eagle solstice

there have been bald eagles this winter
four so far, 
two last trip into the forest preserve.
there were many years without eagles altogether,
so this is good.

 there was some snow left on the setback near newton falls last weekend.
 a real wilderness sense
despite being near old industrial sites
(newton falls paper mill, benson mines)
 and someone left an apple.
 now it's warm and the snow is gone and they're predicting rain and floods and wind
but it's
 i began the day early
finishing up the leftover pulp from the semester.
indigo pigmented abaca
may this solstice sustain your heart.

gratitude and paper

thank you all for your kind wishes for hannah and tyler.
they are feeling a bit better, a bit less shell shocked.
which makes my heart beat more easily.
after the first evening walk in ages
 i gathered up some black eyed susan petals,
from my backporchpatch
 and set them to soak
(maybe for ink)
 in paper doings 
my student todd brought me this lovely gampi/cattail paper
(an apple for the teacher, he smiled)
it's delicious, 
much more subtle than the photo shows.
 todd's gampi supports two little flax with lokta stitch sheets i took along to maiwa
 here they are with some indigo dyed hand spun hemp 
 and then some walnut dunked earth pigmented sheets
on a walnut/flax/stitched sheet
there seems to be no end to the possibilities
of which i've just scratched the surface.
 and then this came
oh, my.
if you've ever thought of making your own ink
you should check out this book
 a touch of color on the corners entices you to open
 an illustration from the book: 
buckthorn ink
a green earth pigment dunked in black walnut
 and then an ochre, likewise dunked
 and the backside of this indigo dunked flax and lokta
 a wee bit of hemp basket in making
 one of my flax samplers 
(there are a few of these...
 nice back, don't you think?
contact printed acrhes text wove.
 my class worked with drew matott and johnny lafalse
while i was at maiwa
drew overexposed
 my students learning and pulp painting
 how to form a sheet, 
back left is johnny
 each bucket a different pulp, 
mostly from knitted cotton shirts
 and almost black and blue pulps, 
and a brand new sheet.
i came back and we all have to slow down now
and make really good sheets 
after repulping half of their first abaca sheets
they are really, really attentive.