The last batch. (Probably.)

last batch

Cotton/linen blend, mostly white but with just enough blue to make it interesting.  Fifty-five sheets, which is pretty good for two pounds of rag since I was compensating for the lack of a press and making them a little thicker than I might’ve otherwise. (And they came out soft, so they should be amazing for printing on but not necessarily for folding.)

Not a bad run, all things considered.

Some things I have learned recently.

And a few I have re-learned.

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The hydraulic jack broke (I think this is just a thing that happens), so I was reduced to improvisational pressing. It broke, of course, on the day I made 98 sheets in two posts, not one of the days I only had one pound of dry rag’s worth of pulp.

It turned out all right, though. Although it turns out that if your paper is still incredibly wet, shockingly, it has to hang out in the drying system for almost twice as long.

The bonus: I have re-learned why my paper was so soft the last summer I was in Alabama, which has been plaguing me since I started making paper here. I’ve just been pressing all of it far too hard — even when I thought I wasn’t.

I’ve done some fun things with pulp mixing, too — the rag I really thought would be brown is a fascinatingly complex grey.

I’ve made a truly absurd amount of paper in the last couple of weeks, which is a pretty good accomplishment, in my ever-humble opinion.

Of course, I’ve got nine pounds of factory rag that I want to make into paper before the end of the year … we’ll see. I’m not holding my breath on that one. (I also came up with a way to make hockey paper. Which I am so doing, at least if I can get the time in the studio. Because if it works it will be glorious.)

More later, as always.