Paper Making

General discussion about Origami, Papers, Diagramming, ...

Paper Making

Postby gilad_zn » June 13th, 2004, 1:21 pm

has anyone here tried making paper?

I've ordered Michael La`Fosse's video where he shows how makes the paper for his frog, but it will probably be a couple of weeks until it gets here. In the mean time, I've been doing a bit of reading on the net, and it seems that recycling paper is actually quite is to do at home without really having to by anything special. I haven't tried it out yet, but it seems like mixing different papers, like tissue paper and foil might just give good results (I don't think it will be very similiar to the standard "tissue-foil"). You can also determine the paper's width, and the like. Has anyone had any experience with it?

And a little side note. I've always thought that Kraft paper was called that because of some relation to "craft" in some other european language. I found out, however, that the name is derived from the German word for "Force", and that it is the name of the prossess of rooting out the cellulose from trees. This process also makes coloring the paper later on problematic, and that's why the paper retains the brown-grey color of the tree it came from.
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Postby elf » June 16th, 2004, 3:11 pm

I've tried making paper at home; I recycled newsprint for my first try (not a good idea, it looked like paper towels at a real sleazy rest area).

It is very easy. I haven't tried more than recycling junk mail (mostly white paper with some color in/on it). I never thought about adding foil or anything else, but it should be just fine. As far as I can tell, most anything you can put in your blender is fair game. The instructions I have all mention adding flower petals, glitter, etc., so I can't see why foil or tissue wouldn't work. You could also add the tissue (I'm not sure about the foil) to the top of the sheet of pulp before it dries/gets ironed. It should blend in with no problem (I think).

Anyway, it's not an expensive process. You only need a blender (I had an old one, but if you don't pulp anything dangerous, you should be able to wash it out just fine--if you're worried, check out a garage sale or two), a screen (store-bought for papermaking, or you can use any piece of screen--if it's not sturdy enough on it's own, stretch it over some framing), and a really big tub (I used a kitty-litter pan bought at a dollar store) big enough to get your screen into. I didn't bother using an additional frame (deckle) to make the paper thicker and mine turned out fine. If you want to make a lot all at once (I did a couple of sheets at a time and let 'em dry overnight), you'll need toweling and boards to stack and press the whole pile.

Good luck--it can be a lot of fun, and it's not too messy (it's just water and paper pulp).
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Postby gilad_zn » June 16th, 2004, 9:52 pm

How good was the paper for origami? Was it of consistend thickness?
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Postby PaperMate » June 16th, 2004, 10:47 pm

I've had good results with papermaking. It's not a difficult process, nor does it require sophisticated tools.

I practice Calligraphy and most of the papers I've made have been heavyweight, textured papers, (some in fact look very much like animal hides and could be used to good effect for such models).

Others have good 'hold' quality when wet and could be employed for wet-folding techniques, perhaps ?
One of my 'future' project ideas is to create wet-folded tribal masks for my hallway a la' Eric Joisel, (Ok perhaps I'm being a little too ambitious) :wink:

If you're looking to create papers that fold cleanly I guess you'd be looking for a close, smooth-textured paper, which might prove a little more difficult to produce.
Ultimately what you're aiming for is 'uniform consistency/thickness'....
but like anything practice makes perfect.

With the huge range and seemingly 'infinite' variety of commercial papers available people might ask why anyone would want/need to make their own :?: but I think it gives a 'conception-to-completion' feel to your project/model. I think it's good to get a feel for your materials...
and I'd guess that most experienced folders instinctively know which papers will work well for which models.

I'm all for experimenting and exploring and in my practice of Calligraphy I've used some pretty unconventional materials to write upon... such as skelatilised leaves and dried grasses.... so fragile :!:
Has anyone here folded non-conventional materials ?
Perhaps I'm a purist but I'll stick with paper.

Anyway good luck Gilad, let us know how you get on!
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Postby elf » June 17th, 2004, 12:42 pm

I found it easy to get an even thickness, except for the very edges. I used a screen only, no extra frame, so I had a deckle edge; I like it, so I didn't trim it off.

Anyway, it costs practically nothing to do. I even saw somebody on Carol Duvall's show a while back using a piece of screen and some tin cans, and his turned out just fine! I assume the information is on her website, somewhere.

Best of luck!
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