This morning we went to create paper at a small factory called one of the “most eco-friendly paper in the world” according to the owners Facebook, I’m actually unsure of the name. But this was a group workshop where we made paper out of elephant poo. When we first arrived we were welcomed at the door by the owners family including his young daughter who presented us each with flowers as a welcome gift.
This workshop was a really interesting idea that is obviously very low cost because elephant dung is easy to find here in India, mixing it 25% cotton to make the perfect mixture. we all got the chance to create paper placing the mixture into water and string it over a frame. Then we pulled the frame up creating a perfectly flat surface and covering it with organza/silk and flipping it onto the surface and draining the water from it. It was just like we had done previously at uni, and when we were doing it, I didn’t even think about it being elephant dung because it didn’t smell at all and the surface of the finished paper were really nice.
Afterwards we went to the roof top of the small factory and sat and ate lunch that the owners wife had nicely made for us. We also had a talk from the owner about how he came into the business which was really quite interesting.
Afterwards we travelled to the textile factory, where they create block printed textiles. Like in the museum the day before but there were many men on large printing tables using small blocks to print miles of fabrics using brightly coloured dyes. Again these men were printing very quickly and creating such precise designers which I thought would be relatively easy because the blocks match up but when we got our turn I found it really hard to get the prints to line up. Obviously this technique takes a lot of time to gain skills. But after seeing such beautiful designs, and buying my own stamp I want to attempt to create blocks and try use these techniques in my work when I return to Cardiff.
Later on we then moved to go to the Blue Pottery factory where we saw men fixing the surface of different pieces of pottery and others painting, which looked very skilled. I was very impressed with all the different designs they had on the tiles, which I ended up buying because I liked some so much. Georgie got the chance to get hands on by doing some throwing.