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Abstract Art, Papermaking, Sculpture

More On Handmade Paper

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.

Boiling the eucalyptus pulp

Boiling the eucalyptus pulp

The eucalyptus pulp

The eucalyptus pulp









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.

100 % eucalyptus paper

100 % eucalyptus paper

Freshly made paper - eucalyptus and recycled paper pulp

Freshly made paper – eucalyptus and recycled paper pulp









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.


26 thoughts on “More On Handmade Paper

  1. This, I like! I bet it smells delicious too with all that eucalyptus. Love it!

    Posted by nuvofelt | May 20, 2013, 1:17 am
    • 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’ 🙂

      Posted by Dawn Whitehand | May 20, 2013, 1:19 am
      • 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.

        Posted by nuvofelt | May 20, 2013, 1:45 am
      • good thought – I will give it a go 🙂

        Posted by Dawn Whitehand | May 20, 2013, 2:12 am
  2. Fab paper, the sculptural nature of it is very interesting! Thanks for the post.

    Posted by Nicholas Herbert | May 20, 2013, 1:37 am
  3. 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!

    Posted by artdoesmatter | May 20, 2013, 3:11 am
  4. 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?

    Posted by Suzanne M. Phillips | May 23, 2013, 1:02 am
  5. I love that textured paper and your idea of lacing it together makes it even more unique. I know you had fun doing this!

    Posted by Beauty Along the Road | May 23, 2013, 6:38 am
  6. 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.

    Posted by rosi garita | May 24, 2013, 3:16 am
  7. 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.

    Posted by Kathleen E Lo PINTO VIGNOLINI (GRASSI) | May 24, 2013, 5:58 am
  8. I tried making paper quite a few years ago, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it once it was done.

    Posted by Leanne Cole | May 29, 2013, 9:04 pm
    • 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…

      Posted by Dawn Whitehand | May 29, 2013, 10:19 pm
  9. 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?

    Posted by Joy Kreves | June 3, 2013, 1:14 am
  10. 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

    Posted by annisik51 | August 19, 2013, 7:11 pm


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