Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Artistic Explorations: Handmade paper (1)

Before I started my recent painting "Star of Bethlehem" I already used and experimented with various Asian papers. Thick or translucent, bold or delicate textures but all very strong and handmade with natural fibers. These papers are just perfect to use in mixed media work! Here are some examples of paper, similar to what I have bought:

Lokta paper with petals and leaves

Nepali paper;

Unryu paper

Paper made from bark:

I started to get interested in the process of how to make paper so I decided to do an intensive workshop Papermaking. It didn't take long before I found artist Alison Simpson based in Sandend (about 1.5 hours drive): In two days I learned all the basics about how to make my own paper in her studio. Cotton and lokta pulp, blender, mould and deckle, lots of water and buckets, a water basin, sponges, cloths, apron, my own hands and a press were the tools I used.

Basic papermaking tools

Alison was very patient with me because it took a bit of practice before I got the hang of the right movements! But it paid off; I managed to get some descent papers and even experimented with embossing my handmade paper. Below are my creations. As soon as my art studio is finished I want to continue making more papers by using weeds, leaves and flowers from our own garden!

Paper from cotton pulp with lobelias

Paper from cotton and linen pulp with lobelias

Paper from cotton and linen pulp with lobelia

Lokta paper with dried petals

Embossed paper

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