Using Paper Additives
For this next round we're going tio experiment a little bit with some natural additives to kind of give an almost botanical feel to our paper and one of the things that I've had really nice success with is this preserved moss this is something that you find at your craft supply store your florist supply store it's often used we need to a floral arrangement to kind of decorate the edges of the pot or houston terreri ums that sort of thing and so what I'm going to do is I'm going to take a healthy handful about this much and again this is really about experimentation regarding how much you actually want to use and I'm just going to throw that into the top of the blender replace the lid and I'm going toe pulverize that again so yeah if you want to go ahead and do that as well we will excuse me all blend at the same time again everybody good all right let's go and really you just need a few seconds with that to kind of get it worked in there yeah if it feels like your pulp is a little thic...
k at some extra water that's great not so much okay at a little more water and if it gets to the point where it feels like it's being impacted we can also remove a little bit of that pulp tio love the blender to do its job all right does it feel like it has uh mixed in do you see it somewhat well incorporated in amongst the mixture okay, great so at this stage then we're going to take our pictures off of our blender stands and we're going to pour these into our water baths and again the water baths are really about a half to two thirds of the way full now the thing that I love about this preserved moss is even though you have put it in the blender you're going to see a lot of the natural elements now see I ran my fingers through I found a little chunk much like it did with the paper I'm going to go ahead and set that aside but what's really lovely about this is it's going to add a flecked finish to your paper so that once you're sheet is dried it's going to look almost a ziff there were botanicals or grasses mixed into it which I think is a really lovely look now before we pull our papers I want to show you one other thing that all of you have at your work stations and that is a little folded piece of paper with some dried and preserved flowers and foliage these because they are so delicate we don't want to put them into our paper pulp because they would be blended beyond recognition what we were going to do instead is once we pull our piece of paper before we remove the dekel we're going to set it down our tray and everyone's got tweezers as well and you can take those and place a couple of those elements on top of the wet paper pulp and then remove your dekel um now I should say with the dried and preserved flowers and foliage the's air really simple to do at home if you have the inclination in the time it really just requires you taking a piece of paper, folding it in half, taking some clippings from your garden, your backyard, your neighborhood slipping them into that fold, tucking them into the center of a thick book and placing them under a stack of heavier books. And really, at that point it's a waiting game you just want to set them aside for a couple of weeks. And what happens during that period is that the weight of the book's helps press all of the moisture out of of the botanicals, and it gets absorbed into that piece of paper. There are, however, for impatient crafter like myself, plenty of wonderful online sources. If you go to a search engine and type in dried press flowers, you're going to find many online sources for them and they're relatively inexpensive and they come in a wide variety I have found with experimenting with them that you want ones that and don't have a lot of woody elements to them so if you're dealing with say a leaf or something with a fairly thick stock um you want to avoid that only because it will not fully incorporate into your paper and once the paper's dry it will slowly start to peel away which is super disappointing whereas working initially with these really beautiful pressed ferns they're going to look gorgeous on top of the paper the same thing goes with some of the flowers if you're dealing with like a daisy for example that's got a really sort of thick fibrous center to it those are not going to be your best option for an additive you want something more along the lines of like pansy zor viola as are some of those almost paper thin pedal flowers that will press really lovely and flat so I just want you to have those on the ready with your pair of tweezers if you find that picking them up with your fingers is easier that's totally fine just sometimes they are so delicate it's easier just to use that as a little tool so let's get ready we're going to take turns now at the work stations here in the studio because you are sharing on water bath but if one of you at each table wants to go ahead and take your screen again with the screen face up and the dekel face down you're going toe sandwich those two together so that they are flush and then just quickly kind of run your fingers through the water to agitate it and then dip your screen down into the interior you're gonna go basically to the bottom the base and allow the pope to settle for just a second and then gently lifted up you don't have a straight edge if you'd like to have like a more natural looking paper would you just not use the top screen you absolutely can yeah and you will find even with using the screen when you kind of closely examined some of these sheets