Day 17 La Maison Verte

Another grey, misty and showery day here today. Feeling a bit low and not very motivated. My steamed bundle of papers wasn’t very exciting but different papers could have produced a more exciting result. I just used what I had ready that would fit into the steaming basket. I layered tea bag papers in-between each layer but they didn’t really take on much colour or print. I think the result would have been better if I turned the stack over halfway through but when I attempted to do this I decided that it was too hard to get access to the bundle inside the tall pot I had to use. It was just an experiment and I think I will leave steaming for now. I still have papers I want to bundle but will use the techniques I was using previously with rolling the paper wrapped in a long strip of cotton sheet.

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Some of the papers were premordanted with alum in the first week I was here, but from the looks of the prints and colour I would say it was getting pretty weak. I am still waiting for my parcel from artvango to arrive which will contain 500grams of aluminium sulphate. I doubt I will get much of an opportunity to use it. I soaked some paper in what I had left yesterday but I also soaked some fabric in the same water (with not particularly strong results) so thinking it won’t give particularly good results. I was going to bundle them today but maybe I will just do one and see how it goes and just wait to do the rest. I would really like them to work with others I did as a series.

3.45pm: I now have my parcel, so pleased it came today because as expected I had to sign for it so I would have had to get someone to take me to the post office on Thursday (or walk). Getting the alum soaking now. The silk jersey looks interesting and the holes seem to be in a useable location. There is also some laddering but hopefully that will set itself. I am hoping it will work like the wool jersey and that i won’t have to worry about hemming it… but the more i think i about it the more i worry it will be an issue, it is in a tube and hoped to make some scarves with it. Anyway i will attempt to cut it where the holes are and experiment with that piece. If it seems problematic I will just take the rest home to play with. I bought some pongee, which was the thinnest silk of that nature they had and am a bit disappointed with it, seems more like a regular habutai but maybe after washing it will have a better hand. I also bought a half metre of twill to play with as well, it is a bit thinner than i expected but will be good to have some variety with the cotton. It’s all in the washing machine with the soy mordanted fabric i am trying to soften. Feeling a bit cheerier now, partly because the parcel arrived but more because the sun is out. I think that was more of the problem. As the other ladies feel the cold and don’t seem to like the door open I have migrated outside with my laptop and it’s lovely sitting out here in the afternoon sun. A bit breezy and glarely on the screen but very uplifting to my mood. My clothes are drying as well. Hope the washing doesn’t take too long so I can take advantage of the sun and the breeze. I probably should be inside bundling the kraftex that is now dry after the alum soak… mmm actually maybe I should redip it .. actually I won’t as it will be interesting to see how it dyes as it is. I will bundle up one of the paper strips as well late, then re-dip the other strips, will give some variety. The alum I have is a sulphite so no ideal as I believe the potassium one is better for cellulose fibres but I have added in more which is what I have read you need to do. Not being that precise with measurements as I can’t really weight my paper or fabric.

Also have been online trying to preplan the Paris trip. I don’t expect to have wifi much of the time so need to plan a few things to make the best use of the time. I will do a few free walking tours so have saved locations onto my imaps app and taken some screen shots of which metro stops I need to get off at. I will book my ticket for the picasso museum, or maybe leave it til the the morning as you need to select a time. Wish it opened a bit earlier as I would go first thing as its not too far from my accommodation. Actually I might just book the first time slot at 11.30 and make my way there slowly after I check out of the hostel. Excited but nervous about the trip.

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