Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The other day we made paper in one of my art ed classes, and while the paper i made is not particularly attractive, it was a lot of fun to do!
The teacher had set up big tubs, and we tore up little bits of paper and put them in a blender with water to make pulp, then poured it into the big tubs. Then we took window screens stretched over frames and pulled them through the pulp to pick up a layer of paper. At this point all you really have is a bunch of wet pulp sitting on a screen, but once you remove the excess water with a shop vac or sponge, it starts to look like a sheet of paper. While the paper is still wet you can shape it in a form to make a little bowl, which I think is really cool even though my bowl is particularly ugly. Either way, once the paper dries you have a totally usable, albeit somewhat lumpy piece of paper.
Anyway, I think it would be a really fun to do this with an elementary class. I think I would use recycled bits of paper to make the pulp instead of buying the special linter paper to start with. I think the activity makes a lot more sense if you use it as a way to take unusable scraps and make them into something usable.
I have to decide what to do with my little pieces of paper- maybe I'll try watercolor on them.

1 comment:

Monkey said...

I've done that with my elem. students and we all LOVE it! We keep a paper scrap box all year long and when we make the paper I tell them to choose a lot of white scraps and then one-three colors that are analogous and NONE that are complementary so they won't make brown. The prettiest I remember was a blueish color with tiny flourescent green pieces. We do it a lazier/easier way. We blend the paper and then pour it into one of the deckle screens--then we plop the paper down on some paper towels and sponge all the excess water off and let it dry for days...that way we aren't having to poor all of the paper pulp into a big tub and gather it all back up. It makes a much thicker paper. The funniest thing was when a kid was all gung-ho and wouldn't wait on me for reminders and before I could say it, she forgot to put the lid on the blender and when she hit the button paper/water went all over the place--including her. She should have been more patient. :) It was hard not to bust out laughing.