Learn how to add texture to homemade paper.
From "Craft Lab"episode DCLB-107
Guest Heidi Reimer-Epp joins host Jennifer Perkins to show how various household objects are used in the process of adding texture to homemade paper.
Project designed by Heidi Reimer-Epp.
6 freshly-pulled sheets of cotton paper, 5" x 7"
5 pieces of colored yarn
2 dried roses
shadow box frame
9" x 12'" piece of netting
6" x 8" sheet of bubble wrap
medium gauge craft wire
pigmented pulp in pink, blue, violet and green
1/4 lb of abaca pulp
1/2 cup of dried larkspur petals.
Adding Texture to Homemade Paper
Laminating—Laminating is a versatile and interesting papermaking technique in which objects are layered between newly-pulled sheets of handmade paper. Because they are damp, the sheets bond together during pressing and drying to form a single, solid sheet of paper.
Using Feathers—On a newly-pulled sheet of paper, still on the couching pad, arrange a series of colorful feathers in a fan shape. Pull a second very thin sheet of paper and place on top. Press and dry the sheet. When dry, hang the paper in a sunlit window or in front of a lamp to reveal the feathers embedded within the sheet.
Using Yarn—Pull a sheet of handmade paper from the vat and couch it on the couching pad. Lay the colored yarn across the paper with the ends of the yarn hanging off the sides of the paper. Cover with a second sheet of newly-pulled paper. Press the sheet and dry by hanging on a clothesline or rack. When the paper is dry, use the ends of the yarn to connect several pieces to make a custom sized wall hanging.
Using Dried Roses—Pull a sheet of handmade paper and couch. Arrange two dried roses on the paper. Pull a second sheet and drape it over the roses, sealing them in between the two sheets. Carefully pull back some of the wet top sheet to reveal the roses, ensuring that some paper still overlaps the roses to hold them securely. Dry the sheet flat. You can direct a fan on the piece if it is slow to dry. When dry, frame the piece in a shadow box frame.
Tip: Be aware that dark red rose petals will bleed a bluish hue. This can be a very nice effect but may be a surprise if unexpected.
Embossing—One of the wonderful qualities of handmade paper is that it takes on the texture of the material upon which it is couched. The fibers are loosely bonded together, so either wet or dry embossing yields excellent results.
Here are several ideas for wet embossing.
Netting—A piece of netting makes a great textural pattern on which to couch a sheet of handmade paper. Place the netting on the kitchen cloths that we are using for couching. Couch the newly-pulled sheet of handmade paper directly on the netting. Press the piece, then hang it to dry. When the sheet is dry, carefully pull the netting off the paper, leaving a beautifully embossed sheet of paper.
Bubble Wrap—For an appealing circular pattern, emboss paper on a sheet of bubble wrap. Place the bubble wrap on the couching pad and couch a fresh sheet of paper directly on top. Press the wet paper into the bubble wrap for a more defined texture. Allow to air-dry flat. Peel the bubble wrap off when dry.
Wire—The possibilities are endless with custom-made embossed designs, created with craft wire. First, bend the wire into a design. Next, place the design on the couching pad and couch a fresh sheet of paper on top. Allow to air-dry flat or hang to dry, depending on the weight of the piece. When dry, peel the wire design from the back of the paper, to reveal a delicately embossed paper.
Layering—Layering combines pulp of contrasting colors to create unique collages and landscapes, all within a single sheet of paper. As with laminating, the damp layers of the newly formed sheets will become one as they bond during pressing and drying.
String Layering—Couch a sheet of color #1. Place two pieces of string on the sheet, and cover with a sheet of color #2. While the paper is still damp, pull back some of the string, revealing the first sheet of paper beneath. Alternatively, wait until the sheet is dry before pulling the threads. When damp, the pulp peels off in a wider band so try both methods for two different looks.
Scooping Away (Pulp Reduction)—Couch a sheet of paper in the first color. Scoop away some of the pulp. Place small pieces of pulp in a second color within the scooped area. Pull a sheet of paper in a third color and couch directly onto the base sheet. Press and dry. When the sheet is dry, the paper will show all three colors of pulp in an interesting pattern.
Adding Flowers—Flower petals add both color and texture to handmade paper. The possibilities are endless when working with flowers, since both fresh and dried petals work well. The basic technique for working with flowers in handmade paper is to soak and blend 1/4 pound of abaca pulp. Strain the pulp and place in a bucket. Pour 1/2 cup of dried flower petals onto the pulp and mix by hand using gentle, even strokes. Add a scoop of pulp to a vat filled with water. Pull a sheet of paper and couch on a prepared couching pad. Form a stack of sheets and press lightly for 5 minutes. Dry sheets using one of the methods described above.
Books by Heidi Reimer-Epp
300 Papermaking Recipesby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer
The Encyclopedia of Papermaking and Bookbindingby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer
Beginner's Guide to Papermakingby Heidi Reimer-Epp and Mary Reimer
Sterling Publishing Co.