Planning for Spring

Cristina takes a look over the Text In-Transit Submissions

Despite the snow, the lethargy onset by exam schedules and year-end assignments, and a few core BCL folk leaving town for the summer, we had a great and productive meeting. We started going through the Text In-Transit submissions, continued working on our magnetic planters, worked on our Rhizome commission, brainstormed the idea of a book, and started to refine our ideas for our community garden (more details on this soon).

We had a long agenda. It’s always tough to try to figure out where to start, what needs the most attention, and how to keep the momentum going.

Darren brought up FedUp looking for art for their gardens. He suggested we work on making some small signs to hold labels for the plants in the garden.

Mike got a hold of Darren’s new camera—it’s small, slick, and shoots 720p video.

Stan, a student over in nursing, came out and helped to brainstorm some of the infrastructural needs around the community garden.

Cristina talked about her experiences making books in the past, and some ideas for what a Broken City Lab book could be.

The wire and planters from past experiments.

Testing the strength of some magnets I had in my studio.

The disappointingly failed experiment. A week later and they never dried.

Cristina and I go over the Rhizome commission application, trying to put some final touches on it.

Cristina, Darren, and Mike went through some photos to try to pull together a long-promised bio page for the site.

Mike also took a look at the commission—fresh eyes are always good.

Cristina going through the many, many Text In-Transit submissions. I think we’ve started to narrow them down, hopefully we’ll finalize the list next week.

Darren working with the metal wire, trying to find a more suitable shape for the planters.

Darren did some experimenting with the wire and came up with a better potential shape for the planters. Doing something rectangular makes a lot more sense given that we’re trying to have these stick to a flat surface.

I went into my studio to try to find some preexisting shapes that we could mould the paper pulp around.

A brief snapshot of our discussion around the community garden.

Stan kept some good notes of the discussion around the community garden.

Danielle continued to work on addressing the aesthetics of paper pulp—it could probably be mistaken for a wasp nest.

I went back to trying to polish the commission and renew my Rhizome membership.

Bree brought a lot of energy for ideas around the community garden, lots to think about, and start to push forward.

Stan’s notes.

More notes.

Lots to do, but it feels incredible to know that spring is around the corner.

4 Replies to “Planning for Spring”

  1. I have some suggestions. I looked in my attic and I have lots of cotton linters but no abaca sheets. I might be able to get you some though; just let me look around a bit. Newsprint pulp might not be strong enough on its own because the fibres are very short.

    Moulding raw pulp around an object isn’t the strongest way to create a form. What you want to do is use a traditional paper mould and couch some sheets of paper, then lay them into your mould in layers. The process of forming the sheet aligns the fibres and gets them better bonded with one another, and your form will be thinner and stronger. You can also mould the sheets around the outside of an object, so with the two cups method you would only use the small inner cup and leave it to dry with the paper on top of it. With this method you could easily embed the magnets between layers and they wouldn’t lose a lot of strength as there would only be a small amount of paper over the magnet’s surface.

    If you’re interested in trying out the sheeting method I could give you a demo sometime (I’d have shown up on your doorstep with paper mould in hand already if Tuesday nights weren’t terrible for me). Once the hollander beater is repaired we’re planning to offer papermaking courses out of WPF but y’all probably don’t want to wait that long.

    1. Jodi! Thank you for that insight – it makes complete sense!! … we haven’t yet made a screen yet for making paper sheets, which I think is the reason we resorted to doing it this way.

      If there is a particular night that is better for you than Tuesdays, maybe I could gather a few of us up for you to give us a demo. We’re getting really anxious to get this project off the ground, now that we’ve had two days of sunshine in a row.

  2. Now that you’re in exams, is there a time during the day when some of us could get together for a demo? My workdays are a lot more flexible than evenings. I can borrow a screen from the Printmakers Forum, and if I still have one of my old homemade screens in the basement you could have it. All you need is your prepared pulp, sizing (glue) and a couple of wool felts or pieces of old blanket.

    1. That’s awesome Jodi! Thank you!!!
      Maybe we could get some time on Tuesday or Wednesday during the day. I’ll send a note around to other BCL folk … let me know if there’s a particular day that is best for you.

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