Another quick snap; this is the first print on the new paper.

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Just a quick shot of the night’s work drying. More and better images to come. And better images they are. Here we see the soaking (in water just off the boil, ended up a whole 6 hours soaking) paper/cotton shreds just before blending.

 

Texture of a freshly laid sheet. In the end, I did not soak the wood dust before adding it to the pulp. Testing showed soaking drew out the pigment from the wood (bad) while softening the harder wood particles (ultimately irrelevant to this project). I shook it into pulp while stirring, much like powdered garlic into a sauce.

 

The material you saw here, plus the wood dust you saw here, turned into these. The darker sheet, rightmost, was poured out to be twice as thick as the others.

Next project is to print on these sheets.

Papermaking is one of the useful arts insofar as I can use up all those offcuts that have been piling up over the past few, um, years. Nice paper is too expensive to throw away, athough I sometimes will put some in the recycling bin as my way of improving the overall quality of paper in the industrial workpath. Small steps, people.

Here we see the “before” stack. The cloth on the left is an old cotton thing; definitely a rag by now.
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…and here we see the results of the first shredding. I will further shred these before they go into the blender.

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Here is an 1-hour old test soak of some paper, some cotton, and some of the wood dust. The main goal here is to observe the changes in the wood dust; the paper and cotton will swell up some, but their physical characteristics won’t really change. That should come with the fine shredding and soaking process.

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A woodworker friend of mine, and his lovely girlfriend, had the fantastic idea of giving me sawdust from strongly colored woods to use as pigment for handmade paper. Perhaps he’ll forgive me for forgetting the names of these woods.

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Bereft of equipment, I procured embroidery hoops from Freecycle and found some leftover screening in the house.

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Staples were my first choice…

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…but after realizing these were not made of stainless steel, I decided to use a heavily waxed linen thread to secure the screening to the frame.

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So far, so good. The below is the result of about three hours of trimming and sewing.

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In my next post, I’ll examine the paper scraps and worn cotton cloth that will comprise the pulp.