Recently I had a paper-making lesson. I’ve made paper once before but it was in a large class situation and most of the preparation was done by the organisers in advance. This time there were only two of us – myself and a high school student. Courtney is gaining experience towards creating her major work portfolio for her exams and I’m thinking ahead, as I’d love to print and stitch on my own paper.
Jill, who was guiding us, produced some mountboard offcuts for us to pulp. We tore it up as best we could and left it to soak.
The pulp was added to more water and we proceeded to pick up the diluted solution using a deckle. Once the water drained we were able to remove the top deckle section giving us lovely even paper edges.
The deckle was upturned onto a padded board and a couching cloth (pronounced cooching). It was slightly rocked before lifting to reveal a very, very wet pulp paper form. I hesitate to describe it as paper at this stage.
Here are some paper effects underway:
Clockwise from top left: wet pulp with rolled sections to produce a lacy effect, solid yellow overlaid colour, soft integration of purple pulp, pulp pressed onto a bamboo mat, pulp pressed into textural fabric.
Some finished pieces:
Textural papers (I’ve had to play with the photos a bit to get the textures to show):
I’ve been wondering what to do with all the prints I made for Printmaking 1 which ended up being surplus to requirements, proofs, practice pieces or mistakes. I’m going to remake the paper so I can use it again. I’ve cut all the plain paper surrounds away, sorted them into paper types and started to shred, ready for soaking and reforming into new sheets. The prints themselves have been kept to one side (can’t pulp those because of the oil based inks I used) and will be used as collage pieces in other projects over time
Let’s see how I get on with this lot before moving to the rest. With a bit of luck I won’t have to buy any new paper for a while to come!!