Day 5 Sunday Week 2:

Drying the Paper

A century old Japanese Drying boardA modern drying board made from a solid panel of cedar

The paper is dried on boards. These improve with age and the finished sheets of paper will show the pattern of the wood grain.

The wet and fragile sheets are rolled gently but firmly onto the boards.rolling the paper onto the board
drying boards arrayed outsideThen the Boards are spread outside in the sun to dry. Cool sunny weather provides the best drying conditions for paper. Very hot weather will yield limp paper.
In this image you can see how the paper is conforming to the raised woodgrain in the old drying board.paper drying on century old Japanese board
Dry paper ready to be removedThis sheet is dry and ready to be peeled from the board.

Conclusion

This workshop was a window on a traditional and labour intensive discipline which may disappear in our lifetime. Or like other crafts, Paper making may experience a renaissance in a world starved for satisfaction and meaning in manual labour. Two excellent resources are:

Japanese Papermaking Traditions, Tools, and Techniques by Timothy Barrett, New York, Weatherhill c.1983

Papermaking the History and Technique of an Ancient Craft by Dard Hunter, New York, Dover Publications c. 1943, 1947 A. Knopf

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