In one of our print classes we were learning how to “make our own paper” and this was for our artist books, it was fun to experiment with different types of textures and items, was also interesting to see how certain significant items turned out on the final product! The process to actually making the paper isn’t necessarily difficult but it is quite long.
Step 1. We fist had to select what colors and types of paper that we would like to use, once the decision was made we had to tear them down to small postage stamp size.
Step 2. We then filled a blender with water and put the torn up pieces of paper and mixed them in, we turn on the blender and start by doing short small pulses before letting the blender just run, this was so the larger pieces could be broken and also so none of the pieces got stuck or blocked the blades, you continue to do this until you get a porridge like consistency!
Step 3. The pulp was put into a large tray and we added more water so that it wasn’t so thick. We then had a frame with netting over it and this is what we would use to “make the paper”, we either dipped the frame into the water to pick up the pulp or we just used a plastic cup as a scoop if we need more pulp to make the paper stronger! This is also where we started to experiment by adding extra items on top of the pulp to become part of the page!
Step 4. Once the paper was “finished” we would then start to dry it and separate it from the frame, we done this by flipping it around face down onto a j-cloth, we pressed a towel onto the back of the paper to dry off the excess water, once that was done we used the base of our nails to “scratch” it off the netting, the j-cloth is folded over so that the paper is in-between and the j-cloth is then folded between a sheet of newsprint!
Step 5. Now was time to actually dry the paper and finalize it all, we had two options, to let them air dry or to use a heat press to dry them quicker, most of us opted for the heat press as this meant that we could make more samples of paper and if they were heat pressed we were sure that they would dry flat rather than leaving it to chance by air drying it!
Step 6. We then opened it all up and made sure to peel away the j-cloth slowly not to damage any of the paper!