A couple of weeks ago I posted about making paper pulp from a variety of materials including denim and hessian. After the workshop there was plenty left for me to use, so I made some paper from the hessian.
It’s my habit to take my pressed, damp paper home to dry it, instead of immediately rolling it onto boards and leaving it at the Primrose Park studio. As it’s a long drive from my home I’m not always sure when I’ll get back there.
Once I have my paper home, still in a pile (known as a ‘post’) with each piece on a couching cloth, I proceed to roll them on to every smooth surface I can find: the top of the washing machine, dryer, freezer, fridge, vanity in the spare bathroom and even my very well cleaning printing glass. I immediately remove the couching cloth and leave the paper, preferably out of sight of the sun, to dry. This can take over 24 hours but I find this slow process helps to keep the paper flat.
Sometimes, when fully dry, my sheets detach themselves from their surface and slightly curl but this time they remained firmly in place, totally flat.
Drying paper on glass or similar slick surfaces ensures the side against the surface (having had pressure applied when rolling in place) is fairly smooth, whilst the other side remains textural.
The hessian paper doesn’t photograph well to show the difference in the 2 sides of each sheet but below is an indication of this on other papers I’ve previously made.
The top row shows Flame Grass mixed with cotton rag pulp. Top right shows the side dried against glass and is noticeably smoother than the left hand image.
The second row has been made from coarsely pulped Strelitzia and even though the glass-dried side still has texture it’s significantly less than the front, and the longer fibres have been pushed forward.
The hessian was finely pulped, creating even sheets without a lot of texture and I’m hoping to print on them. Perhaps a black linocut.