Wednesday, February 21, 2018


heavy duty bar blender, materials to make paper pulp from, strainer, tons of sponges & flat felt pieces, molds & deckles in different sizes, scraps of colored papers for their dye properties,
big tupperware vats to suspend water/pulp mixture in and a big pressing board

Every couple of years I bring back this assignment.
I only do it with a small number of kids because it makes such a huge mess, 
and the supplies needed take up so much space,
plus there are never enough sinks for the clean up.
But I love to do the demo.!
It's so much fun to pull a piece of handmade paper.

This first light blue paper was one of my demos.
Besides grinding up cotton rag pulp & lite blue tissue paper in the bar blender,
I also added dried Marigold petals,
and small bits of broken up dried leaves to the liquefied vat mixture.
I had plucked a few fresh Freesia blooms from Josh's succulent garden outside my classroom door,
not sure how I was going to incorporate them.
I ended up floating them on top of the vat mix right before I pulled the piece of paper.
I liked how 2 of them overlapped,
and the one above is slightly off centered.  
But what was really cool to see was all the pigment each blossom contained
and how it had leached onto the paper and changed its color during the pressing process over nite.
In case you'd like to give this project a try,
I want to say that I bought the bar blenders at Smart & Final,
and made my mold & deckles as well as the ginormous pressing board.

These next works were a few that senior Shreya Sheth pulled.
Both she and senior Jacqueline Yu had to do several in various techniques
 to meet the minimum requirements.
Sorry Jacq,
I thought I had photoed a few of yours as well, 
but can't find them.
In this first piece we are seeing,
Shreya did not add color and was hoping for the plant to leach her paper
which it did.
I can't remember what plant she used from around the campus,
but I love the delicate quality of it's embossed design.
In this paper she had to pull two separate sheets,
lay the plant material down on top of one of them,
then lay the other paper on top of that to sandwich the plants.
Then she put it under enormous pressure over nite
we were delighted when we saw this the next day.
We all loved it!
Looks like she also floated dried & broken up leaves in her pulp. 

This was one of her final pieces.
Here she had to pull a paper that was a bit thicker then her others
because she was required to lay it over top something 3-dimensional and press all around it so that it conformed to her subject.
After she pulled the paper she coached it with sponges and got most all the drippy moisture out
before she laid it on her face.
What a great subject, right??
Clever girl!
(when I tried this technique,
 I laid my paper over top our organ keyboard and it turned out really cool,
although the moisture in the paper probably wasn't too good for the inner workings of the board,
this was when I was in my teens and my mom got pretty mad at me,
ha ha)

So in this closeup we can see hand stitch and beading (upper right)
plus tiny thin pieces of thread floating in the pulp mixture.
Plus I love that she added in the dried roses (above).
I always have dried flowers about my room for the kids to incorporate into their art pieces.

Shreya's final piece she pulled was turned into the Mixed Media piece 
featured last week on the 16th called A Real Big Mix.
This was the largest piece each gal made with a bit of extra thickness as well
so it wouldn't fall apart when they machine stitched on it.
I hope you will scroll back and take another look-see.


  1. I tried making paper when we first moved to Texas ... I ended up with something fibrous, still have sheets of it in fact. I now have tremendous respect for those who create paper.

    And I wondered about the elements in Jac and Shreya's multi-media pieces. Now they make much more sense to me ... and are all the more respected.

  2. Its such a satisfying process and leads to much experimentation.