Monday, November 23, 2009

Elephant poop and sketches

I just put in an order for some paper from my regular mail order company.  While I can get a lot of basic supplies here, pricing tends to be more expensive here and bargains can be had along with unique finds in art materials.

Today I found tree-less multimedia paper and ordered a few sheets to try out.

No priming is needed as this paper doesn't buckle, and makes an ideal surface for oils, acrylics, charcoal, pencil, pen & ink, watercolour & more. 
Terraskin is made from 75% mineral powder (ground calcium carbonate or limestone) combined with 25% non-toxic resin. Tree-free, this paper uses no water or bleach during manufacturing.

This 348 lb paper feels similar to a 300 lb watercolour sheet, but is not as stiff as it does not contain any sizing.

There are quite a number of tree-free papers available it seems, including elephant poop, yep, the real thing.  Odorless and bacteria free.  Don't think I want to make that kind of paper. However, its a logical progression seeing that the diet of elephants, like horses or cows is predominantly grasses or other woody matter.

An additional link to more hand made papers is here.

Green Living Tips points to a number of varieites to look out for:

Bagasse - the pulp that remains after extracting juice from sugar cane.

Mango - Mango paper is usually from Thailand. It is made from kozo (paper mulberry) and mango leaf.

Banana - Made from waste bark of banana tree which is cut after the bananas have been ripened.

Cotton - Can be made from old cotton rags, clothing and general cotton waste

Jute - you've probably seen jute twine; usually brownish in color and quite coarse. It can also be made into  high-quality writing and specialty papers

Elephant poop - yes, you read it right, poop - but it's bacteria free and odor free :).

Hemp - Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was the owner of a mill that made hemp paper and that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on paper made of hemp? Hemp has somewhat of a undeserved general reputation; but industrial hemp is an incredibly useful plant. 

Straw - as straw fibers are very similar to wood fibers, it makes an excellent paper. Oddly enough, the USA was once the largest producer of straw for paper making; but the industry no longer exists.

Tamarind -  contain petals and leaves from tamarind tree

Coconut - the husks of coconuts were usually discarded, but the fiber is now being used to create paper with a thick texture

However, I digress.  I was going to subject you to a glimpse of the contents of my head before I go to sleep at night.  Or perhaps during the night too sometimes.   Most nights before I sleep, I draw in my sketchbook.  These drawings can be snippets of anything, rather like a notebook for ideas, or notations about dreams.  Most come from somewhere in my head and have no references, simply memory to go by.  Others start out as a photo in a magazine, then morph from there.

These are a few that arrived over the last couple of weeks.  Some have futures, their thumbnail forms rough and strange. Some are destined to be trapped in the sketchbook forever.


Lindsay said...

This is very interesting. Ihave to try both the paper and the pre sleep drawing!

Margaret Ryall said...

This is great information to have collected in one spot Jeanette. I'm familiar with some since I use them in my mixed media work. A little investigation is in order.

RHCarpenter said...

Drawing from your unconscious is very interesting and all are very well drawn - I'm afraid if I was ready for bed, I would be too tired to draw but I do admire anyone who can bring to paper what is in their minds - I haven't mastered that yet unless my mind is still 6 years old! I really love that leaping hare!!! Would make a gorgeous holiday card - hint hint!

Robyn said...

LOL Jeanette - You sucked me in with the title of this post - elephant poop indeed :)

I loved seeing your bedtime sketches - particularly the rabbits and am fascinated at the number of non-wood paper options.

Jennifer Rose said...

elephant paper...hmm some how I don't think that would sell well here. would be interesting to try tho

really nice seeing the sketches from before bed. relaxing time to try and draw :)

Billie Crain said...

Love your sketches, Jeanette! The old woman in the stocking cap is my absolute fav.:) I tend to do my best doodling at night, too and find it more freeing to work on scrap paper, cheap notepads and anything that I'm not afraid to waste.

Jeanette said...

Yes, I am anxious for the paper to turn up and try it out Lindsay. Hopefully I'll get a review in once I do use it.

It amazes me just how many types of paper there are out there Margaret. Oh for an endless supply of money and time...

Rhonda, some nights nothing happens at all, except a sketchbook poking me in the eye at 2am after having fallen asleep on it!

Yes, I have plants for the hare. Stay tuned.

Good to hear from you Robyn. Elephant poop paper....who knew?

You never know Jennifer, might be just the thing for the economy :)

I like that time of day when I'm relaxed too Billie. My mind can just wander and I rarely know what will come of it.