that they still have that beautiful rough deck allege without the deco it's just going to be a little bit more free form this is a way to kind of maintain a shape for your piece of paper so once it is drained a little bit over the top of the water base and you kind of run your fingers along the edge toe get rid of some of that excess pulp and paper material and then we're going to set it down on top of our trays to kind of help maintain control over some of our water mess if you weren't doing this over a train you were just doing it on your work surface you would quickly find yourself in the midst of a puddle and we're just kind of trying to avoid that how we doing in studio excellent all right, so once you have laid it down on your sheet of paper before you remove your dekel let's, go ahead and add in a couple of the dried florals. So, um we have got some made in hair fern here we've got some standard for instant lovely small yellow flowers from little blue bell flowers, but what I'm going to be doing is I'm taking this essentially, and I'm just laying it right on top of my paper may be tapping it slightly, but you don't want to press down too much once we put the screening on and start pressing with the sponge that's really going to secure and it here it tio to the surface so I think I'm going to leave just that simple single piece of fern and then at that point we can go ahead and lift our deck als straight up does the any of the force that you use it, they leave any kind of sense? You know what? Not so much? Could you use a cent to create center paper you wanted to? You know what I think during the process of making the pulp, you certainly could experiment with adding and some essential oils, maybe just a few drops and that's actually really lovely idea again all about the experimentation kind of giving paper and added dimension and sent I think, is a lovely idea now, once you have removed your dekel, you've got your dried florals on the top, we're going to take our extra piece of screen, and we're going to gently lay it over the top, gonna grab my kitchen sponge here, and I'm gently going to press down on the surface and you're going to feel it's going toe will take a second with the dry sponges, but once the sponges, moisture will see that it absorbs much more quickly. Take it back over to the water bath, and you can see we're getting a lot of moisture out just by the simple step of pressing it gently a couple more times. You don't necessarily need to overdo this step, but it is the first way we're going to get rid of most of the moisture. Everything from here on out is really smaller steps in doing that, so now that you have done that, were going to gently sort of lift up the corner of the screen to see if the paper sticks, it does not like our first batch, so what I'm going to do then is take a couple of pieces of paper towel and lay them down on my work surface, and then I'm going to take the entire screen, our paper making screen with the extra piece of screen on top, and we're going to flip that over on top of our paper towels again I'm going to use the sponge is a little bit of a tool and give a little bit of gentle pressure on the back just to transfer it from our papermaking screen to the surface of this extra piece screen left right up it came off beautifully and so then at this point I'm going to flip that over on top of my paper towel removed that extra piece of screen and I'm going to take an additional piece of paper towel to press it on the it's not even with a little pressure with a sponge if you want you can kind of with your thumb maybe start to peel a little bit on the corner you do you just want to be a little bit gentle with it because it is so wet it can easily tear no I think that enough pressure it's it's honestly it's a very forgiving and this is a really good point phyllis if you get to the point where you can't get it off the screen and the thing tears and half all you have to do is put that back in your water bath and it becomes part of your pulp again so that you can start all over again so it's very forgiving in that regard how are we doing? We got it off excellence I just had to pay a little bit on the corner but it finally I've got a little tear on the corner, but it doesn't take away from no worries. Yeah, not at all. And so you can see at this point we've pressed quite a bit of water out of it at this stage that you ladies air at phyllis and kathy, you just want to take an extra piece of paper towel then and press it down over the top just again expel a little bit more of that moisture. Did it come off, madeleine, peel it off. Ok. Excellent there's. Always a workaround. Yeah, yeah. You with that over then on top of the surface of your paper towel. Perfect. And you'll just press down now with a clean paper towel on top of that. But you can see with this paper what? I love so much about that, moss. Is it really the way that it breaks down in the blender and distribute itself throughout the sheet? You get all of these, like gorgeous flecks of that foliage material. And then with the added edition of the leaf, I just think it's a really nice component. So, um, now, with these let's, put them back down on our paper towels, put the extra paper bath towel back on top of that. And we're just going to do our iron trick real quick, just so you get a little bit of experience in the studio with using that and again, we're not going to be doing ironing motion it's simply oppressing motion and you'll hear a little sizzle and you'll likely see