In preparation for my first blog post with the Arnold Grummer’s design team, I am spending my Saturday experimenting. Years ago I was lucky enough to participate in a card challenge at CHA. That was my introduction to the wonderful world of paper making! Who knew that the shredded paper from junk mail and bills and the like could be recycled into beautiful creations?! Well I am about to spend the next 6 months delving into the possibilities.
For today I will just look at the paper making process. For anyone who has an inner child, the idea of playing with pulp and mush is quite enticing 🙂 The materials are simple: the Arnold Grummer’s Papermill or Papermill Pro (available online at http://arnoldgrummer.com/index.php/products/papermaking/papermillkits.html or at most craft stores), a blender, shredded paper, water, a dishpan, and an area to work that won’t be affected by water dripping (I chose to work in the laundry room). I would not recommend using your best blender for paper making, as it is quite addicting and the blender will quickly be “missing in action” among the kitchen tools. Instead I suggest hitting your local thrift shop and picking one up. I found mine at Goodwill for $8 minus a 20%off coupon I received for donating goods 🙂 Seriously, that is it!
For my first piece of paper I put 2 handfuls of shredded paper into the blender with 2 cups of water. I pureed this mixture for about a minute. Then I added a large pinch of specialty pulp (-like, so an additional cup of water was added and blended for another minute. Perfect!
Following the directions with the kit, I poured the mixture into the assembled wooden frame. Now my inner child emerged as the mixture is pushed around within the frame, covering the screened bottom. What fun! Took me back to the days of mud pies and squishy toes 🙂
Once the bottom is covered, the frame is carefully unstrapped and lifted to reveal a mushy sheet of pulp in the shape of (what else?!) a sheet of paper. But it isn’t done yet.
Following directions, I pressed with a sponge to remove water from the pulped sheet. Water will flow into the base and into the sponge. Translation: this means the sponge needs to be wrung out repeatedly and the base will need possibly need to be emptied while working to remove water. So glad I chose to work in the laundry room! I continued to follow directions until I had a fully melded sheet of paper. Still damp and malleable….hmmm, wonder what would happen if I pressed it onto a texture sheet??
I grabbed a butterfly texture (perfect for the project I have in mind) and placed it on my work surface. I laid the sheet of damp paper over it and gently began to press it into the textured areas. When I lifted the corner to check and see what was happening, OH MY GOODNESS!! the butterfly images were perfectly transferred to the paper. I quickly pressed the rest of it and then flipped the paper to reveal a beautifully textured sheet of pinkish, handmade paper (NOTE: the paper will dry much lighter than the wet, sludge would suggest). So exciting when something works as you envision it 🙂
I need more paper!! Now that I know the pulp mixture picks up color easily I decide to create a greenish sheet of paper. I went to my inks and found a sample bottle of Lumiere Light Body Metallic Acrylic in Olive Green (http://www.jacquardproducts.com/lumiere.html). I created a basic pulp from my shredded paper and then added a few drops of the Lumiere before blending a second time. It created a subtle green that I hope works well with the pinkish sheet.
Well this has been a fun introduction to the Art of Paper Making. Up next, creating with the paper sheets! Watch for the completed project at http://arnoldgrummer.blogspot.com/ on July 7th.
Thanks for visiting. Remember, the Earth without “Art” is just “Eh” Have a lovely crafty day 😀