Friday, January 23, 2009

More Adventures in Papermaking

I got to try making paper in one of my art education classes last year, and since then I've been wanting to try it again at home. Winter break is the perfect time to do projects and make huge messes in my kitchen, so I decided to go for it.
I used recycled scraps of paper this time (mostly junk mail and brown bag paper), tore them up and soaked them in water, then pureed them in the blender. Then I dumped the pulp into a sink of water, and used a homemade frame to pull sheets of paper. I made the frame out of old stretcher bars, stapled on some window screen and covered the edges in duct tape. Once I had a nice even layer of pulp on the screen, I let the water drain off and then squeezed out the extra water by laying the frame paper side down on a towel and blotting the back with a sponge.
Basically I figured out what I wanted to, which is that you can easily make paper out of scrap. I think this would be a great way to use up scrap construction paper in an art classroom- you would just have to sort it by color so you wouldn't end up with mud. I also learned that if you use brown paper bag to make recycled handmade paper, you end up with something resembling institutional brown paper towels. Like the kind from school bathrooms. I bet the results would be a lot more fun using a mix of coordinating colors of construction paper.


Swati Nigam said...

That sounds like a LOT of fun Copperheart! I have never made paper, but I have used this process somewhat...the paper pulp, then mix it with flour and water and boil together till it is a sticky dough, and made paper mache stuff. Long back when I was a kid :-).

Copperheart said...

I would like to try that too Swati... paper clay is so expensive, it would be great to make it at home.