Ellipsis: Paper Making

Trees into paper. Now I’ve tried making paper out of paper (bare with me) I’m amazed how anyone gets paper out of trees.

There were multiple steps to making the paper and each of these steps had their own difficulties which made me die a little inside. First up we had to make our frame/screen. This involved stapling wire mesh to the frame and making it as tight as possible, then the process was repeated with a second silk mesh on top. I think our outcome for this was as good as we could have achieved without proper equipment to stretch the materials onto the frame even tighter.

Creating a screen | 2017 | Samantha Friend, Hannah Phillips & Jennifer Garwood

As well as the screen, there was also the paper scraps to prepare. Angharad soaked the paper over night for us so that we just had to blend this. Harriet and Jennifer blended the paper into a pulp but we found the first go (on the left, below) wasn’t liquid enough to spread on the screen. So they added more water in the blender when making the pulp and I filled up the water bath so the screens were covered in more water. We were able to then pour the pulp onto the screen and more or less coat it. However, the screen would move due to air bubbles and cause the paper to split so we ended up with an even thicker coat of pulp to counteract this.

In the photo below we managed to make two sheets, one of these was purely a red sheet and the other was an attempted paper poster with the ellipsis dots. I’m not sure I’d class this as one of the most successful things we’ve ever done but I think with more experimenting and maybe smaller frames we would be able to learn the technique for producing our own sheets of paper. Also I’d love to be able to test this paper out with different inks and printing techniques!

Drying Paper | 2017 | Studio Ellipsis


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