So back to my story about my Mom's and my trip to New York. As I started writing about in part 9 of my entrepreneur story, a few years into starting Botanical PaperWorks, we decided that we needed more papermaking training. We traveled to Brooklyn, New York, to spend two weeks with the papermakers of Carriage House Paper.
After experimenting with pulp painting and pulp spraying, the next day was time to learn to make paper from kozo. Kozo is a traditional Eastern papermaking fibre and the basic process is this:
(photo credit: Awagami Factory)
If that looks like a LOT of WORK, it is! We scraped and pounded and sweated it out for several days just to get a few semi-decent pieces of paper. It was hot and messy work. Many sheets and tempers were destroyed in this process.
Step 3 - Pick and cut the fiber into 1-inch pieces. If the fibers are left too long, the paper won't drain on the mould and it will be hard to get an even sheet.
Step 4 - Feed the fiber into the Hollander Beater. Leave it in there for a long time (many hours), keeping your ears open for anything jamming.
Step 5 - Build up a bunch of aggression and take it out on the poor kozo. Pound until your hands blister.
Step 7 - Pull some sheets, wreak some sheets, then remember that it's the journey not the destination that's important.
It was a GREAT experience being at Carriage House and making the kozo paper. But it's not something that we do on a regular basis at Botanical PaperWorks. We'll stick to the Western method of papermaking and leave the kozo to the experts!
Just joining us? Catch up by reading Part 1: "Maybe we could make a business out of this" or How I Became An Entrepreneur
Want to see where my company is today? Go to Botanical PaperWorks to see or read about how plantable paper works. While you're there, check out the plantable memorial cards, available in three new colors.