Sunday, 30 March 2014

Artistic Explorations: Handmade paper (2)

It has been almost a year ago since I was introduced to the papermaking process and I wrote this article about my experience. I intended to create more handmade paper but due to so many other projects on the go I haven't been able to that. Then I noticed a papermaking workshop was going to be organised by Peace Paper Project at the Findhorn Foundation. The perfect opportunity to make more paper and this time it was with fabric!
We had to bring an old garment that had to be cut in very small pieces.

Cutting fabric © Damian Connell 2014 

I chose my funky blouse that had become too small.

Blouse fabric © Fenfolio 2014

Then all the little pieces of fabric were processed into pulp by a special machine called Hollander beater. It only took about 10 minutes to create soft pulp!

Creating pulp with the Hollander beater © Damian Connell 2014

Beater wheel © Damian Connell 2014

The pulp was then put in a vat with lots of water. With a deckle and mould we scooped out the pulp (pulling out a sheet), wiggled it a bit to get an even and smooth surface and let the water drain. Then we had to "couch" the pulp by rolling it on a surface covered with felt sheets.

Mould and deckle,

Pulling a sheet © Damian Connell 2014

Couching a sheet © Damian Connell 2014

Once the sheets were completely dry my paper was ready!

I love the fibers from my blouse in my paper! © Fenfolio 2014
You can still see a piece of my blouse in this two layered paper © Fenfolio 2014

I also used other people's pulp. This is a two layered paper sheet;
pink and blue.
© Fenfolio 2014

Two layered paper. The top is my own pulp. © Fenfolio 2014

Combining various pulp to make a three layered sheet © Fenfolio 2014

 I also experimented with some stencils which they provided.

Pulling of stencil from paper sheet © Damian Connell 2014

Printed paper (three layered) with stencil and dye © Fenfolio 2014

Printed paper (two layered) with stencil and dye © Fenfolio 2014

Example of a stencil held in front of window © Damian Connell 2014

Printed paper with stencil and dye © Fenfolio 2014

I'd like to thank Drew and Margaret for a truely inspirational workshop. The work they do all around world by introducing people from all kinds of backgrounds and in various cultures is amazing. I also would like thank Damian Connell for giving me permission to use some of his photos which were taken during one of the other sessions.

Papermaking workshop © Fenfolio 2014

Now I've got a pile of gorgeous handmade paper waiting to be used for my new art projects. Watch this space!!

A pile of gorgeous handmade paper © Damian Connell 2014

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