a little bit of steam coming up again, a reminder that you do want your iron set on a non steam setting, you know you can actually go hot you I tend to turn mine all the way up fresh plants or flowers, or do you really recommend just drive? You know what I really do recommend drying them, because what you'll find with the addition of fresh flowers to your paper is that they dry in a different rate than the paper pulp will, so they will tend to at a certain point, buckle up, and you'll have these sort of odd little botanical buckles in the middle of your paper, and with them already being dried, they're going to sort more less drive the same rate of pulp to maintain a flat sheet of paper. So now, once you've ironed it, go ahead, remove that extra paper towel and you can kind of gently peel up your sheet of paper off of the surface of the paper towel and lay it on top of, uh, on top of your felt paper maven seven is asking when you're all done can you also recycle your paper towels into pay yes absolutely absolutely you can and that's one of the beauties of this is that they had a beautiful fibrous quality to the paper pulp so by all means don't throw in the trash setting aside and you can use them for you know paper pulp batch great how many sheets of paper would you roughly get out of one batch with one batch I would say you're going to get four to five good sheets beyond that the sheets of paper going to begin to get a little bit thinner only because at that point you're obviously depleting the amount of pulp in your water bath you can manipulate it as you're using the screen to cry try and get us much of that pulp back up onto the screen is possible but yes you'll definitely notice they get thinner as you go along let's do one more from this again we're going to take our screen screen side up put our dekel face side down so the two are flush together use your fingers just to agitate the pulp a tiny bit and we're going to dip that down underneath and lifted up slowly to capture as much of that pulp is we can holding it above the surface of the water bath you kind of skim off some of that excess pulp and additive from the frame and then we will lift that right back over to our working tray. Now, with the trades that you're working with a certain point, you'll realize you probably got a quarter inch of water, and there you can just easily lifted back up and pour that back into your water bath to kind of help maintain your control your mass a little bit. Um, once it's on here, I'm going to slowly lift the dekel straight up, revealing a beautiful sheet of paper. Um, now I am going to add a little bit more botanical information material to this. I did it. Obviously I removed my dekel first that's not imperative uh, the order of that, but let's, take a couple pieces of some of these beautiful yellow pressed flowers and add those on there. Now you can get really creative with these, especially if you are doing perhaps larger sheets and you want to create a specific border or a pattern that's absolutely something that you can do with the dried flowers and foliage. Once I've laid them down on their, then I'm going to go ahead and take that second piece of screen justice we've done before and start pressing gently with the sponge, how we doing in the studio there, coming out, all right love it, excellence pretty good for a first try. You know what? Thiss is a huge part, it's a great point, madeleine it's, part of my crafting philosophy, you really have to allow yourself to screw up the first three, four dozen, two dozen times she do a project because honestly, that's, how you're going to learn, you got to be kind yourself in this process and nobody's going to do it perfect the first time around, it is this continuation of a learning process. So just if you saw the craft graveyard I have at my house, you would probably be appalled, but that's, how you get to the good stuff, you gotta work through all of those crappy for a second and third tries until you kind of get a feel for the material and you're a little more comfortable with the process. I've kind of got the steps down, and if you're working from a book or a video, you're able tio do it without necessarily referencing every single time. So now that I've pressed out a little bit of the water lifting it up, still not coming off, so not a problem, we're just going to flip that over on a piece of paper towel on our work surface, I'm going to use my sponge as a little bit of a tool give a little pressure on the back. And see if I can't lift it up now oftentimes if you are having trouble with the release on the screen, if you give a little bit of pressure may be on the corners with that's just one of your fingers a little bit of gentle pressure, you'll see that it starts to kind of fall down a tiny bit, but she I can always feel free hopes toe lift down and give a little tug now this is something I was talking about earlier I gave a vigorous tug and I managed to rip off the corner of my piece of paper, but honestly not a problem at least in this instance, if I was really upset about it, I would probably just throw it right back in my water bath and reincorporated into the pulp, but I don't really think that's necessary a lot of times, especially with the rough deck allege having a little bit of added texture to that just adds to the charm of the paper. I'm gonna take one more sheet of paper towel press that down over the top and that is another good thing to keep in mind during the process of the paper making we're not going for