SYLLABUSDirections for Hand Papermaking:
- Tear up small (approximately 1") squares of old cotton rag drawing paper and soak them overnight in water. For each sheet of handmade paper you'll need approximately 2 sheets of rag paper.
- After soaking, make a ball, approximately the same size as a golf ball. Place this ball of wetted paper in a blender and fill with water.
- Grind pulp in short bursts of 15-30 seconds. Continue this process until lumps disappear and the liquid has a nice even consistency.
- Pour the blender full of pulp into a vat. After agitating the pulp, place mould and deckle into the water vertically and turn until horizontal under the water. Pull straight up and allow water to drain.
- Couch paper onto felt blankets and check to make sure that they release evenly. Repeat the process of pulling sheets from the vat with mould and deckle, then couching, until you have amassed a good sized stack of sheets.
- Make sure that stack is bounded on top and bottom with a strong board and place in the press. Press paper until it the press is hard to turn. Relieve pressure and remove stack of paper.
- Carefully pull individual wet sheets from the felts and place on a vertical slick surface. Adhere the top, then remove air bubbles by systematically patting the surface from center out. Do not rub or pull on surface, as the fibers will separate. Allow to dry.
- If you wish a more "hard" surface then you can add sizing to the paper. Do this by adding methyl cellulose to a vat and rewetting the paper, then allowing it to dry again. This helps to remove the blotter-like softness of the paper.
- Wet sheets can also be used to create three-dimensional surfaces. Simply use the wet sheets and wrap them around an object with a slick surface.