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Project 6: Late night papermaking

February 10, 2011

Paper slurry

Tonight I finally stopped procrastinating and I tried my hand at making some paper. It’s currently drying so I’ll post photos and my lessons learned tomorrow. For now I just want to reflect on the experience so I’ll remember this in the future.

Papermaking is awesome! Sure, it’s messy and some amount of work and my results are still unknown, but I made paper! A person could get pretty creative while making paper. I added some pink dye and some flowers to my last couple of sheets just to see how they’ll turn out. I can imagine being intentional about the types of paper used (old fortune cookie fortunes, maybe?), the colors, and the textures. Even the smells could be altered (wet paper smells kind of nasty).

I tried the food processor because my blender is broken but it didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped. Mostly it was just really messy. There are little bits of paper pulp all over my kitchen. Still, in the end I had pulp. Actually, I had too much pulp. I seriously overestimated how much paper I would need to make my slurry. As a result, I still have loads of cut up paper and a bin full of unmade slurry. If I hadn’t started this so late in the week (thanks stomach flu) I could have churned out a lot of paper. What you see above is what I have left after making a few sheets. It’s going to go into a bucket for another day.

The photo below shows the paper in its current state: drying between stacks of fabric and newspaper and weighted down by a board. Every so often one of us goes and stands on the board. Before I go to sleep I’ll take the paper out and leave it someplace safe to dry.

I hope I make the time to do this again one day. Stay tuned tomorrow (or later today if you’re seeing this Friday morning) for the results!

Paper press

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