Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Princess Tree Bark Cooking

Last summer, Book Bombs had harvested both leaves and bark from Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the Princess Tree. The leaves were made into paper for our February Print Bombing. The bark (above) was dried and put aside for another project.

And now, for part of the upcoming Book Bombs Issue #2, this bark was pulled out of storage. For its preparation, the bark was soaked overnight. The resulting dark plant liquor (below) was then poured onto the garden as fertilizer.

The fiber was cooked in washing soda, and then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed to remove traces of the washing soda and the black gunk from the fibers.

The resulting fibers were a rusty color, however here you can see them prior to rinsing the black gunk. Book Bombs discovered that if the fibers were again soaked overnight, most of the gunk fell off the fibers to the bottom of the bucket and the fibers then could be scooped off the top. However, we made the mistake of dumping the bucket entirely into the strainer and having to rinse it all by hand. Live and learn!

Still more to come on processing. Stay tuned...

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