Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Three - First attempts at paper making (Module 4, Ch. 4)

My vacation are over, so I thought it's now time to get back to some real work! I took out the paper pulps I had prepared from the freezer and had a first go at making paper. I had already ventured in some experiments some years ago which didn't amount to much except for a huge splashy mess in the kitchen and, more usefully, a small wooden frame I had built from scratch. I simply stretched in a new mesh cut from a plastic fly screen and was ready to go for the scary process again. After some failed attempts - too little pulp, too much pulp, paper pulp unhappily sticking to the mesh instead than to the kitchen cloth and so on - I finally had my first batch of sheets stretched out in the sun. And 40° degrees being 40° degrees they were bone dry in half an hour! Here is a sampler of simple undyed papers - white and speckled packaging papers - plus one dyed crumpled one. For dyeing I used Procion cold-water dyes and soda ash as a fixative and it worked out fine, the only problem is that it is difficult to judge the colours when wet since they get so pale once dry. Some papers were casually embossed by the kitchen cloth underneath. As to the pinky sheet I crumpled it when still wet and left out to dry. This photo and the next are the same sheet ripped and shown from the front and the back. I had formed some smallish or mishappen sheets in different colours and thought it would be better to laminate them together. I rather like this effect and wish to make more experiments with the sandwich method!

My first try at casual embedding: fabric snippets and threads
Here I used a circle stencil to apply pulp to a formed sheet. The problem is that the blue circles tend to separate from the background. Perhaps the pulp was too dry when spooned over? New experiments to come in the next weeks.
A happy week end to everyone! Here in Rome it's still so hot, I do hope in some fresh air soon ...