Sunday, March 4, 2012
Week 19 - Paper Pulp
Each batch of ripped paper is soaked briefly in water and then whizzed in a blender until reduced to a pulp with lots of water. The pulp is tipped into a large plastic tray half full of water.
After each sheet of paper you just lay another kitchen cloth on top and make another piece till you have a big stack of wet paper sheets.
To squeeze out the water you put a piece of wood on top and carefully stand on it. It is recommended to do this outside and also for another person to hold onto you for stability otherwise you can aquaplane. Unused pulp is chucked on the compost heap as it will block the sink!
I put the stack of damp papers, still on their cloths in the airing cupboard for a few days and ironed them to remove the last bit of damp as I separated them out.
Here are some of my dried pieces. Trapped in the papers are hole-punch waste, bits of thread, dried flowers, tea leaves, onion skins and postage stamps. Unfortunately the red colour from one pulp bled through into its neighbours in the stack and likewise with the onion skins.
Then we dragged the string, bit by bit, through the pulp and laid it over the mould to provide the foundation layer.
It was difficult to get the bowl off the mould once it was dry. I pulled at the cling-film and wiggled it as much as possible. I was scared of tearing the edges as they are naturally much thinner and more fragile. Eventually it just popped off.
I was itching to see if I could sew into it so after checking at college that it wouldn't ruin my machine, I gave it a go.