Making paper today

I've been searching for a decent paper to use in the layered paintings I've been making and have come to the realisation that people charge A LOT for decent paper. I know I'm buying good quality stuff, and if you don't then you won't get the results, but when I need 10 odd sheets for each painting and it's around $3 a sheet then I start to have a problem. So, being the way I am, I thought that I could make it myself. Probably not for the really precise stuff, but it would be nice to be able to make some coloured and fancier papers myself. Plus it's heaps of fun making paper.

I ransacked the pantry this morning looking for coloured cardboard (out of everything I used today the egg cartons gave the best results!) and dragged out my papermaking kit. It was still packed in the garage from last move, so it took me a while to find it but I got there eventually.

image

You need to soak the paper in water for a while to start the process of breaking it down, and I also chopped up some old denim scraps and left them to soak.

image

Now it was hard to find any info on using the thermomix to pulp up the paper (normally I'd use an old blender or stick blender) but I really wanted to give it a go. The paper I was using was all clean and I figured that the thermy blends everything else well so it should be ok with this. I filled it about half full, and added about 500ml of water each time.

image

It worked great! A little bumpy to start with, I had to bump it up to speed 5 or 6 to get it to chop smoothly, but definitely a better result than with a stick blender.

image

This isn't really a comprehensive 'how-to' for papermaking, there are bundles of them already out there on google, but suffice to say I ran out of boards pretty quickly and used up all the window space. Linc was a bit perplexed.

image

Most of it is still drying on the windows, but here is a shot of a few of the dry ones,

image

I'm dying to get the really chunky ones with lots of denim off the window, but they're taking the longest to dry. I'm planning on taking them with me to uni on Thursday, I'll print onto some of them and paint onto others and let you know how it all turns out.