Thursday, 7 June 2012

Making Paper - a foil to the ereader

Paper versus ereader?  Last week I took a stand.   A friend invited me to her shop and we spent the day making paper.  Daughter took an enlightenment day from school and joined in the fun.

The Papertrail is located in the rural community of New Dundee, Ontario, and is a wonderful source for all your paper making supplies.  Audrey runs the paper making side of the business while her husband handles the typesetting.

What a surprise when she contacted me last week to ask whether I wanted to make paper.  I had only done it once before when my kids attended a crafting summer camp.  This first photo shows the basic setup of a work station.  On the left is the tub of pulp. I believe we were using cotton.  Beside it to the right is the mould and deckle, contains the screen, that you use to scoop out the pulp and form the sheet.  Under daughter's hand are the papers she has formed already.  Each sheet is separated by a cooch.  This is essentially a piece of interfacing and is used to support the newly formed paper and separate it from the next.  This is a very wet process .
This photo shows a newly formed sheet of paper sitting on the top of the pile.  Yes, daughter has mixed a lot of sparkly stuff into her multi-coloured pulp.

Audrey is making larger sheets of paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  Notice that in the middle of that sheep to orange paper, there is a large air bubble.  Not a desirable thing as it leaves thicker areas in the finished sheet.  Oh well, I have more than a few of those.

 I'm all finished and ready for the next step.  Unfortunately I forgot to take more photos. It was such an exciting step.  Each of us took our stacked papers and cooches to the press.  Audrey then squished them with lots of pressure, about 1000 psi, to remove as much water as possible.  It looked as though gallons of water was forced out. 

Next we separated the paper from the cooches and put them on large sheets, which went into a forced air dryer overnight.

These are the three sizes that I made,   5 x 7 9 inches, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches and business card.

A great alternate to a photo frame and these sheet.  They get tri folded and then you can insert your photo so it shows threw the opening.  I tried adding some long shiny embroidery threads to the pulp after the page was formed.  However, they are peeling off.  I did cut some into inch long pieces and mixed them into the pulp before making the sheets, and they worked much better.
I had fun playing around with my papers.  There are few that I layered.  Second from the left at the top and the one on the left in the second row.  I made the green sheet and then before I put the cooch over it, I added a smaller sheet.  Nice effect.  The swirled one at the right of the top row is made using a technique called 'pulp painting'.  You put some pulp in a squeeze bottle and then draw on top of your newly formed sheet.  The one on the bottom left reminds me of a pop tart after I put the frosting on it.  There are a few more ingredients that go into the squeeze bottle.

I can't imagine all the work that early book makers went through to make a book.  All that paper to be made, wow. 

My next step is to have fun creating with these pages.  I'm thinking shiny threads, sewing machine, collage type thing, or maybe some hole punching and hand embroidery....

Any mistakes I have made in describing the paper making process are mine and I'm sure Audrey will send me corrections.


Paulina said...

Very nice documentation of the process! The paper looks great, and even more so in real life.

By the way, glad you spotted my book club on the Anansi site! It was pretty exciting for our group.

Amy said...

This sounds like such a fun experience! Thanks for posting about it and the pictures :)