Sunday, June 6, 2010

Making Paper Part 2

In my last post, I was talking about making paper using a water soluble, non-woven stabilizer such as Rinse Away. The clear water soluble stabilizers such as Solvy will not work. We played with 3 methods for making paper - the first using a single sheet of stabilizer and the following 2 methods. This next method uses torn pieces of stabilizer @ 1" square; edges should be "torn" for a more pleasing look. Lay a plastic form like a plastic doily in the middle of a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet should have a lip to contain any excess liquid. Lay the torn pieces on the plastic form, overlapping for a stronger bond.
Pieces can also be butted, but there will be holes and not as strong a connection.
No need to fill up entire space, make it the size you want.
Mist with water and use a stencil brush to gently push paper into grooves of plastic form.
Blot with a paper towel. The paper towel will really be wet.
Use a sponge to pick up additional water.
When most of water is picked up, place in a sunny area to dry. Notice there are some holes - this can be pretty. If you don't want holes, place another torn piece over that area.
This next piece used a piece of battenburg lace, made in a hat and stiffened. I had brown paint on it, but used it anyway and loved the pattern it made.
The third method is to use the pulp mentioned in the last post, letting it stand while dissolves. See last post for instructions. Place your mold, in this case a stamp, right side up in middle of cookie sheet.
Spoon the pulp onto the mold, spread it around, making it as even as possible.
Once the mold is covered, blot with paper towel and keep blotting until very little water appears on towel. Be careful when blotting, not to pull up the pulp with the towel.
When it's somewhat dry, use a stencil brush to gently poke the pulp into the design. Keep your brush perpendicular to the mold so you don't disturb the pulp. After you have worked the pulp into the "nooks and crannies" of the mold, blot once more using a sponge.
When most of water is removed, put in sun to dry. One of the templates I tried was a batik block. It did not work with this method as the grooves on the block were too deep, the pulp got too embedded and broke apart when removed. I love the design on these blocks and will try it with the "single sheet" method.

Here is the block I tried (below). You can see the amount of water still on the block. The pulp method is the messiest.
I blotted it and put it out to dry.
When I went to remove it, it fell apart. But not to worry, you can recycle this stabilizer - put it back into the "pulp" jar and it will dissolve into pulp again!
After everything is dry, remove from forms, they should come off easily. It's time to color them; this is the most fun part. We set up a paint "buffet" to try different paints and inks. You can use an alcohol based ink or water based ink or paint. They should be a watery consistency for easy application. Lumiere has to be thinned quite a bit but it's very concentrated to begin with, so you don't lose much of the intensity. The Dye-na-Flow is watery and works well for this; the inks work well also. My favorite was the Adirondeck Color Wash. Use a brush, Q-tip or eye dropper to apply paint. You can lightly mist the newly painted areas so the color will spread - nice effect.
We did have one funny thing happen. One of the trays kept leaking when paint was put in a well. What is wrong with this egg carton...well duh...I had forgotten styrofoam is often water soluble and the Dye-na-Flow was eating through the carton. The alcohol based inks stayed put!
I just did a sampler as a reference so I would know what paints did what. My favorite part is the lower right corner - the Adirondeck colorants. I used an eyedropper to apply the paint and it worked well. I also lightly misted the area so the colors would run. You have to be careful not to overmist as the paper could dissolve.

It was great fun and I can see many uses for this beautiful paper, especially in mixed media work. Depending on how thick you make it, you can bead it, stitch on it, stamp on it...etc. I'm anxious to try any or all of the above.

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