It seems that last year’s intent to steam the bark off our mulberry stems for making paper did not amount to any action. There are some things that just don’t happen if all you plan is to do it when you get around to it.
So this year, I’ve chosen Saturday, November 15th, as the day we’ll be processing this year’s crop along with any stems we can find in storage from previous years. No excuses this time!
Anyone who is interested is invited to drop by to see, or even help with, this process.
The proposed schedule is as follows:
- 10am: Start setup. Harvest this year’s crop of stems and gather previous year’s stems from storage
- 11am: Get steamer up to heat while preparing the stems for steaming
- noon: Steaming should be started by now, so lunch break
- 1pm: Start stripping and cleaning the bark. I expect the fresh stems will be ready for stripping first
- 5pm: Done cleanup
You’ll notice a lot of time between starting the stripping and finishing the cleanup. If we have a good crowd this should give plenty of time for talking about paper making, marbling, letterpress, or anything else that strikes our fancy.
That schedule is pretty flexible and is expected to drift a bit depending on weather and how much talking we do. The harvesting and steaming will be outside but the rest of the activities will be in our shop, out of the November chill.
The last time I did something like this was at the original Branson Banana Bash in November 2009. Then we were harvesting and steaming Mimi Aumann’s kozo stems. Things will be a bit different this time since we are using mulberry plants which, although related to kozo, are definitely a distinct species. This will be a bit of an experiment to see how mulberry behaves, and also how stored stems from previous years work.
We will have some light refreshments and snacks so if you think you might attend, e-mail or phone us (519-884-7123) so we know how much provisions we need. But even if you can’t call ahead, drop by anyway!