Thursday, November 15, 2012

Papermaking Part the Next

Today I decided it was time to experiment with sizing my handmade paper.  Up to now I've always made it waterleaf, i.e. totally porous, not suitable for marking on, because it was art material of a different kind, that I used in my artworks but didn't mark on.  So I figured my handy book on papermaking from plant material was a good guide.

I decided to test it on a couple of the pages of the daylily paper I made (the rest, about a dozen sheets of 8x5 paper, is being pressed under a heavy weight) as well as some abaca and cotton linters paper sheets I'd made at other times.

This was a gelatin mixture, one box of four envelopes of plain gelatin (at the supermarket) to one quart of water.After softening the gelatin in cold water,

then bringing it to the boil, I poured it into my papermaking vat,
and dipped the pages in, one at a time,leaving them to soak through, then lifting them up to drain.  I made several discoveries in the course of this adventure, one that only the sturdiest of my pages could handle the gelatin sizing, and two, that the cotton linters was especially fragile.  The daylily papers stood up fine, though, so we'll see how it works once dry.  They may become covers for handmade books.

The pages had to be hung on a clothesline in the studio to dry completely, hence the washday aspect of the pix here. 

Because the studio is on the third floor, and the cooking area is in the kitchen, this little post of paper cost me many flights of stairs, great aerobic exercise.
It's good to note that this entire papermaking exercise,from gathering the foliage to finishing the sizing, is all nontoxic.  Safe in the kitchen, the gelatin being food grade.  Otherwise I wouldn't mix art and my cooking area.

1 comment:

margaret said...

you have certainly made a lot of paper which I am sure we will see in the not too distant future with stitching or painting on. Good to see what the gelatine was used for, not a paper maker myself, need someone on my shoulder to show me how, have had little attempts but they were very poor.