October 20, 2009

An experiment with handmade paper

Recycling paper into new handmade paper has interested me for a while. I borrowed the two books at my library and bought a few supplies. I made my own mold and deckle from some cheap picture frames and window screen. I made about 10 sheets in my first batch and bound the results into a soft cover notebook/pamphlet.

As you can see in the first photo, not all the sheets turned out technically perfect. I didn't add enough pulp to the water bath to pull very thick sheets. Some of the sheets were tissue paper thin. The holes and tears occurred when I pulled the sheets off their fabric backing. Some of the sheets are exactly what I wanted - maybe just right in my mind. Next time I will definitely add more pulp after every 2 pulled sheets. Coming up with the recipes is definitely an experiment but I feel confident enough to try again.

Despite some of the technical flaws, I think the paper turned out pretty cool. The paper has the texture of the window screening on one side and is smoother on the other. Bits of printing show because of using recycled paper. The paper has a slight grey cast because of the ink on the papers. I like every piece, even the tissue paper thin pieces. I bound all the sheets together into a pamphlet with a textured card stock cover to sell in my Etsy shop. I think the pages would be awesome in an art journal or funky scrapbooking pages. Or, someone could leave the book as is and use it as an interesting doodle sketch book. In any event, it is a smoking hot deal because I didn't want to charge too much for an experiment.

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