art, book arts, fiber art, papermaking

Papermaking this week

This has been a pretty good week. Susanne made lots of pulp for me in her beater, so I have made three batches of paper this week.

I used so many ingredients in these that it is a little complicated to describe. From left to right:

1. Abaca (a type of banana fiber), okra, daylily, joe-pye weed stalks. Mostly abaca and okra. I added a bunch of dried rosemary because I wanted a paper that had a lot of texture. I only pulled a few sheets with the rosemary.

2. See above, without the rosemary.

3. Cotton and corn shucks. I embedded maple leaves near the end of this batch, when the pulp was very thin. I laid down one thin sheet, sprinkled these pressed maple leaves from last fall, and then laid another thin sheet on top. The leaves are bleeding brown into some places, so I may be painting this sheet with a wash.

4. All the above ingredients, minus the rosemary, plus a small batch of recycled paper pulp from my blender. I added onion and garlic skins to the blender.

So here is what I did with the last batch. I had saved and frozen some #2 pulp. I made the recycled pulp (#4). In the meantime, Susanne had made the pulp for #3 for me. So I began with #2, added #3 and #4. As the #4 pulp ran out, the paper became lighter and lighter as I added more of the cotton-based pulp. I’ll never be able to reproduce it, but it is one of the prettiest batches that I’ve done. I will be using more onion skins in my paper.

The cotton and corn shuck paper (with tiny flecks of the previous batches throughout) is very thin. I have another bucket of it, which I will use without any additions. It should be slightly green and creamy colored, almost white. I’m going to try to make this batch thicker.

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