When I was in my 20’s I visited a friend’s house where his room mate had made a large beautiful paper art piece. She hung it between 2 sheets of glass and suspended it in the front window.
That image has forever stuck in my mind, and I was reminded of it recently when a friend posted an article about paper making from invasive plants. (Thank you Sarah!)
So last week, I did a bunch of reading and set off to make some paper out of plants…It became quite involved as I first needed to build the mold and deckle.
Out came the tools onto my outside work station (there deck), and I made my first mold & deckle. When I was researching how to make the paper I thought I had to make a sheet, so the first size were a traditional size sheet 8.5″ x 11″.
I went out into my yard with a bag and scissors and cut dry grasses and harvested dry saskatoon berry bush leaves. Where I live, leaves are scarce, so I didn’t have many to harvest.
Gather dried plants.
In a large pot add a few ounces of soda ash to cold water in order to break the the fibres down into pulp. ( I ued VIP washing soda)
Boil until the fibres easily pull apart.
This can take a few hours and as I found out can give one a sore throat even with the fan going and windows open. So if you are lucky enough to own a camping stove or the like, I would suggest to boil your dried plants outside.
Once your plants have been boiled sufficiently, rinse them until the water runs clear. The first batch I didn’t rinse much, so the paper turned out a nice rustic colour.
Finally I added small amounts of the pulverized pulp to 3/4 full blender of water, blending the pulp a few minutes each time until all of the pulp had been used up.
The water-pulp mixture was then dumped into a 1/2 height tupperware bin that I used to dip my frame & deckle into.
Instead I pulled apart tiny dried wild flowers and other locally harvested plants and arranged the pieces using tweezers onto the wet pulp that was still in the mold.
As I played with ideas of how I was going to display my work in the end, I came up with the notion of making smaller pieces with the idea to build a frame out of re claimed pallets for each piece.
As I am still waiting for my paper to dry, I haven’t gotten that far yet.
For more information on how to make paper from plants, check out the link below:
Sarah’s shared post about making paper from invasive plants:https://makezine.com/2015/04/16/making-paper-invasive-plants/