I've been playing around with handmade paper lately, hoping to make some sheets nice enough to bind into some books.
It all starts with scraps of paper I save in a bin, including bits of maps. These get shredded with my paper shredder, and then soaked in water, at least overnight.
The buckets have different shades of the same colour, so it's unpredictable what colour the paper will be when finished.
Soaked paper is then run through the blender, to make pulp. Wet pulp is not very pretty, and surprisingly, maps end up a rather dull grey! I mixed this with the blue pulp and it turned out a lighter blue (see below).
The mold and deckle is slipped through the wet pulp to get some of the pulp to settle on the mesh screen.
I like recycling paper to make new paper because the results are more unpredictable, although you can buy premade cotton or abaca pulp to get started. For the above sheets and the green sheets below, I didn't process the pulp very long in the blender, so bits of paper and the odd inked letter remained in the pulp.
For the mustard yellow sheets, I processed the pulp for a longer time in the blender, resulting in a more uniform looking pulp.
I'm having fun experimenting. Stay tuned to see more paper experiments, and what I might decide to do with this paper!