perfection here we're not looking to replicate machine made paper there's something really special about the handmade paper and being able to see the art of the hand of the crafter in it this is allowing us to add in these great additives to really have this beautiful texture and those beautiful rough deck aled edges. When I took it out, it was a little there's more paper pope on like one side than the other, so it ends up a little bit thicker a lot of times that during the process of oppressing the water out, you can even out the texture and the thickness a tiny bit. But again, if that's something like you really feel like the papers lopsided, and you want to throw that back into your your pulp batch that's not a problem, so you can see it pretty much filled up the surface of my felt here, so I'm just going to put down an additional layer. I'm going to take this last sheet that I worked on here gently lifted up and lay it down. One other note before we move on to the next variation about some of the dried flowers there, you will find instances if you purchase your dried flowers and foliage online. Sometimes they are have a dye additive to them, because obviously, most flowers will fade during the pressing and drying process, and so sometimes you will add in, you know, people who do this professionally will add in a little bit of dye when you add those flowers, too. Your wet paper during the drying process you may find some of those dies bleed into the paper pulp I found this particular to the true with flowers that have like a purple or blue dye to them. So it's just something to be mindful of. I have not had much issue at all with the dried green foliage um, and the yellow seems to work quite well as well. All right, so quickly now we're going to move onto our last batch so let's, go ahead and start tearing up some paper again to build the base of our pope. I'm again we're drawing on three different types of paper here, just a standard copy, wait paper, a standard construction white construction paper on and then there's a little bit heavier weight copy sleeper or text no happy with paper in there, you know, and for this one, if you want to take one of your used paper towel, excuse me and rip up a portion of it to add it into your pulp. This might be a good opportunity just to see how that works and you really won't notice a large difference in your pulp but again, it's just a great way to recycle and use some of those back up at a little bit more of that in there, so I would say ladies, you are probably good at that point, with that amount that you've got in there, I think is perfect, and then we're going to go ahead and take our water if you want the thicker paper. Robert, you yeah, you change the gracia of water to power port, does it not, man? No, you know what? That honestly doesn't matter, because in the end it all gets poured into our water bath, which really dilute it. Anyways, you were going to get the thickest sheets of paper with the first couple of polls out of a new pulp batch and that's, because you've got the most concentration of pulp in your water at that point, make any impact it does not know it was not. So now. Um, let's, all coordinate are blending let's put our lives back on. So if we can do this somewhat in unison but let's, go ahead. Now, excuse the noise, folks at home, and we're going to go ahead and blend these up and you can kind of see after I've turned to the blender off removed a lid. I kind of just like poke around that top layer just to kind of feel the consistency and again, we're going for that sort of watery oatmeal consistency, which doesn't sound very appealing, but it's a good description. And now, as faras coloration. In addition for this last batch, I spent a lot of time experimenting with different additives to see what would get the most vivid colors. What would get the most subtle, varied colors? One of the things I experimented with was bleeding artist tissue, and all of you have a little stack at your tables. This actually looks exactly like normal tissue paper, but it's intended for craft projects where you want that color to bleed a little bit. And I thought initially oh, this is perfect. This is going, I'm going to get that bright blue. I'm going to get that bright magenta the color, but what I found happened is while it turned to the water bright, bright colors, it was very, very subtle in the paper pulp. But one of the magical things that kind of happened during the drying process is I found a lot of that ink sort of migrated to the edges of the paper and almost created a really lovely hombre effect so that the center of the paper there was very little color. But all around your beautiful deck allege it was a little bit deeper it's, super subtle, but really very lovely, so you certainly can add one of those in if you want to go ahead and select a color, tear it up and place it into your sheet, but the real star of this round of paper making is going to be this really inexpensive paper confetti this stuff is something I picked up at the dollar store it's it's flecked it's just standard round confetti if you put a healthy chunk of it into the top, we'll run the blender for just a second and you'll find that additional colors from the confetti will transfer into the pulp, but we're not going to blend it so much that we obscure all of the beautiful little round shapes of the confetti this way when you pour down to your sheets it's going to be this really kind of lovely festive party paper and we're going to use those a