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Old 09-30-2007, 12:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Banana Paper!

The other day my wife came home from Whole foods Market with a gift for me, a notebook made from Banana fiber! Totally cool!! It has a nice look and feel to it although it is very expensive. They claim that one ton of banana fiber saves an estimated 17 trees.

Here is their website.
http://www.ecopaper.com/tree-free-pa...k-banana-paper
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Saving trees sounds like a plan to me!
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's actually pretty easy to make banana paper.... It helps if you have a mulcher, though.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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recycle and reuse! anything to save trees! thats why im excited to find this nana paper. ill use it for school next semester!
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i bookmarked the page. thank you very much. ill be the only one at school next semester with nana paper. wahoo! it is a bit expensive but if it saves trees im all for spending a little more on it. ill have to order some for my daughter for school too i dont think ill get the mango paper, i might end up snacking on it between classes! lol!
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually most of the trees used in paper production were planted just for that very purpose. The paper companies are some of the largest landholders and they plant the trees. Old growth timber is rarely cut for paper as it would be too big. Even the so called recycled paper has at least 65% virgin pulp 35% post consumer waste. using 100% post consumer waste wouldnt work because the wood fibers lose strength during the repulping process and this would make the paper sheet to brittle to even run on the machine, much less make a usable product such as liner board or corrugated boxes from.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This post is in response to someone called dbvais, who PM'd me, but to whom I cannot reply to in PM for whatever reason.

Here's how I make banana paper.

It's fairly easy if you have a mulcher, and a bit more labour intensive if you don't.

Either way, you need to chop the fibre of the stalks and leaves up fairly fine - think pieces of 1" length or less. Then put this along with enough water to more than float the fibre into a cauldron (or at least a honking big pot) and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. I like to do this outdoors, since the smell is not the world's most appetizing.

Once it's boiled for about half an hour, take it off the fire and go in there with eggbeaters and whip it good until all of the little fibres have separated. As it cools, you'll be able to go in with your hands and help this process along. At the end you should have a pulpy slurry.

Now comes the part where you actually form up the sheets. You need screens to do this; I used to use old silkscreens, but you can just buy fine mesh and encase it in wooden frames. I make fairly large sheets all at once; if you make your own screens you can control the size of the finished paper.

Now for the really messy part - be sure to do this outdoors. Take a ladle and gently ladle the pulpy mixture onto the screens, spreading lightly and trying to make sure that you get a consistent thickness of pulp, no more than 1 milimeter (1/16th of an inch) across the entire screen. Allow this to drip off flat. I have a special table that I've made, which is just edges that I can rest the screens on, and no flat surface. My paper drips out onto the ground below it. Once it's half dry, I take fitted blocks of super-smooth wood, slot them into the screens one to each side, and press the paper under large heavy rocks. This creates a smooth and a toothed surface to the paper. It's not a necessary step, but since I use the paper for painting and sketching I like the finish.

In South Ecuador, it's so dry and windy that paper dries in one day, in the North it takes two if it doesn't rain. Once it's most of the way dry, gently peel it off of the screens and hang it by clothespins on a line to finish the drying process.

If you press, one side of your finished paper will be very smooth, and the other will have a mild tooth. If you don't press, both sides will have tooth (roughness.)
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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When I lived in Panama, they used banana paper to wrap all the fruits at the chinese market. As teenagers, we used it for rolling paper. Quite harsh!
No, I'm not ashamed to admit it. That was a long time ago.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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BUMP. NotherNana, I knew we had a thread on it somewhere. My basic process is detailed here. I've refined it somewhat since; basically in the first boil process I now add a bit of lye to help the fibres along, and I've started to experiment with peroxide bleaching processes. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to PM me or ask here!
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lorax,
yes, 'This is how we do it'... Thanks for the page jump. What style of art do you execute?
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Depends on my mood. I do woodcuts in the old Nipponese style, I paint (acrylic, watercolour and gouache) in various styles, I do pen-and-ink in Art Deco and Art Nouveaux styles, I sketch from life with graphite, charcoal, conte, and pastel (oil and chalk). Then there's collage and bricolage, and mixed media of all types. I find that making paper in and of itself is an art.

