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Mar 17

Papermaking Basics from 42Explore

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Easier - Paper is a sheet material made from fibers of wood, grass, or cotton. It can be used for writing, printing, and packaging.
Harder - Paper is made from cellulose fibers that are found in all plant cell walls. The fibers may come from any one of several plant sources such as wood, bamboo, cotton, esparto, hemp, jute, sugar cane, wheat, or rice. However in North America, wood is the major source of paper making fibers. A mixture of water and fibers is filtered through a fine screen to form a sheet of paper. As the wet sheet is dried, chemical bonds are formed between the molecules in the cellulose fibers to give the paper its strength.

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Mar 17

Paper making - Educational article excerpt from The Getty

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Dear Curt,
I have recently wrote a lesson plan on paper making, and colored paper making. The supplies that you need would be a blender, shredded cotton paper, screen, wood or duck tape for the frames of the screen, acrylic paints, felt and a few heavy books to drain the excess liquid. Water will also be very essential. The procedures are to put the shredded paper into the blender with water and create pulp. At this time if you want the paper to be colored you would add acrylic paint. Pour the pulped colored liquid into a bucket and continue until the bucket is filled. Make sure that the container in which the pulped liquid goes is big enough to fit the screen.

After the container is filled have the students dip there wood framed screens, or duck taped screens into the mixture and move is front and back to cover the screen with the substance. Drain the screen and lay it between two pieces of felt to suck up the excess water, and apply pressure with the heavy books to drain. Peel off the screen and let air dry. If my memory serves me correctly this is how to make paper. There are several different methods, and books that you could find. If antone has anything to add to my procedures please do, and correct me if anything is wrong. I tried to do it the easier, more economical way.

SUNY New Paltz,NY

You can add colored tissue paper for dye instead of acrylic paint. Acrylic will stain clothes if it is splashed during the papermaking process. The tissue creates great color but it will temporarily stain your hands. Construction paper works well, too, shredded up and added to the pulp; the colors aren’t as vivid as tissue paper but the dye won’t stain your hands as much. Colored pulp is fun because you can put different colors together onto one screen and construct a multicolored piece of paper from a variety of tubs. I use the deep plastic dishwashing tubs you can buy at the dime store for holding the paper pulp. I usually have students save the flower heads from cut flowers, collect skins from onions, dried plants, etc. to throw in one tub. Additionally, there is also a tub where I put in glitter and sequins which is always really popular.

The other alternative to do keep your pulp white and do watercoloring right on top of the wet paper after it is couched. Kids love this. The only danger is if they are still “scrubbing” while painting with a brush and in that case, may pull some of the fiber apart.

Instead of felt, you can use handiwipes for couching the paper from the screen. The advantage of handiwipes is that you can throw them in the washing machine after you are finished with them. The paper also dries more quickly on the handiwipes. I put plastic on a table if I’m doing it inside, otherwise, you can lay the handiwipes outside to dry. I have used masking tape on the handiwipes to identify whose paper is whose, but the older tape has a tendancy to pull away some of the handiwipe.

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Feb 19

Alien School - Fictional Excerpt

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009 in Fiction

The Alien School is approached from Centerline Rd.  Centerline of course is not an accurate term, merely man’s arbitrary designation –both verbal and geographic- a means of dividing space and other things to suit his preferences.  One approaches the Alien school ,then, by means of Centerline Road only when driving.  There are other routs for those whose who either prefer them or who lack the means to use our method of movement.

The school is situated directly in the path of Centerline on a wooded rise surrounded by sugar cane.  The road consequently is compelled to make an abrupt right angle turn.

This is a dangerous intersection – the Alien School and Centerline road.  Many have been known to fail to negotiate this curve.  Indeed, Centerline Road is for its entire length across the island treacherous at best.  It’s smooth straight path is deceiving –giving the illusion of a journey safe from the precarious edges of less traveled roads.

The death rate is higher here than anyplace on the island.  Of course, it is the most commonly used rout.

If one leaves Centerline to visit the school, it is by continuing straight and not following through the curve. Extreme caution should be exercised because if you what to visit the school you must cross the oncoming traffic in a blind curve.  Although this unmarked exit is used more frequently now than at any time in the last 500 years most users of the road do not expect any one to leave the concrete for the dirt track leading up the rise to the School.  It is best therefore to signal well in advance.

Once off the main road one is immediately immersed in dust.  The climate here is hellishly hot and dry.  Weeds grope for water and strangle any of the more delicate plants and wild flowers.  Through the dust the Cane can be seen standing in straight irony, waiting to be harvested by the hands of the Aliens.  Dust bellows from the tiers, rocks and ruts jolt the vehicle while it bottoms out on all shocks, shattering the companion passengers, their driver struggling to maintain off road control.

The dirt track leads straight through the cane fields as if it were the original Centerline.

In the rearview mirror the path behind dissolves into opaque, lightless dust. The cane recedes like a green tide, it’s undertow leaving a dust torrent in its wake.  And in the dust you smell the sweet- green life-smell vanish.  And the rearview mirror is now chalk brown.

You will experience some apprehension as you travel the gradual slope.  Once off the main road no destination here on the island is easily reached and it is difficult to estimate the casualty rate on the Alien road.  Few accidents are ever reported and there is of course no safety patrol on this road in the first place.  Once across the cane fields and onto the slope you have a chance.

The school first appears as a pale green shadow behind the screen of trees and brush. It only gradually emerges taking more specific form. Its configuration is not unusual, a harmonious integration of it’s two original functions: Catholic Church and slave plantation.  Although certain repairs and additions have been made across the centuries the foundations and original plan are intact. The foundation is of massive hand hewn stone. Walls surround and connect the building. The faded pale green stucco contrasts with the vivid green of the cane field now only a dusty mirage below.

The date on which the first blade pierced the earth to lay the foundations of the Plantation and mission is not known.  Experts have attempted every kind of research in vain.  The history of the building seems to have lost itself in the ground just as it’s pale green hue     is lost in the screen of vegetation that surrounds it. At any rate the ground, which once had to be removed to make way for the church, great house and slave quarters, seems to have endured the weight.  The house which once must have stood upon that hill as a proud conquer now has settled into that very ground surrendering it’s pride to the parched earth.

At some point the original builders abandoned both the church and the plantation.   Scholars debate wither for reasons of economic, political or personal plight.  It is thought however that the evacuation was sudden and inexplicable because the buildings were in usable condition showing no signs of fire or weather damage and no indication of violence when the aliens began to move in.

The interior of the place is divided into rooms and chambers of varying sizes.  No particular room seems to be used for any identifiable purpose.  Rather, those who throughout the centuries have found their way here have made of them what they could: some rooms for living and some for dying.  Their walls bear the same faded green like the exterior but are a weak link to the outside. This interior seems sealed by the vary vacant windows and doors through which the air moves without hindrance.

This vague feeling is enhanced by the cool shadows that overlap one another and seem to be a matrix of tonal containment.  And while the shadow is a blessing in escaping the merciless sun it is itself so dense as to make vision irrelevant. The outside sunlight seems unable and even unwilling to enter this place.  The remaining shutters emit shadows, which are darker bars against the green tinted gloom.  They rattle in the wind and their skeletal offspring dance in the vacancy.