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Handmade Paper Processes

Making Mold and Deckle

The mold is used like a sieve to pick up the paper fibers that are floating around in a tub or vat of water and the deckle is a frame used to form paper pulp into sheets.

Take four 10"pieces and four 8" pieces of wood with the thickness 1/2" * 1/2".
Arrange two pieces of 10" and two pieces of 8" in a rectangle and glue them together.
After the glue is dried hammer 2 nails at each corner.
Take the remaining pieces of two 10" and two 8" pieces of wood and repeat the same to make a frame.
Paint both the frames with varnish to seal the wood.
Take a nylon netting of 10" to 12" and wet the netting.
To one of the frame staple the netting making sure that the netting is taut and allows it to dry.
Later remove the extra netting. This makes the deckle.
The frame without the netting is the mold.

Making of Pulp

Take the plant fibers or wood fibers and blend them properly in a blender.
The fibers can also be treated chemically with acidic or basic liquors.
Pour the pulp into a rectangular plastic tray with 2 inches of water.
The amount of pulp in the water will determine the thickness of the sheet of the paper.

Making a Sheet of Paper

Stir the pulp in a tub so that the fibers float on the top.
Hold the mold and deckle together placing the deckle on the top.
Slip the mold and deckle into the pulp pulling the pulp out of the liquid.
Let the water drain off from net.
Allow the fibers to settle and mesh together.
Take the deckle off the mold.
Put one edge of the sheet of paper on a cloth and gently press the paper onto the felt. This is called couching.
Sponge off excess water.
Press between laminated boards for the sheet to stay flat.

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Adding Color to the Handmade Paper

There are several ways you can add colors to the handmade paper
You can use water-based paints or fabric dyes to add color to your paper. You can also use plants and other objects to add color to your paper.
You can paint the couching sheets with very concentrated watercolors. As you couch your page the color will transfer to your new paper.
You can add watercolor to your water containing the pulp which results in faintly colored paper.
Adding spices to your slurry can also add color to your papers. Turmeric makes yellow paper; tea ground makes a tarnish color

How to avoid mottling

Mottling results from uneven distribution of color in the coating. It may also occur as a result of printing on textured paper. To avoid mottling:

Make sure that the thickness of the sheet is even
Avoid excessive paint film build or wetting.
Do not over reduce the color ......... More

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