lot in the next segment in creating some beautiful fun and festive party decorations cell you can certainly if you want to go ahead and add that and absolutely feel free to do that at the same time because the paper tissue is so light it's going to blend beautifully little you can do it at the same time again, part of that is experimentation to if you wanted to blend it in in advance so that you didn't see as much of the flecks of the tissue that's totally fine as well you already see yeah, we put the whole ship you are so you can and again because be effective this is so subtle you should feel confident and putting in the whole sheet without you know over saturating the color is asking yeah, she would like to use the sunday funnies yes so she thinks the colored or just end up being sort of brown by the end of this would be my tip for her is go ahead and create a basic paper pulp to start with and then like we did with our first batch perhaps repp ripped the funnies up stick them in and just blend it lightly that way when you poured in there still going to be little hole pieces of those and so when you screen out your sheet you might actually find you know, snoopy's leg or you know, other parts of the funnies which I think that could be really charming. Okay let's put our lives on and let's do a little blending my friends everybody good? Okay, sorry at home here we go. Wow, look at that scene. Yes. See, like it's beet red deep aqua blue the students were using some of the the artist bleeding tissue and again I'm telling you it really it makes it look like it's going to come out so much vibrant than it does it's a little it's a little tricky that stuff so once you've done that let's, go ahead and pour that into our water baths. You need a little muscle to get those off of the blender base. There you go. Yeah, this is a messy kraft, my friends, and this is why we're doing it on top of paper that we can throw away at the end of recycle into our next batch. But you do you just want to kind of keep up pile of paper towels and dish towels on hand, you will find they come in very use, asshole. So once you have poured that in let's, go ahead and go right into pulling our first piece. So again, you're going to agitate the water a little bit and you can see it's kind of its take on a completely different nature. With that confetti added in slowly lifted up gonna run my finger along the edge just to remove some of that excess pulp. Allow me to drain for just a second, and as we've done for, we're going to move over to our trays, set it down there, gently removed the dekel straight up to reveal your lovely rectangular piece of paper. Now we will take our screen. We're going to place it over the top, taking your kitchen sponge, just gently applying pressure on the top and squeezing that excess back into your water bath. Yeah she's saying that most commercially available papers include methyl cellulose which is the additive to stop the paper falling apart once you put it through the water bart accept a have you diluted that do you need to put something in to replace it? I have not found especially with the smaller sheets that that is necessary just the mere act of pulver pulverizing the paper fibers and matting them down really tends to do the trick now it should be noted that this paper because of the rough nature of it is not going to be printable you certainly can write or draw on it but it is not something I would want to experiment sending through my printer I think that you would end up spending a lot more time with it than you want tio if that were the case so now that I've pressed a little bit of the water out of this piece, I am going to lift up the corner to see if it's no doesn't want to come up so we're going to flip it face down onto that paper towel again just applying a little bit of pressure on the back to help it release and it can if it needs a little bit of coaxing you can kind of gently peel on some of the corners and usually at that point once one corner goes gravity takes effect and it pulls the whole piece down so now that is sitting there by itself on our extra piece of screen, I'm going to take that second piece of paper towel, just gently press it on the back. It looks good, right? I love that confetti. I just think it was one of the kind of a happy accident in the process of playing around with all of these different additives. Um, now there were a couple of extra things that I wanted to show you I had mentioned earlier talking about the bleeding art paper, and the effects are the bleeding heart tissue and the effect that it had. I don't know how well you can kind of see this on camera, but it definitely is a deeper shade of this sort of rose pink along the edges, and I found that to be true with most of the samples I used with the bleeding heart tissue, this is quickly. I just want to talk about some alternative that is you can add in I started playing around with adding some fiber content a little bit. One of the ongoing projects I have going in my studio at home is some embroidery projects, and so you're always snipping off the ends and I end up with a little bowl, almost like a little masterful of clippings, and I started experimenting. With adding those into the paper and I have to say I kind of came up with some results that I was really pleased with they seem to be fairly well embedded into the paper pulp and during the drying process really cemented themselves there and they almost seem like little art pieces. Honestly, this is something that I would