Continued from last week's installment called Part 8 - What Every Author/Entrepreneur Dreams Of - The Book Launch Party!
After starting our business, Botanical PaperWorks, my Mom and I decided that we needed to expand our papermaking and bookbinding skills. We were thrilled to find out that a favorite papermill, Carriage House Paper, offered a two-week intensive in New York. We sent in our registration, packed our bags and traveled to the big city.
Because we were on a budget, we stayed at the Mission to Seafarers. The very economical rooms were just $70 per night, but even at such a reasonable price, we had to watch our pennies closely. Our travel journal from that trip shows us as having been extremely thrifty with dinner often coming to $6.59 for two people (how did we do that? I recall at least two dinners of Ben and Jerry's ice cream).
On the night before the course started, we were invited to Carriage House for dinner. The studio was housed at the time in the home of owner Donna Koretsky. We had to travel from our hotel in Manhattan to Carriage House in Brooklyn. The trip there was rough - between the cancelled subway trains and us traveling in the wrong direction on the subway line, we arrived long after the other students. My memories of that dinner consist of polite conversation and an extremely large fruit dessert of 1/2 of a cantaloup filled with ice cream and blueberries.
Monday dawned clear and hot and we made sure to leave the Mission early. We arrived in plenty of time and spent day doing fabulously fun Pulp Painting. Here's how pulp painting works:
Step 1 - Build a mould and screen using a wood frame with cotton cloth stretched over top. Staple the canvas in place with an electric stapler. My Mom is famous for getting her fingers stapled, glue-gunned or otherwise maimed so it's a miracle that she escaped this first step unscathed.
Step 2 - Into the frame, pour a large bucket of cotton and abaca fiber. Swish the frame back and forth to evenly distribute the pulp.
Step 4 - Once the sheet is removed from the vacuum table, add detail using thinned out pulp in squeeze bottles. This step is called Pulp Painting and there were no limits on what you can create. It was so, so, so much fun.
Here's me with my pulp painting. I created it with a combination of Pulp Pouring (using ivory, rust and aqua pulp) and Pulp Painting in black and grey.
Here's my Mom Mary doing Pulp Spraying. The hopper is filled with pulp and she's applying it to a large fabric-covered frame.
Here she is building up more layers. The rectangles were created with pieces of newspaper laid down on the canvas then removed for the final spray. This work was heavy and hot, but my Mom looks cool and in control!
I'll have more pictures of our Carriage House adventures over the next couple of weeks. But next week, we'll take a look at some of the crazy parties that we've had at Botanical PaperWorks. I'm calling it Part 10 of starting a paper company - the staff visits the stuffed animal museum.
Just joining us? Catch up by starting with Part 1: "Maybe we could make a business out of this" or How I Became An Entrepreneur