Tuesday, March 6, 2012

handmade paper

UPDATE: We know have a shop with our own handmade paper. Click HERE to visit.

For some crazy reason, the hubs decided that he needed to make paper. Just like he gets excited about organizing his movie collection or building Excel spreadsheets, I just have to go with the flow.
After all, when one gets a surge of "I have to do this..." there's no one that can stop you, right?
So he looked up how to make paper out of paper on the internet. This is where blogs and how-to tutorials are so great on the internet. When ya don't know how to do it, Google it.

He cut up his newspapers, put them in a blender with some warm water, and spread them out over a screen  from our window and spread the slush out over it. 
You're really supposed to use a deckle (pictured below) but didn't feel like taking the extra time to run and get supplies...

 Then it was time to soak up the water with some felt and sponges and a rolling pin...
...and lay flat to dry.
 We literally don't know anything about making paper, this is our first test run.
Newspaper, we're learning, is pretty ugly looking, all grey and lifeless looking.
AND, as it turns out, it clumps--a lot. So we have to really smooth it out with the rolling pin and make it really thin.
 Gary tried experimenting with bleaching out the mush and adding dye to it, but it doesn't come out very well either. The yellow paper is the one that we tried bleaching and dying and you can see how it didn't take the color so well. 
 And even after letting them dry completely, and pressing them for a 12-24 hour period, they begin to wave and warp again. 
 For now, this is an experiment for us. It was fun to do for a Sunday afternoon though. And we don't have quite the space needed to lay out more than 4 sheets of paper at once. 
Ultimately to make better looking paper, we will need better quality used paper and refine our technique with the proper tools. 
Then I get to draw on them!!!