Advanced Paper Making Techniques By Karen Elzinga
HOW TO TURN PAPER INTO PULP
Glue timber ends together then use a staple gun or nails to firmly affix your frame together.
Cut up an old felt blanket in rectangles to fit inside your frame(opp shops have them for a few dollars)
Use the blanket remainder to place on a table to place your finished paper on (it will soak up the extra water
Dyes (food colouring, ink dyes etc)
Let's start with a basic paper sheet
Chances are if your not familiar with making paper this way your first few attempts will be put straight back into the tub and you'll start again.
This is a normal part of learning and practice definitely makes perfect. You don't have to save everything you make, if it's not great, dump it back into the tub and try a new one.
Which side of the frame do l use?
How to make Paper in 3 easy steps
1.Place paper pulp so it just covers completely your fly wire inside your frame (try thick and thin for different paper thickness and weights. Remember any gaps will mean holes in your paper and more fragile spots, you want an even consistency all over.
● 2.Place your blanket rectangle on top of your paper pulp and then your deckle (wooden flat rectangle measured to fit inside your frame). Gently push down, make sure your frame is over your tub because water will be pushed out of your fly wire as the paper pulp flattens to become paper.
● 3.Once you have confirmed that enough water has been released, it's reveal time, keeping your deckle in place with your hand, turn over your frame and slowly move your hand whilst remaining on the deckle and allow the deckle to very slowly release the paper from the fly wire onto your deckle. Flip the deckle onto your drying blanket and take away the deckle and the underlying rectangle blanket laving your paper sheet onto a dry blanket uncovered ready for drying out naturally. This technique may take a few attempts at practice but you'll get there.
Step 2 – Mastering additives
Simply add them to your pulp if you wish to have them embedded within your paper, or add them to your pulp when it's in the frame before you squeeze out the water with your deckle, this will mean the additives sit on the top of your paper very visibly like this example.
Basic paper sheets with additives - Try adding all kinds of things and experiment with the effects.
Step 3 Encasing objects in inside the paper
Our next technique is the encasement of objects inside the paper to form a 3D paper shape.
Here you will need to source some every day objects, things like pegs, wire, match sticks, pop sticks, basically anything that can make a small 3D shape that you don't mind loosing to your paper.
Maybe pick a theme to work with, mine will be 'childhood memories' and let's see where that takes us.
Concept – To devise a number of paper inclusions that have some meaning to your childhood memories.
1.Swinging on the clothes line
2.Playing pick up sticks
4.Placing hand prints into concrete
5.Having my head put into hair ties and my little hand bag 6.Chasing butterflies around the yard
Create one sheet of paper, then layout your additives on top of it, create another sheet of paper and lay it on top of your additives and first sheet, gently with a blanket rectangle over the top squeeze the two together. Make sure you have done a thicker piece of paper so it doesn't rip so easily. Allow to fully dry.
Step 4 Creating A paper pulp sculpture
You'll need an old stuffed toy or two of any shape or description (opp shops), we are still going to carry on in our previous idea of 'çhildhood memories' for this step, but you can choose what ever topic that you like.
Pouring over an object – Children’s game – Rock till you drop
By dotting down some notes about the idea you have in your head, it will allow you to better create the foundations of a good sculpture because your idea is clear as mud.
Idea – To use the idea of childhood memories to connect this project to. As a child l remember sitting on the ground on the school oval with friends where two kids would sit opposite each other with their hands and feet together and rock side to side to see who would roll over first. The idea is to use stuffed toys and build a sculpture depicting that childhood scenario.
Concept – To pour paper pulp over two similar stuffed toys then recreate the scenario of hands and feet joining, the dog represents mans best friend and a childhood pet, it is also symbolic of a child in terms of its design, it is meant to be used by children. So with that in mind l think the overall finished product should have the element of child like about it.
Step 5 Using Paper Pulp as a stuffing
Using Paper Pulp as a stuffing can create wonderful sculptured art, even the simplest of things such as the bottom of a palm leaf can become a sculptural beauty. Taken further it could be turned into an ephemeral artwork.
What is an EPHEMERAL ARTWORK?
Well it is simply classed as a fleeting artwork, something that lasts for as little as a few seconds such as water art, or perhaps a pile of tin cans placed together for a short time then blown up with dynamite then all that's left are the photographs.
It could be a dessert flower that blooms once a year for a few hours before dying, it is transient, short lived thus is great captured in photographs.
In this next step we will look into stuffing with paper pulp and how you can go further in art to tease out and create a body of work in an ephemeral style.
Working ephemerally you can get ideas such as environmental points across by using creative miniatures.
This is where our palm leaf stuffed with paper pulp and dried ended up. Show casing a burning forest through a lack of due care with matches showcased with a single flame.
Think about what else you could document using ephemeral art and paper pulp.
Step 6 Creating large scale paper pulp sculptures
Concept - To infinity and beyond – Kids have no limitations on what they can do! - Have toys climbing up to a global ball of paper pulp and imbedded toys with the solar system of ball circling around under the banner that children all over the world can do anything they put their minds to even go to space, infinity and beyond.
Materials – Styrofoam balls – Different sizes, Metal eyelets, silver spray paint, wire, no nails glue, plastic only toys, Wooden pole or lamp shade base, plate, paper pulp, plastic mosaic pieces.