Monday, July 23, 2007

Bamboo

Bamboo grows really well in this region and can be used for a ton of stuff: quill-like pens, scaffolding, flutes, bike frames, mills, and practically anything made on Gilligan’s island.

A quick search on Google has netted a bunch of really great photos of bamboo scaffolding, which is a testament to the strength of the bamboo & the incredible skill of the people who put it together and work on the scaffolds.



I’m hoping to make a loom, pens, brush handles, and other items with it. (‘bamboo loom’ generates some good Google results too). My manager just moved into a house, and had a bunch of it growing on his property. As he wants to landscape, he offered to let me have at taking as much as I wanted. Using only a hatchet and my hands (which if I ever use his bamboo, I’ll justify this by forging my own hatchet of similar size and quality), I chopped and pulled it out of the earth. I spent about ½ hour to get there, ½ of work, ½ hour back, another hour trimming it, and a bunch of time researching proper drying techniques before giving up and just letting it stand vertically outside my house.



After all of this, Ravenna and I went for a walk around the neighborhood, and in our alley, found a huge bundle of bamboo (a straighter, lighter variety) on top of a neighbor’s garbage can. Needless to say, I picked up a bunch of it too. I consider this FAIR GAME for my project as A) it grew naturally in my neighborhood, B) I personally didn’t use any modern tools to cut it, so hey, my neighbor *could* have hacked at it with a really sharp rock and C) I’m not going to look a cosmic gift horse in the mouth.

Now the only thing I have to worry about in the drying process is keeping it from the cats, as they are drawn to it like catnip.



I don’t have any twine available right now, so I’m just holding onto the bamboo until I can find a decent binder for it. That’ll buy me some time to track down some good loom plans to try out.

Next: Pigment update on Watercolor and refined oil color.

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