Pulp to Paper

9. Put another couch sheet or piece of cloth over the sheet. Press.

10. Dry the sheet with an iron, or put it between dry couch sheets or cloths under some heavy books to finish drying.

11. When handmade sheets become thin — usually after two or three sheets — add more pulp to the vat by blending another 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper using three cups of water per sheet.

Clean up… Never put pulp or water used for papermaking down a sink or drain — it turns to concrete! For the pour method, flush water down the toilet or dispose of it in the garden. For the dip method, strain the leftover pulp and freeze in a plastic bag or save in a clean milk jug. Add a few drops of wintergreen oil to reduce spoilage and odor.

Did You Know?

Ts’ai Lun, a Chinese government official and scholar gets the most credit for inventing paper. He ground up plants and spread it out onto a mat made of coarse cloth and a bamboo frame. It might not have looked like much, but once the sun had dried the mush, the result was paper.

There is some evidence that paper might have been created before Lun, but he was the first to record his efforts. Most likely on his own paper!

Before paper people scratched and even painted on cave walls and stone tablets. They also wrote on thinly sliced papyrus reed that was tightly woven into sheets. Papyrus (a plant) was eventually pulped to make sheets of paper.

I learned the art and craft of papermaking from one of the leading paper experts in the United States, Arnold Grummer. I don’t think Mr. Grummer has seen a piece of paper that hasn’t fascinated him and since 1976 when he formed his company, Greg Markim Inc. (named for his three children: Greg, Mark and Kim).

He has been teaching the world the joy of papermaking. Arnold Grummer has designed fail-proof handmolds (sometimes called papermaking frame and screen) that make papermaking easy.

More on Papermaking:

Arnold Grummer’s Complete Guide To Easy Papermaking, by Arnold Grummer (Krause Publishing)

Tin Can Papermaking: Recycle For Earth And Art, by Arnold Grummer (www.arnoldgrummer.com)

Maria Nerius has been designing and writing craft projects for 15 years and is the craft expert at CreateForLess.com. If you have questions, comments, have craft ideas of your own, or would like to see a particular craft in an upcoming issue, e-mail Maria at mnerius@cfl.rr.com.

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