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Making Paper

Artist-How-To

In order to make paper you need to begin with a pulp. You can create the pulp by using recycled paper torn up into small bits, and /or cotton linter. You can find linter at online shops selling paper making supplies, such as eBay etc...

If you use recycled paper, tear it into small pieces less than 1" in size. Soak the paper overnight in a container of water. I find recycled plastic ice cream tubs work well, and they come with a lid.

   

I started making paper by using an inexpensive chopper purchased at a local discount store. You can also find these at garage sales at bargain prices!

The linter comes in small squares that break down when blended with a large amount of water. Add the linter in VERY small amounts, a little goes a long way.

 

The pulp that was made with the chopper worked fine if I did not want very thin smooth paper. In order to get the consistency I wanted I had to use a regular blender. *You can see on the blue sheet that the paper pulp is not smooth, but looks a bit 'clumpy'.

Again you can find blenders and choppers at garage sales for next to nothing. Use a dedicated blender, and do not plan on using it to prepare food once it is used for arts and crafts.

 

 

You can make your own molds, from stretcher bars, and frames. But I prefer to use the ones I have purchased from Arnold Grummer. They are easier to use, for me, and reasonably priced.

They also come with the grate, and other items that makes it SOOO much easier.

   

Image shows what the Arnold Grummer Mold and Deckle looks like when in position in a tray.

You can dye the pulp with ink, paint, or anything that is water soluble. Using Kool-Aid is a common practice. I have to question how archival the Kool-Aid is, but it does create a strong color.

You can also add glitter, powders, and whatever you would like to try. After all it is just paper, and if you do not like the results you can tear the paper up and remake the pulp for new paper.

Pour the paper pulp into the mold.

You can also spread powders etc... onto the top of the wet paper pulp surface. It is a good idea to gently, VERY gently mix the powder in a bit so it is just not on the top surface of the fiber.

  

Remove the grid from the mold and place it into a dry tray with the paper side up. Use a sponge to soak up the excess water from the new sheet of paper.

To make sure you really get all the water out, Layer the new paper between two layers of water adsorbent material such as felt, or paper towels and two pieces of wood. Standing on it ensures that as much of the water is expelled as possible.

   

*NOTE If you are wanting to use recycled paper (such as junk mail) for the pulp, it is good to tear the pieces into 1" pieces and gently boil with plenty of water and a few tablespoons of bleach.

*50 sheets 8.5" X 11 paper can be made from 1lb of junk mail.

Once you have as much of the water out as possible, you can either weigh the paper down and let it sit until dry. Or if you are impatient, like me, you can gently press the paper with a hot iron until dry.

Tips;

If you use recycled paper add a bit of calcium carbonate to the pulp to ensure archival quality.

Sizing can be added by adding a bit of plain Gelatine tot he pulp. This means that if you use the paper for writing, or stamping, the ink will not feather (expand).

It is customary to add dried flowers, spice, scents to paper pulp to add a personal touch.

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I am a mere beginner, when it comes to making paper. If you wish to know more I encourage you to visit Arnold Grummer site for tips and suggestions to get you started. The information there can be applied to their products or handmade molds, and frames.

Sources:

Papermaking Terms

"The Complete Book of Papermaking" by Josep Asuncion

"Arnold Grummer's Complete Guide to Easy Papermaking" by Arnold Grummer

"300 Papermaking Recipes" by Mary Reimer

http://www.arnoldgrummer.com/