Special preview: a new item for my Etsy shop: a bamboo card holder and display.
It looks to be simplicity itself, but, as with most things handmade, producing the finished product is a little more involved.
First the bamboo is cut from the clump. Bamboo of a suitable age is usually covered in lichens and dust and needs washing to reveal its true nature – useful, damaged, beautiful, interesting… whatever it may be. Some of the bamboo culms (stems) are discarded at this stage.
The green, freshly cut bamboo is not suitable to make things at this stage for two main reasons. The bamboo shrinks as it dries and without adequate curing is very prone to insect infestation. Therefore, the bamboo needs curing and storing in a dry airy place. This takes months. Then the bamboo is ready to make something with.
Once I have some culms ready to work with, decisions are made about what to make. The diameter of the culm and thickness of the wall are considered, as is the general look of the bamboo.
Much experimentation goes into the very simple-looking functional items that I make, and many prototypes are produced. Once an item is made it then undergoes a finishing process with numerous grades of sanding paper.
Once I’m happy with a new item, I make a few of them. Then they are priced, photographed and described, before posting on Etsy. And that’s where I’m at with the new card holder and display. It shall appear on Etsy soon.