imagine even perhaps with framing a little dip tick for at home and using my paper in that way um but again experimentation with this is so much fun you could experiment much like we did with the dried paper flowers, perhaps adding in photographs or little bits of printed text, you know, say perhaps you've got a little saying or quote you wanted to add in you could lay that down over top of the wet paper pulp before you added the additional screen and started pressing out that excess water so well done, my friends, you guys air troopers, this is looking good. My first one the stem didn't really want to stick ceo when I did my second one with the fern e actually forgot to put the fern on before he did the the sponge just so when I said the firm down, I was afraid that that really was gonna pop r so I took some of the residual stuff off my friend and I dropped it down a little bit kind of security genius and then get the final nash you're almost using it like like two cemented down or just think he said yeah, you know and I think that's perfect and that's what he did a lot with adding the when I used to these little clippings of embroidery floss because a lot of them did want to cooperate initially and they're sticking to my fingers so I finally get them down on top of the paper making screen and then I did exactly what you did take a little bit of that extra pulp out of the bath and kind of just like press it down to cement certain portions of it back in um let me I just I would like to see for a second what are students did um on some of these pieces they love beautiful and you may find like I had mentioned with some of the blue flowers during the drying process it may bleed a little bit but again that's kind of part of the experimentation when I when I was pressing the water out of it I did notice there was some purple on the human howell yeah, yeah, you will find that the's air gorgeous guys yeah, I see exactly what you're saying about the worthiness of the stem and I probably if I if I had the white stuff I could still probably at this point even go back that's true that's true, or you could even just go in and kind of clip out that little bit of the woody stem and the rest of the branches would stick beautifully. It looks great, but I was thinking of snipping rights, and that is something. Even if the leaves on the branch seemed to press beautifully, that stem is not always going to want to stick. Where should you guys these look beautiful? Way like the corner, it wasn't feeling this right all the way you pull it up if it doesn't look as though it's filled the entire screen, you can always feel free to, like, dip it back down in maybe manipulate the tub a little bit to try to get more of the pulp on top of the screen, but we kind of like the video like this it really love with that particular the bleeding, our tissue that you used, how it created that lovely, subtle blue color, and I'll be interested to see as it dries how that sets because you may find with that particular color that it remains consistent throughout the sheet of paper or you may find, as with some of these, and let me just show you two things I know I had mentioned them how these had kind have just gone ahead and bled to the edges of the sheets color eyes super super subtle which is really kind of I think that's charming I love that it was a threat just mixed in the pope. You know what? I try both ways I found that if I had it loose in the pulp bath it was a nightmare to try and wrangle it down. So what I really ended up doing was once I pulled it up I just kind of like try toe gently lay it which is often hard to do with wet hands because the string is going to want to stick to your hands. Let me just tell you quickly after you have given it a day or two and the felt under a stack of books to dry if you find that it is still damp, go ahead and lay it out in single sheets by itself, not in a stack and just allow it to air dry overnight. What you may find happens at that point, though, is you end up with these warped pieces but not to worry because much like fabric these will iron flat, so if you simply take a piece of towel dish cloth paper towel what not lay your piece of warped dried handmade paper on top place another piece of telling on top you really want to sandwich it between two pieces? Take your hot iron still hot, all right and just press it for a few minutes. It really is going to take out the majority of that warping, um, alternately, if you've allowed it to sit out overnight and dry, and then you place it back in, uh, heavy stack of books like is if you were pressing paper flowers, it will eventually flatten out there as well, and you can see that that's done a nice job in removing a lot of that warping that took place so excellent. I think we're in a really good point, folks, we've managed to get through three different variations, which I'm really pleased about. J k o do we have any questions to wrap up on for this has been a really great segment on this is bean so simple I would say you listen, richard, to produce him really beautiful effects and that's the thing I love about it is these air really materials that you've got around your home right there, easily accessible and, you know as far as any of the adan's, you know, flowers from your backyard confetti from the dollar store it's, it's, simple and it's, a lot of fun, and again, the name of the game is experimentation until you find something that you're really happy with and suits the purpose of the project you have at hand.