Most of us don't think about the paper that's around us: tablets, pads, pages from a book, and scraps for notes. We write on paper, draw or paint on it, read from it, eventually recycle it. With the digital age, do we use less? I don't think so, though new generations may turn away from paper more and more. For now, the tactile quality of paper attracts us still. The crackle of gift wrap, the rustle of a book's pages, the response of the paper to a drawn or painted line--all create a link for us to paper. Paper even has a memory. what happened the last time you set a wet cup on a piece of paper? The paper wrinkles up and once dry, won't smooth out unless you iron it. The paper 'remembers' its wet position.
I took the Tin Can Papermaking class by Julia Goodman at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Making paper in a tin can is a simple process:
We used two tin cans, a blender to pulverize the scraps of paper and cloth, and two screens to make small circular sheets. Paper, unlike cloth, is not woven together. Instead, in the agitation process, the fibers reach out to each other and form a bond that makes paper very strong. (If agitated too much, the opposite will happen and the paper will fall apart.) The end results from the class became rough surfaced circles, more appropriate for art-making than writing. To make the paper better for lettering, the paper needed to be pressed smooth and coated with sizing.
I worked all day, blending scraps, pouring the pulp into a tin can through two different screens, agitating the pulp, pressing out the water, and letting the pieces dry. At the end of the day, I had a small post of still wet papers to take home with me. It took three more days for the pieces to thoroughly dry.
|This sheet was made from denim scraps|
Check out Julia Goodman's website for some amazing art pieces made from paper:
Go to Pamela Paulsrud's site to see a wonderful way to acknowledge our relationship to trees by using paper circles to write about experiences with trees:
Still trying to find an easy project for Valentine's Day? Here are directions for a simple origami heart:
Use lightweight paper or origami paper cut to a square (I used 6 inch x 6 inch)
|Fold the paper diagonally in both directions|
|Take top point and fold to center|
|Open out & take opposite point & fold as in photo. Open up and refold with first point inside, then second.|
|Fold left point along center line|
|In origami, there is always one fold that is crucial. Make sure the inner folds match|
|Turn over and fold points down|
|Fold side corners to inside. Turn over.|
|You have a heart.|
|I folded part of a doily in a fan shape and stuck inside the heart.|
Then I sealed the opening with a sticker from Mrs. Grossman's collection.
Happy Valentine's Day!