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Writing on Nepalese Mountain Paper

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

In the last post, Mahsheed used Nepalese Mountain paper to create wonderful collages. It is lightweight, which makes it great for layering & moulding to a shape. For all it's lightness, mountain paper is also robust…. it's made from the bark fibres of the lokta plant, which grows above 3000 feet in the Himalayan foothills. The crop is totally renewable and the plants re-grow & are ready to harvest again in about 4 years.

 These two on the cerise are written in a liquid Chinese stick ink (bought from a Chinese supermarket) using a Chinese calligraphy brush. A metal nib works well enough on this paper; the surface is actually very crisp although the paper feels soft, if that makes sense!

I want to be an outrageous old woman who never gets called old lady.
I want to get leaner & meaner & sharp edged 
and earth coloured until I fade away from pure joy.
~ Julie Kookin ~

I copied the quote from someone else years ago & searched for it's origins a while back. The words had been used in a film, & I think the character was Julie Kookin…(I may be wrong on this as information was conflicting) and were taken from "Country Women- A handbook for the new farmer, by Jeanne Tetrault & Sherry Thomas". Annoyingly I never wrote down the source for any of this, and now I can't even find a reference to the quote anywhere, so if anyone knows anything, please share!

I have tracked down the 'Country Women' book though...
… and look, it even has calligraphy on the cover. It seems to be a practical book with stories & poetry too, & judging by this review, it looks like one worth purchasing.

"The line art work is graceful, poetry is inspiring, the diaries reassure me that I am not alone in my failures or frustrations, and the practical information is well worded, empowering women into thinking 'yes, I can do this'. I refered time and time again to the companion planting section, wood cookstove section, wood splitting section... in fact, I referred so often to so many parts of the book that they are now committed to memory, along with my favorite poems. The book is somewhat dated in some ways, yet absolutely timeless in others."

forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet
& the winds long to play with your hair
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

These were written with gouache… and with a brush again. I do like the effect of black brush lettering on the coloured mountain paper, especially where the paint is running out… and it feels gorgeous as I write. I can see a series of these coming up when I order some more paper. 



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