from scraps to paper

we’re studying the development of language,
and as an extension made paper like the Chinese first did.
(the Egyptians were the first to make paper,
but they used a layering technique with papyrus
while the Chinese used pulp from cloth.)

we used two Ikea frames:
one became our mold,
the other — doctored up with screening and duct tape —
was our deckle.
next we tore up colored paper scraps from our recycling bin.
we put our scraps in the blender with warm water and then…

making pulp in the blender
making pulp in the blender
our bucket was too narrow for the deckle and mold...
our bucket was too narrow for the deckle and mold...
...so we had to pour the pulp
...so we had to pour the pulp
pulp in the deckle
pulp in the deckle
removed the deckle
removed the deckle

we flipped the mold over onto felt and newspaper (to soak up surplus water) and…

sponging off excess water
sponging off excess water

removing the mold
removing the mold

allowing paper to dry
allowing paper to dry

the pink flecks in the blue paper above are flower petals that were added in the pulp
between blending and pouring.

here’s a good video to watch before you start:
http://video.about.com/familycrafts/How-to-Make-Paper-With-Kids.htm

and an excellent book to read after you’ve made paper the first time
and want to upgrade the look and feel of your paper:
paper making for kids: simple steps to handcrafted paper by beth wilkinson

this what we call hands-on history!

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