw off (or fail to throw off) and refill my sugeta for each scoop of pulp that forms one sheet. It would also be nice if the pulp were better beaten so fewer coarse fibre clumps showed up, but that is more of a stylistic thing. My delamination problems might also be due to my sheetforming, perhaps because the throw-off/refill is taking too long so the individual layers are not bonded within the sheet. Finally, I blame sticking to the glass on the fact that I am using a synthetic formation aid (polyethylene oxide or PEO) which remains active and can act like a glue after the pressing is done; natural formation aids including the traditional neri break down substantially by the time the sheets are peeled of the post and dried.

Ink sample

This sample of a single-thickness sheet showing how it takes fountain pen lines very well, with crisp edges and little skipping. The line at the left was drawn of the back of the sheet, showing how much show-through there is.

Posted in Hand Papermaking, Kevin, Yahoo Papermaking Gatherings

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