A little while ago I posted about some handmade paper I had made in the studio using equipment that was at hand – showing that you don’t really have to spent lots of dollars to be creative. You can view that post here.
I used recylced paper for that initial experiment and being pretty pleased with the results, decided to be a bit more daring with my next foray into making paper.
A few months ago some tree trimming was carried out by the council along the front of our property – due to trees growing into power lines and the bushfire danger in Australia. As I live on a ten acre property, and we try to grow our own vegetables we asked that the mulch be left with us for our garden. As a result I was left with a huge mound of eucalyptus mulch – perfect for making paper!
I used eucalyptus leaves, bark and twigs for the paper, and when using plant materials caustic coda is used to boil the fibres into pulp – that was a bit scary, but as long as gloves and goggles are used everything is fine.
I boiled the pulp for about two hours, and then rinsed and rinsed – the caustic soda must all be rinsed away before any attempt to make paper is made.
I still had some recycled paper pulp left from the last project, so I made some sheets of paper using pure eucalyptus, and some using a mixture of paper and eucalyptus.
Overall, I was again happy with the results. Though I could have boiled the eucalyptus longer if I wanted smoother paper, the sculptural results of this paper was very exciting, and I intend to experiment more with this idea.
This, I like! I bet it smells delicious too with all that eucalyptus. Love it!
It did smell great while making the paper… but once it is dry there is no smell :-/ However, some essential oil could be absorbed into the surface to highlight the ‘ingredients’ 🙂
Shame, I sometimes use eucalyptus to make marks on fabrics, the perfume does last a while. Once they are dry I store them together in a box for a time, this seems to help.
good thought – I will give it a go 🙂
Fab paper, the sculptural nature of it is very interesting! Thanks for the post.
thanks Nicholas… it is something I want to keep experimenting with as it seems to have lots of possibilities 🙂
Dawn, how cool is that as I see you seem to be adding yet more kinds of varied media to your art repertoire. I really like how the stitching is done w/the colored thread. Hope to see more like this!
Thanks Patricia…. yes I like the look of this paper – I will definitely be experimenting with the concept more 🙂
This is wonderful texture. I’ve always thought it would be interesting to make some smooth paper to paint on with water medium. Have you ever made cotton paper?
Hi Suzanne…. no I haven’t made cotton paper …. BUT I am currently soaking some old jeans – so stay tuned!!
I love that textured paper and your idea of lacing it together makes it even more unique. I know you had fun doing this!
Thankyou… and yes I did 🙂
The paper looks beautiful. A while ago I made a few books with paper that I make miself an was a wonderful experience. I used plant materials like leaves and flowers to added effects. I wrote poems in the books and I have an exhibition of them in Montreal. Now, that I walk in the forest (I live in Costa Rica), when I found a dead leave or some fibers from dead plant I have the sensation of the paper in my fingers. Thanks for share.
Nice idea for all that “old eucalyptus hanging around! I never would have thought about that. I’ve been making paper since ’93, adding all sorts of stuff, including flower petals & spices – sadly no aroma afterwards. But rather than buy a deckle n mould, I made mine, 2 different sizes, using flat 1\1/2″ X 2” boards, L shaped household wall edgings & old window screens. I also made my own press out of old “good” plywood, screws & toggle bolts. It cost less than $ 5 for both! The only thing I didn’t have is the component to “bind” the paper better, that we used in in a Fiber Arts course I took. Still, they came out OK, if used as an object of art rather than to write on.
I tried making paper quite a few years ago, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it once it was done.
I plan to experiment with painting and drawing – also sewing panels of it together, and perhaps artist books…
I would think though that it could be interesting in the photography/printing realm…
I love the look of what you are getting! What is “caustic coda”? Do you mean “caustic soda”? Where do you find it, and how much does it take? Do you have to leave a window open for health reasons, then?
Oops… thanks for picking up that typo Joy…. yes caustic soda! Yes i did leave my doors and windows open while boiling down the pulp. The amount i used was based on the ratio in the instructions on the bottle.
Thanks for visiting 🙂
But…where do you buy “caustic soda”? Hardware store? Papermaking supply store?
Yes Joy, I bought it in Bunnings which is a huge hardware store 🙂
Thanks for the info…not that I am making paper, but I have some plant materials that I’d like to break down.
Love this paper. I shall be stealing this idea from you:) Though there are no eucalyptus trees here, there are plenty others I can experiment with. Nice to have stumbled over you, figuratively, of course! Ann
Hi Ann… good luck with your experimenting – it great fun!!