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Something Wonderful: Making Paper, Beginnings
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Something Wonderful: Making Paper, Beginnings

The origins of handmade paper date back to the early years of the Western Han Dynasty when the 2nd century BC Chinese started making the most primitive paper with bark.

“During the video Li strictly adheres to the ancient process, using only basic tools such as fire and a mortar and pestle to transform the raw bark. After cutting down a few trees for the paper, Li then cuts and mashes the trunks into pulp, solidifying the consistency of the solution through several rounds of soaking and drying.”

Bonus Wonderful: Plum prepares Authentic Lanzhou beef noodles, known as living culture fossil

I’m an old man, but I’m in love.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn January 18, 2018, 2:38 PM

    I was going to comment on the comparison of wood to cotton for making paper, and how I watched the wizened gent in Italy making paper the medieval way. Then, I noticed that this young lady beats the hell outta that guy in looks and grace.

    It never hurts to look great, no matter what you’re making.

  • Vanderleun January 18, 2018, 2:53 PM

    When I put this together and put it up I thought, “Casey’s gonna be all over this one.”

  • Casey Klahn January 18, 2018, 3:45 PM

    Har! I dig paper-making. ahem.

  • GoneWithTheWind January 18, 2018, 6:16 PM

    She has grace and beauty. Looks like she has a strong arms too.

  • Ruck January 18, 2018, 6:21 PM

    I saw her making kimchi yesterday and thought she was easy to look at. She’ll make some guy a good wife since she can do anything.

  • pbird January 18, 2018, 8:39 PM

    Ruck I betcha that girl is being filmed by her husband.

  • Bill in Tennessee January 19, 2018, 7:44 AM

    Does this mean you are backing off on your “nuked too much” theme? I pray not!

  • Vanderleun January 19, 2018, 8:13 AM

    She’s Chinese. The Japanese are still thematic. Daily.

  • John Venlet January 19, 2018, 8:13 AM

    Something wonderful? Multiples of wonderful.

  • Jack January 19, 2018, 8:22 AM

    Excellent and very interesting vid. I had heard about that process and I’ve always been interested but being a Staples customer….well, ya know, I just never got around to it.

    Despite the instruction, I am always pleased to see beautiful Asian girls and I don’t recall ever seeing a fat one with her greasy hair knotted on her head, covered in tatts and bursting out of her tight clothing while guzzling a Big Gulp Dr. Pepper.

  • Outdoorspro (former) January 19, 2018, 8:52 AM

    “I’m an old man, but I’m in love.”
    Right there with you.
    Who is this goddess?

  • Rick January 19, 2018, 9:11 AM

    Her name is Li Ziki but if you search that name you get porn. You have to open the video in YT then click on her other videos in the sidebar. She has lots.
    pbird- I’ll bet you’re right about her husband filming.

  • Bunny January 19, 2018, 9:19 AM

    Those are truly beautiful videos. I only wish there were an English explanation of what she is making in some of them. They are fun to watch, regardless.

  • tim January 19, 2018, 11:05 AM

    Purely sublime, in every sense of that overused word. I believe the French would describe as ‘je ne sais quoi’. Modern Western women could learn much about the femininity and subtle grace displayed.

    Having experienced Asian women as a younger man I’ve always held a certain affinity for them. Now a bit older I think it only gets stronger.

  • pbird January 19, 2018, 1:16 PM

    Now Jack, there are fat, homely and old Chinese ladies. Be realistic. This one makes a point of being as picturesque as her surroundings and Good For Her for knowing how to do things. I wish everybody knew how to do things. Nothing is more pathetic than the crown of creation with nowhere to go.

  • John A. Fleming January 19, 2018, 1:30 PM

    1. Whattaya bet there’s probably nǎinai or yéyé tech advisors hovering out of view of the camera? That’s some pretty slick production. After all, who would watch a wizened and stooped old-timer? She makes it look good.

    2. I don’t get it. She’s goes through all that trouble to make a fabulous paper sheet, she’s got those wicked-sharp chinese knives at hand, yet she botches the paper-cutting in a moment of inattention and throws it all in the fire. That must be an opaque chinese cultural reference not accessible to us. It only makes sense if you grew up there.

  • Bunny January 19, 2018, 4:07 PM

    It was no longer perfect or suited to its use so the whole thing had to be thrown away, perhaps? I’m sure that’s not your typical Chinese rural hideaway. The video is very slick and idealized, but that makes it appealing, a little work of art in itself. Maybe her work will help keep interest in the traditional arts alive.

