When I was a kid, we always called Stinging Nettles “Stingys”. I hated them because they always managed to find me and sting me. I also have unhappy memories of my younger years as a biker chick, looking for somewhere to wee in the middle of a field at night at a bike rally and ending up with red and sore nether regions because I couldn’t see Stingys in the dark. In recent years, as an allotmenteer, I began to appreciate them for the nutrient rich liquid manure made by steeping them in a bin of water – one of the foulest smells ever but good for the plants. And this evening I discovered another use for them – hand made paper.
I went to a short evening workshop at Swansea’s Community Farm led by local papermaker Bryan Collis. The workers and children at the Farm harvested sackfuls of nettles for Bryan to turn into pulp and then to paper. Luckily for us, Bryan had removed the ‘stingy’ from the nettles before we got our hands on them. The paper sheets I made will dry for a couple of days between boards before I get to use them.
There’s more of my art to be seen in my online Gallery in Artfinder, please click on the image below to take a look. Thank you.