.Yesterday I had a go at making my own paper, following the process with one of Artlimousin's tutors, Ian. It was good fun and clearly has lots of potential for different kinds of paper that you could then write and or draw/ paint on. So this is the process.
You will need:
- any different kinds of soft paper (glossy magazine paper won't work) - newsprint is easily acquired - you can buy unused newsprint quality paper cheap at Staples, Boyes or similar (Staples sells 50 sheets for £5.99) -or you can rip up old newspapers but be aware the ink will tint the paper. You can use tissue paper but you don't want too much of this as it is very soft
- some gauze - again v cheap by the metre at Boyes, for example.
- a frame to stretch the gauze across. Ian achieves this by buying the prepared canvasses in the Works and cutting out the canvas
- a wall stapler to attached the gauze to the frame with
- a bucket to soak paper in
- something to help you mush the soaked paper, e.g. blender etc. I use a hand held soup blender as I already have one to hand
- a deep tray that is deeper and bigger than the screen you are using - a roasting tin does the job for the small frame we used.
- old towels and some J Cloths
1. Stretch some gauze over your frame. Keep the tension firm and staple both sides in the middle of opposite sides first maintaining tension. Then work rest as opposites, keeping tension throughout. The bigger the screen you use, the bigger your peice of paper will be.
2. Rip up paper, fairly small, and soak in plenty of water in the bucket for at least one hour. You can add food colouring to tint the paper or add a touch of white vinegar to create a whiter result
3. When well soaked use blender to much the paper completely - add warm water to the paper that you have scooped out of the bucket so that you have about half water to paper. You want a smooth pulp with no flakes of paper left
4. Fill the tray (e.g. roasting tin) with water and add some pulp. The more pulp, the thicker the paper so not too much. (Handy tip - if you add liquid starch at this point, the resulting paper will be better to write or paint on as it won't absorb so much of the ink or paint and you will get a clearer line or image.
5.Place frame in the tray with the pulp and water and allow some of the mixture into the frame. Move it backwards and forwards gently until you have an even spread of pulp. At this point you can add fun stuff, wool, bits of coloured tissue, sequins, cruched up autumn leaves etc to add interest. Experiment.
6. Slowly bring the frame out of the tray and continue to gently let pulp settle and water drain off.
Put the frame with the pulp in it carefully onto an old towel and use a J cloth (folded into neat layers, not scrunched up) to dab an evan pressure on the paper to remove some of the moisture
7. When the paper is beginning to dry, carefully ease the edge away from the frame in one corner, get knife blade under paper and gently lift off - be paptient here - paper will still be fairly wet and you dont want to scrunch it up)
8. Finally, leave it to dry on a towel or speed dry with hairdryer and enjoy.