To answer one of your earlier questions, from bananas I make fine laid full-hard sheets, 4-deckle half-hard cream sheets for drawing, 4-deckle soft sheets for charcoal, and hard matting in natural-dye colours. From 50% mango pulp and mango waste and 50% cotton rag I make 4-deckle soft sheets. From oat chaff and straw and 50% banana I make soft matting and 4-deckle half-hard sheets. I also occasionally pull sheets of 25% recycled, 25% banana, and 50% quinua staple. It's all acid-free archival (except the Mango, which is naturally a bit acidic.)

I also sculpt, weld (constructivist steel abstracts), and throw pottery. In the more abstract art forms, I tailor and do other fun things with cloth and leather (garments, etc) and I cobble.

Here's one of my costume designs, on banana that I tinted with a bit of India ink. It's for Electra. Unfortunately, they took another designer for the project; they thought my work was going to be too complex to build (they were wrong, and ultimately the show when several thousand dollars over on the armour the other designer proposed.)
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I LOVE your design and thoughts lorax. The dress is so flowing, contemporary, lovely, a touch of asian, which is always refreshing and newage. (my favorite)

I cannot upload, so must wait for Nichole to come back to upload the pictures. But want to show you my work too. If you can, please use the link then, that she has placed at bottom of this post, so you could also see my works for now? I will ask her to really make the pictures here when she returns from shopping.

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Old 05-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wah. If I was half the sculptor you are.... Then again, textiles have always been my forte. Here's a pair from a show that actually got produced - Jocasta, which was the first play a new take on the Oedipus cycle. I'll add that these were my third set of designs, the others having been rejected by the director and producers.



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Old 05-14-2009, 05:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's interesting to see what you do with rugs (by which I mean I'm floored) - I do bargello, myself; could never wrap my head around tying carpets.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I do not know your age lorax, but please do not fall into any belief cycle of what 'designers or gallery owners' tell you...they all want YOUR talent...and for almost free. I'm old man now, and learned long ago, not to go with them. I do what i do. I'll work with them, (but now on my terms) but you must stand up to them.

Your above photographs are lovely, exquisite. They will steal if they can. They wish to think that their 'college background'...gives them some right to your inborn talent, Monentarily.
i have read many posts here as i can and see you happy, on an 'island'. continue this way friend, at least with your art.
The work you do is beautiful.
Gino
PS: I hope you got the 'old man' part and pay attention to that cynical remark...it was intended. To protect you
PPS: Not meaning to sound so cynical, but when speaking of art, am verrrrrry good at this particular game, and have been played enough to know how to 'hold my cards'...so to speak

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Old 05-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Other Designers and Gallery owners can bug off. I'm 26 and I have PhDs in what I do, and I say anybody who says that their "college background" gives them the right to steal my work (or anybody else's for that matter) should be shot. My talent is mine; I sell the results and at a premium. I've fought copyright battles successfully in Canada (the NTS tried to steal a set of designs I did while working on my master's), and the whole Theft-a-roo things is why I don't maintain a website of my designs. I have enough work here in Ecuador that I don't need to advertize (I'm one of 3 scenographers on the continent.) I come from a family of artists; my aunt is well regarded in stained glass, my grandmother in oils, and my mother in needlepoint and yarns. I'm a bit more of a generalist, but I have a touch for textiles and a completely different kind of feel for wood.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I am so glad to hear this lorax . Because new here, and do not know your whole background, I guess i became overly protective...as to things that happened to me in past. You guys are experts in naner's, I do know my art... so felt I might be of some assistance. Did not want to see bad things happen to another fine artist.
You go girl.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It's cool! I just hate having to beat gallery owners with a stick to get them to see things my way. I just finished an exhibition of batiks that almost didn't happen because the gallery was being such a snot.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Textiles are so great to work in. They take to paints, watercolors if one chooses, or oils, in a different, slower way. Have you ever tried to work with bamboo or sisal? I bet you'd be great at it, if you have not already tried. Pulvers....as paint....awesome! They have got to be my favorite. I love their suspension rate
Gino
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sisal yes (I make my own), but bamboo is a new territory to explore; I know how to cut it for hardwood work, but I haven't started experimenting with bentwood yet.
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