Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hand Made Paper

I have achieved one of my summer goals! Making paper!
Above, you can see some of the paper I made in this first batch.

I've been saving paper all winter. This spring, I ran it all through the shredder and stuffed it in this bag in anticipation that I would find a way to make my own paper this summer when I could work outside. I put about half my shreds into this large plastic box and covered it with warm water to soften it.

I picked up this set of adjustable window screens from Lowes. I think they measure 15 x 18". I wanted to make large sheets of paper!

Here is my set-up. Two banquet tables. A shallow slurry tub. The dedicated blender. We had just replaced two sliding door screens, so I had those to work with, also.

I floated the screens until I was happy with the consistency of the layer of slurry on them, then I let them drip a bit.

These were then inverted onto a piece of cheesecloth and laid out to dry on the screen.

The drying took a while, but otherwise, this was not nearly as time consuming as I thought it might be. A few hours hands on- maybe less.

I am delighted with my results! I am looking forward to working with my handmade paper when the cold weather arrives. I'll just put it away for now.


Sally Westcott said...

Papermaking is so much fun! Last summer (that would be January here) I had the best time making paper and then teaching 2nd born grand daughter (14) how to do it! We both now have journals made with the paper we made (and a bit of lino printed fabric printed to make the binding!


Louise in SW Saskatchewan said...

The Art Educator at the Art Gallery showed me and one of my classes the joy of making paper - we had such fun! I love the sliding screen to make larger sheets.

One of the things we added was thread snipped in small pieces - I used old thread of varying contents pulled off the spool, wrapping it around my fingers then snipping into tiny bits. Some added to the slurry made lovely flecks in it.

knutty knitter said...

I've done papier mache but not paper. I think this has inspired me to have a go. It looks like fun :)

viv in nz

ps I've put lots of pretty pics on my site. I finally got round to upgrading and updating things there and I've really enjoyed your pics - those irises!!!


Rayna said...

This has always been on my to-do list; maybe I'll try it one of these days. Looks easier than I thought.

Anonymous said...

I love your paper : ) I've ALWAYS wanted to make my own paper too and it has been on my "to do" list for this summer. what did you use for your "slurry" ?? I have no recipe and thought just water would work ?? thanks for your sharing, I am a faithful follower of yours since your piece(s) have appeared in Quilting Arts, you are an incredible artist. All of your summer pictures have been wonderful, thank you sooo much for sharing : )
Blessings, Sandra in AZ

Cynthia St Charles said...

There is lots of information online about how to make paper. I just used water and paper pulp for my slurry. Added a bit of fabric starch to keep it from bleeding too much when I write on it. Also added threads to it. Next time I plan to add some plant bits.

Anonymous said...

My kids added plant bits and glitter to paper one year. Dried marigold flowers that are almost seeds are really pretty in paper. I had my kids use old clothing patterns. They were easy to shred and some of the print still showed. The kids turned them into frames for Mother's Day.