A little while ago I posted about some handmade paper I had made in the studio using equipment that was at hand – showing that you don’t really have to spent lots of dollars to be creative. You can view that post here.
I used recylced paper for that initial experiment and being pretty pleased with the results, decided to be a bit more daring with my next foray into making paper.
A few months ago some tree trimming was carried out by the council along the front of our property – due to trees growing into power lines and the bushfire danger in Australia. As I live on a ten acre property, and we try to grow our own vegetables we asked that the mulch be left with us for our garden. As a result I was left with a huge mound of eucalyptus mulch – perfect for making paper!
I used eucalyptus leaves, bark and twigs for the paper, and when using plant materials caustic coda is used to boil the fibres into pulp – that was a bit scary, but as long as gloves and goggles are used everything is fine.
I boiled the pulp for about two hours, and then rinsed and rinsed – the caustic soda must all be rinsed away before any attempt to make paper is made.
I still had some recycled paper pulp left from the last project, so I made some sheets of paper using pure eucalyptus, and some using a mixture of paper and eucalyptus.
Overall, I was again happy with the results. Though I could have boiled the eucalyptus longer if I wanted smoother paper, the sculptural results of this paper was very exciting, and I intend to experiment more with this idea.