Trash Talk: Upcycling Paper Making Project
Waste not, want not, as the old saying goes
Perusing art supply vendors at an art teacher convention is like giving your cute Pomeranian a bowl of Texas barbecue ribs; you know that in the end there will be nothing but bones left. There can never be enough hands-on stuff to make in twenty minute increments. The paper making walk up workshop with Sax representative Joe Culotta was no different. Joe has an old hat when it comes to mesmerizing students and teachers with new project tricks, secretly I think he's a wizard. He's one of those enigmatic performers that can wave a magic marker to conjure a perfect art lesson. On this morning Joe made paper using recycled trash labels from Hershey kiss foils, torn up card stock, sticky notes and so much more unidentifiable stuff. He says the best paper is made with bits of lint from your dryer.
My friend and art teacher Evangeline Royer rips up some paper for the mixer. What you don't see is Joe pouring water into the mix.
Tip: 2 cups of water for a 5.5 x 8.5 sheet of paper
Pulse until all bits are same size.
Once the screens are strapped into place, submerge the wood deckle into a tub of water. Slowly pour the pulp directly into the hand mold.
The paper making wood deckle can be bought from SAX for under $30. It comes with step by step directions, a paper making screen, cover screen, support grid, and 2 couch sheets for absorption.
Slowly raise the wood mold from the water. To get every last bit push the stragglers off the the side and back into the pulp.
Flipping the paper out of the wood deckle may take practice or it may not, Joe made it look effortless.
Place your paper onto a hard surface and slowly push a sponge to absorb the water.
Peel the screen off the paper.
This is a couch, pronounced kooch, and it's firmly applied to absorb as much water as possible.
Then a heavy weight is gently pressed onto the couch to get more water out.
Peel the paper slowly off the couch.
Here Joe places the paper onto a makeshift ironing board and irons the rest of the water right out. High heat, nothing fancy, and in seconds it's dry.
One very satisfied art teacher, Joe looks so proud:)
Here's a few examples of reusable paper for your trashy paper making project.