  • Butch January 19, 2018, 4:43 PM

    That first video reminded me of a YouTube video of an episode of James May’s “Man Lab” in which he made toilet paper from scratch. Not much grace and beauty, though.

    Gonna watch her again.

  • Vanderleun January 19, 2018, 6:17 PM

    “She’s goes through all that trouble to make a fabulous paper sheet, she’s got those wicked-sharp chinese knives at hand, yet she botches the paper-cutting in a moment of inattention and throws it all in the fire. ”

    Actually, when it comes to “cutting” handmade paper, softer cutting blades with rounded edges are preferred since sharp can easily damage the delicate weave of fibers.

    Still, there’s many a slip and th e attitude here is that if it doesn’t go correctly at any stage for any reason, scrap it and begin again.

  • pbird January 19, 2018, 7:16 PM

    Guys, at the very end of the video she is writing on the ripped and toasted piece of paper. What amused me was the noise she made when she cut it wrong. She had a little hissy and then rescued the paper and used it, as she should.

  • rabbit tobacco January 19, 2018, 7:51 PM

    am i a man dreaming i am a butterfly,or a butterfly dreaming i am a man?

  • Doug January 20, 2018, 6:15 AM

    Am I a rabbit that ate a tobacco leaf or a cannabis leaf?

  • Snakepit Kansas January 20, 2018, 7:20 AM

    You have to admire a woman that can handle a knife like that.

    I am fortunate enough to have a little Asian wife. We got married in the PI while I was working there. She is hot as a two dollar pistol, even after 14 years.

  • Casey Klahn January 20, 2018, 9:46 AM

    Gerard, interesting @ the blade used. Destroying the imperfect work makes perfect sense to me, and yet the rescue that pbird caught, which I did not notice, is also cool beans, because it demonstrates the circular passions of the artisan.

    Chinese are noted for ripping-off western art. Copying a master is the epitome of good practice. In the west, we cringe at that. There are entire factory cities in godknownswhere backwoods China that employ copiers who sit at a desk, with a monitor or something, perhaps a print, and copy Edgar Degas and Rembrandt. The same thing happens in other industries, but to me the art forgery is the epitome of weird eastern cultural spoil. Once, when I was showing at the Bellevue art fair, which is a bit snazzy, this oriental dude was walking through the venue with a good camera at his shoulder, recording the whole thing in a passthrough. I stood in front of my booth and snarled at him.

    If you google most master artists, you’ll find that a certain percentage of your results also offer to sell you that painting, in oil, and from China.

    Having said all this, I have friends who are Chinese artists, and they do endeavor to be great at what they do. Take everything with a grain of salt, though. A good painting by a Chinese guy can fetch a smaller sum than a bad painting. Why? Position in the party.

    Don’t make me tell you about the sideways part…

  • Aggie January 20, 2018, 7:48 PM

    You haven’t put up the best video yet. Man……Li Ziqi can even cook ribs. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-jcavZ3Faw

  • Larry Geiger January 22, 2018, 6:01 AM

    Nice boots.

  • edaddy January 22, 2018, 10:02 AM

    Total Chinese agitprop … follow the links and use Google Translate.

    Chairman Mao would be proud.

  • Snakepit Kansas January 22, 2018, 10:25 AM

    I watched this again with my little ones. I think Gerard is right. To make the point, she cut it incorrectly with the intention of demonstrating her desire for perfection.

  • Vanderleun January 22, 2018, 11:20 AM

    Now now edaddy, beware becoming one of the “Witch Sniffers”

    Witch Sniffer – Surrounded by a circle of women and girls who clapped their hands and droned a low, monotonous chant, the rhythm of which changed occasionally with the stamping of feet, the witch smellers proceeded to work themselves up into a frenzy. In this state, they spun, stalked and leapt, eventually touching one or more of the people with their switches, upon which the person was immediately dragged away and killed. All the living things in the accused witch’s hut, human and animal, were also killed. Sometimes an entire kraal was exterminated in this way.

  • edaddy January 22, 2018, 6:12 PM

    Dammit Gerard, I watched every single video of that little Chinese whore twice and it wasn’t until I watched the video Aggie linked before I figured it out. Go to Aggie’s video and the revelation comes at the 1:45 minute mark. Watch it. Now!

    Have you ever seen a Chinese woman who wears a push up bra like that who ain’t one of Jing Ping Dinga Ling’s favorite little commie hussies?

    Witch sniffer? Damm straight. I am very disappointed in you Gerard … you should have caught that one.