I never used to understand the appeal of making paper. Rip up a sheet of paper, put it in a blender and make… a sheet of paper! How exciting. I stuck to found and purchased papers and left the wet stuff to other folks.
Then one day a long while back I got curious. I made a primitive mould and deckle with some screen, tore up some old junk mail, shoved the pieces in a blender with some water…and made some surprisingly cool-looking papers. I was hooked.
I eventually got a pour-style mould and some dried sheets of different kinds of pulps from Carriage House Paper. I discovered the thrill of experimenting with various (and sometimes strange) inclusions and the joy of running one’s fingers through a vat of cool proto-paper slush.
On the other hand, it can be a tiring process. I went for a long time without doing it. Then recently my friend Michele wanted to start making paper. I loaned her some books, which was all well and good, but what she most wanted, please, was a demo of that pour mould. And so I pulled out the old papermaking paraphernalia.
We got some especially interesting results with a mix of blue jean and sisal pulps, which I’d been rehydrating since the day before. Michele is a hoot. She’s a former mathematician, and at one point in the process she expressed out loud her desire to have a math book to deface–this paper would sure be improved with some equations! Said I, gazing at my pile of university library discards, “Would physics do?”
The results are still drying under clamps and boards. I can’t wait.