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Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

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Monday, 11 January 2021

Experimenting with Paper making

 Hi everyone, I hope you have had a good start to 2021, and that you and yours are safe and well. There has been some disturbing footage coming from around the world, and I feel very fortunate to be in my little relatively safe bubble here in the south west of Western Australia. 

I have started a new project. I think my husband despairs of me....always some new art project to explore. But he is very supportive and even bought me a "paper making kit" this year after I had it on my Christmas list for the second year. He managed to get it into the house without me knowing when the parcel deliver brought it. 


Now I don't profess to know anything about paper making. I have never even seen it demonstrated. So all I know is what I have gleaned from the Born in Paper website from where my husband bought the kit, and from a few little on-line videos. 

But I wanted to have a go, and that is what I have been doing most afternoons for the last week.  I have had mixed results, but I have enjoyed playing but gosh it has been hot on my patio. My husband did ask me the other day what I was going to do with the paper I had made. All I could reply was "don't ask me something I can't answer yet". 

The best place for you to learn is go to a workshop if you can. Born in Paper is located on the eastern side of Australia, a LONG way from me, so I need to find a workshop closer. Until then I just experiment and play. 

1. First you need paper. I have always kept paper in a box under my computer that has only been printed on one side. So this is a great place for me to start. If you work in an office I am sure there is a LOT of office waste paper. Also for one batch I used offcuts from my botanical eco-printing projects which uses printmakers art paper. 

Tear the paper up and pulp it all up in a blender with water. I bought a cheap one just for this. Don't use it for food after. 


2. You can add flowers or leaves to your mix. I've sun dried some rose petals. Only took a couple of days, but it is summer! 


3. You also need a Mould and Deckle. Put the pulp and extra water into a plastic tub. Mix it around so it is moving freely then "pull" your first sheet of paper with your mould and deckle. 

Below is a mould and deckle. It is like two picture frames the same size with a piece of wire on one piece.   The mould is a frame covered with metal or nylon mesh, and the deckle is the frame that sits on top of the mould. The paper is formed on the mould, and the deckle is used to create straight edges on the paper sheet.


There is a good video here to show you the process: Born in Paper on instagram


4. Transfer your paper mush on the mould and deckle face down onto the "couching" cloth. Also can be seen on video from Born in Paper on instagram


Press out some of the water with sponge, then take the mould away - this is the tricky bit! Put another piece of cloth on top and roll with a rolling pin. Turn over, take away the wet cloth, replace with another cloth, roll again. The firmer and more you roll the better the paper will be. 

Then transfer your paper to a board to dry. You can iron them flat when dry, and then put them under a stack of big books to flatten them more. 

Here you can see my first go - a bit of tearing going on. Could be the paper was a bit thin, but also because I had trouble peeling the paper from the wire of the mould. 


I've only started making paper this week, so honestly, I think you should ignore my "notes" and go to a proper paper making site like Born in Paper or Paper Slurry

 Here are a few of my papers from this week. I still have lots to learn Like how to get the wet paper off the screen without it tearing.... and how to get an even layer of slurry in the mould and deckle. Lots more to learn. 

Dry wildflowers and leaves added to the mix 


Dry status flowers sprinkled on top of the wet paper and pressed in


The paper I made with scraps of printmakers paper previously eco-printed with eucalypt leaves. A few dry leaves were added to the blended when pulping the paper. This paper was thicker than the paper I made with the office paper. 


So there you have it. A newbies little look at paper making. 
I've borrowed the couple of action photos from Born in Paper on instagram

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

17 comments:

  1. Hello, Jill!

    The paper making kit is interesting. I love the flowers and leaves, pretty art work. Take care, have a great new week!

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  2. Oh my! This is fascinating! I know I have a sheet of handmade paper that I've saved for 'special' but this is neat to make it. Love the sheet with lots of lavender petals. You'll love doing this. Will you put other leaves in there too? I know you love leaves...I do too! Enjoy!

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  3. Making paper has been on my things-to-try list for awhile. I like the idea of adding dried flower petals to the mush. I’ve thought of adding seeds. I believe paper-making shall be sooner than later this year. Happy papermaking!

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  4. Wow Jill, that is REALLY cool, they turned out lovely!

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  5. Jill - you are always pushing the boundaries, and I admire that so much! I believe we both have supportive husbands - we are so blessed in that regard. I like the natural look of these papers, especially with the plant matter in them. I think they would be awesome for short personal notes to people - maybe thank you notes. I am sure you will get better as you create more - as they say, practice makes perfect!!! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

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  6. Thank you for sharing the beginnings of your paper making. Although not perfect they already are looking attractive. I assume if you don't like them you can recycle them into your next mix. A win win scenario.

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  7. Oh, that sounds so fun to do. I like what you've done so far. Sorry the link up wasn't on my site. I added you. I had it ready, but waiting on the videos to load, and then I did other things and forgot to do that part. Any distraction anymore and I'm off on doing other things. Can't wait to see more of your papers. Have a great week.

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  8. Your paper making efforts look good. I have done it with my Tear 6/7 classes and they love it. We found old yellow page phone books made very good paper, but i don't think they produce those books anymore. The white pages didn't work as well. Good luck with it.

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  9. Great you showed your paper making project om All Seasons, Jill! I love that you used flower:) This is one of these things I always wanted to do but never got to:) Have a great week, Jesh

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  10. The real flowers into the paper fascinate me. I have a photo album covered in paper like this, and I bought it for this very reason. You have skillful hands. Love your art!

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  11. Happy New Year Jill. I have made paper made from elephant poo here in Thailand. Yes it is a thing! What a great Christmas present and a lovely new activity, not to mention all your friends will love their birthday cards.
    Wren x

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    Replies
    1. I've also heard it being made from grass and spinifex!

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  12. What a fun and interesting hobby to take up! I know nothing of papermaking, but these look great for a beginner. There is a real beauty to the papers you have made.

    Happy new year! May it hold many wonderful things for you, including expanding on this newfound hobby.

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  13. Hi Jill - it looks like it has a lot of potential to turn out some beautiful notepaper once you get into the swing of things. Love all the little flower inclusions.

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  14. Oh, so beautiful Jill. I saw a local art gallery offering paper-making courses for children over the holidays and wondered what it involved and I suspect it was not the type of paper I was thinking of but beautiful artwork like this!

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  15. I have often thought of making paper through the years and I'm glad to see that you actually did it! Such a wonderful result!

    A lovely addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking!

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