The art of papermaking has a long and
interesting history. The following procedures given are
simplified versions of traditional methods. Once basic
papermaking is understood, one can make many beautiful papers using plant materials and flowers.
With some skill and creativity, sheets of paper can become works of art using dyes and Japanese
fibers such as Kozo.
Mold and deckle
This can be purchased as a papermaking kit from many art stores
or mail order from Twinrocker. A
simple version of a mold and deckle suitable for teaching
children can easily be made at home. Instructions
for making a mold and deckle.
Supplies: Large tub, such as a plastic dishpan, blender,
plastic buckets, mold and deckle, strainer or colander, jars for
storing excess pulp, pulp can be made with recycled paper or
cotton linters, which are ready made sheets used specifically for
- If using recycled paper, be sure to
remove all traces of glue and take out staples.
- Tear the paper into small squares,
about 1 inch.
- Put the torn paper in a bucket of
water and let it soak for at least 2 hours. If using
cotton linters, soak for just a few minutes.
- Put batches of the paper into a
blender, making sure there is plenty of water--about 1/3
pulp with 2/3 water.
- Fill a rectangular plastic tray
with about 2 inches of water and pour in a blender full
of pulp. The amount of the pulp in the water will
determine the thickness of the sheet of paper.
- As sheets of paper are made, keep
refilling the plastic tray with pulp, and water if
Making a sheet of paper:
by papermaking artist, Dixie Junius.
Supplies: large sheet of plastic or plastic table covering, white
felt squares, kitchen cloths or interfacing (not the iron-on
kind), and a sponge to mop up spills. Optional: laminated boards.
- Spread plastic covering over a
table, place a layer of felt, and then a kitchen cloth
- Give the pulp a good stir and place
the mold so that the mesh is face up, and put the deckle
on the top. Grip the two firmly, holding them by the
- Slip the mold and deckle at an
angle into the pulp mixture, then straighten them up so
that they lid flat beneath the surface of the liquid.
- Keeping the mold and deckle level,
pull them straight up out of the liquid. Hold the mold
and deckle level--the water will drain back through the
- Gently shake the mold and deckle
backward and forward, and side to side. This will help
the fibers settle and mesh together.
- Take the deckle off the mold. Put
one edge of the sheet of paper on the kitchen cloth and
gently press the sheet of paper onto the felt. This is
called "couching". Sponge off excess water.
- Put another piece on kitchen cloth
or interfacing over the finished sheet and continue. You
can layer several sheets.
- To keep paper flat when dried,
press between 2 laminated boards (shelves from a home
supply store works very well). Layer with felt to absorb
Back to Stand Alone