Paper out of wheat!?
” The Way of the Paper” or Traditional Paper Making, was the highlight and theme of a festival held in Villa Basilica in November.
The Commune did an excellent job helping people park safely on the side of the road which as usual had no shoulder!? I strolled around enjoying the many booths of food, crafts, food, jewelry, food, chestnuts, music, and more food. See blog post “I’m nuts!”. The children of the area made up the orchestra and they were very good and very giggly. I bought some acacia honey to take home to hubby and ate my weight in everything…I was however not expecting to be so amazed by historical paper making.
The two gentlemen doing the presentation obviously love the craft. By using “grano” or wheat …they grind the wheat in a machine using a round stone. By adding just a touch of water it turns into a pulp mixture. After it is ground to his liking it gets poured into a bucket and is checked for any large pieces that need to be taken out. The bucket of icky looking mixture is then poured into another larger vat of water and sinks to the bottom. The craftsman gets a tray (what reminds me of panning for gold) and scoops up the mixture and let’s it drain. He then whips the now wet paper upside down onto a semi round tray and bam…paper! Of course it then has to be hung to dry. They can add flowers or berries to add color. It then gets pressed for several days to make it smooth.
I was so amazed and asked lots of questions. The Italian gentlemen loved my translating phone so much I got a free completed piece of paper…hmmm, what shall I write on it? …maybe a love letter home to hubby?
There was plenty of history to read about as well in the paper making area…