handmade paper

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How to make paper ; using paper

i. Gather old documents or newspaper and rip them into small pieces, cover with water and stir thoroughly. This mixture can be left overnight (or carefully heated) until the pieces dissolve into a pulp. The longer it’s left and more frequently it’s stirred, the smoother it will be

ii. Once most of the water is absorbed and it looks pretty mushy, add a few drops of essential oils and combine the herbs or flower petals (if desired). Squish the last bit of liquid out with your hands and begin assembling the shape on an old or dark coloured towel

iii. Sandwich the sheet by folding the towel or placing another on top and press down firmly, flip over and repeat on a dry section. After a few times extra newspaper can be used. Leave it to dry overnight (or for a few days). Once they’re nearly dried place the pages under a heavy book to keep them flat

Here are the papers my nine-year-old daughter and I made in the kitchen this past weekend, finally dry. I was surprised the sheets turned out so well– I like the texture quite a bit. We didn’t add sizing, so they act like blotters when watercolor is applied, but it was a worthwhile and informative experiment. 

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Cy Twombly,
-   Leda and the swan (part i), 1980. / acrylic and oil on paper, 47 ¾ x 29 ½ in., 121.4 x 75 cm.
-   Leda and the swan (part ii), 1980. / acrylic and oil on paper, 47 5/8 x 29 ½ in., 121 x 75 cm.
-   Leda and the swan (part iii), 1980. / oil on reverse of an artist’s proof on handmade paper, 25 ½ x 19 ¾ in., 64.7 x 50. 3 cm.
-   Leda and the swan (part v), 1980. / paper with square printing, 17 1/8 x 13 ½ in., 43.5 x 34.4 cm.
-   Leda and the swan (part iv), 1980. / poster with a black and white reproduction of a work dated 1975, folded 14.6 cm from above 17 ¾ x 19 in., 45 x 48.3 cm.
-   Leda and the swan (part vi), 1980. / oil on paper with transparent tape in all four corners, 14 1/8 x 13 ¼ in., 35.8 x 33.5 cm.