Wednesday, 27 July 2011

and now for something completely different - paper making

Yesterday, I decided to have a shot at papermaking. It's ages since I have done it but I had a nice stack of scraps left over from making my jewellery. I absolutely hate waste, so much so that I can get slightly cluttered with bits and pieces that in the words of my mother, 'Will come in, one day'.

STAGE ONE When papermaking you need to plan a little in advance. First, I got the mulch ready. This involved a bucket of warm water, the paper torn up into little pieces and then left to soak overnight.

For those of you who have never tried papermaking it's fun, cheap to do and the results are quite often a suprise. I always use the paper scraps I have left over and that's it, but you could add in grass, petals, old potpourri, food colour to make your paper more interesting ...... the list is endless. Use up all your junk mail, misprints, envelopes or magazine. In my example, I just love the way there is odd words still left behind.

If you decide to have a go there are plenty of websites out there that will take you through the basics including YouTube for those that prefer visual learning.

STAGE TWO: After leaving the paper to soak overnight, I got together all my tools for paper making and got started. Here's the list:-

Jeye Cloths or equivalent
Plastic Storage Box
Old Newspapers for soaking up water
Paper Making frames
Scrap Paper for your paper making
Food Blender

You can easily adapt two 2 identical A5 picture frames (one with mesh attached to the back). It goes without saying that you must remove the glass and the backing boards of your frames.

STAGE THREE: Place some of the soaked paper into the blender (not too much or your blender will dance around the surface) and whizz in short bursts, adding a little water when the pulp stops moving. The idea is you are breaking down the fibres until you have a soft pulp. Each time my pulp is ready I place in in my plastic storage box which is about half filled with water.

STAGE FOUR: Swish your hand around in the water
until the pulp is mixed in with the water. Now taking your frame with the mesh (side up) with the deckal on top scoop into the water and collect some of the pulp. Let the water drain out. Whilst you're waiting place some layers of newspaper ready on the side.

STAGE FIVE: Remove the decal frame and place a jeye clother over the newly formed paper. I usually press over the surface with my hand to remove excess water. Lay the frame, jeye cloth face down. Use another cloth to rub inside the frame to remove any further excess water. Now lift up the frame leaving behind the jeye cloth with newly formed paper sheet. Cover with another jeye cloth and some more newspaper sheets.

repeat until all the paper pulp is used up.

STAGE SIX: There are two options. ONE remove the paper from the layers and allow to dry flat. TWO remove one piece of paper at a time and iron flat.

No comments: