"The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." ~Joanna Field

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The art of paper making

So some of you may know that I'm a crafty geek, and enjoy fibre arts the most.
How many of you have thought about paper making before? It is a fibre art too! Just, different fibre.

I got into making paper maybe five years and a house ago. Set up a vat, blender and screen in our basement laundry room and churned the stuff out for a few months. Then school, cold weather and depression put a kibosh on it.
Oh, and moving to a house that doesn't have a drain in the floor of the basement. And had a fully carpeted basement for a time.
So I slowly ditched all the made up pulp, cleaned the vat, stored the screen and pressing boards, ditched the old cloths.

I made journals for all my teachers in grade ten, cards, backings for poems and neat art paper. Even a box to hold 105 tiny paper stars (about 5mm or .20in across) for a very special person.

After stopping I got into writing, geofiction, conlanging, reading, crochet, knitting, spinning, weaving, braiding, sewing and more all over again. (The first three were more prevalent for the first two years while I dealt with the aforementioned depression.) So I'm happy I stopped, it opened the door to a lot of other things I had ignored.

Fast forward to about a month ago. First year of college was ending, and I was looking forward to a summer of boredom, work and boredom.
So I thought, hey, paper!
Well, that and I was thinking about things I could add to an Etsy shop or similar, and dying/spinning wool seemed to expensive/time consuming for a start up. (Plus I'm not sure I would be able to give up the things I made >.>) Then I remembered the paper, and how so many people fawned over it and wanted things made from it, and thought it would be a good idea.

So I tore the old screen off and got a new, tighter one. Found and washed my old vat. Spent days trying to find a second hand blender, and eventually my mum said I could use the house one. If she ever wants one, she'll get another. (She barely used this one. A nice new blender for me!)

The furnace room was stripped of carpeting last year after the oil spill. (Torn up by a friend and I), so I do most of the work there (Until I can convince mum to tear up the disgusting carpet in the laundry room.) I've made two posts of sheets in the last three or four days, and will probably pull another today (Though I may experiment with some other fibres. I never got too far into the experimental last time.)

I hope to make some pulp out of old blue jeans and dryer lint soon. Maybe next summer try out some plant fibres. (Probably have to wait longer than that. I'll be done school then. Looking for permanent employment and housing...) You will probably soon get sick of the flurry of paper-making posts I feel are to come. Pictures too, hopefully!
I hope to make gift/greeting cards, some finer stationary, envelopes, boxes... Things are looking crafty around here.

So tell me, intrepid reader, what kind of crafts do you do?


  1. I crochet! Sort of...lol
    Ripping out the carpet, eh? That must have been quite the chore :P

  2. You remember how hard it sucked, eh?

    I'd say you are firmly in the "crochet" category. -nodnod-