Papermaking

Search website:

Loading
Poster with photos for each step of pulp painting
Downloadable Poster:
Pulp Painting Step-by-Step
Pulp Painting Poster is available to download at www.denisefleming.com/pages/papermaking.

Pulp Painting

is easy to demonstrate, but difficult to explain. But I’ll give it a go:

Cotton rag fiber suspended in water (a wet, messy, colorful slurry) is poured through hand-cut stencils (made from foam meat trays) onto a screen (a window screen will do). The result—an image in handmade paper. The paper is the picture. The picture is the paper.

The advantages of this technique are many:

  • I now have a use for all those discarded yogurt containers and hair coloring squeeze bottles; they make excellent pouring cups and "drawing" tools.
  • I've developed marvelous upper-body strength, without the cost of a gym membership, from hauling forty-two pound pails of damp fiber (pulp) around the studio.
  • At the market I’m known for my fashion sense; my pulp splattered clothing makes quite an impression.
  • I’ve discovered that a bucket of pulp is the better mousetrap (I am withholding the disgusting details).
  • Looking for additions to my motley collection of blenders (used to mix pigment and chemicals) gives me a reason to stop and shop garage sales.
  • Example shows texture and thickness of pulp painting before it is dried.
    Cover of Count!, freshly poured and still wet.
  • Friends have found that the five-gallon pulp shipping pails make nifty nesting buckets for Rhode Island Reds.
  • And, of course, there is the pleasure of swirling my hands through five gallons of glorious color to mix fiber and pigment.

The drawbacks are few:

  • Cotton rag fiber spoils, and it is no secret when it does. Open the doors and windows and turn on the fans!
  • Then there is the problem of color test strips catching fire in the microwave—quite a dramatic touch, but a bit dangerous.

So why pulp painting? It works.

Published in the March/April 1998 Horn Book Magazine



Papermaking Demonstration Video:


A Visit with Denise Fleming

Available on Denise's website: www.denisefleming.com/pages/papermaking#video.

Papermaking Activities

T-Paper Handmade Paper
Bookbinding: Handmade Journal
Papermaking Instructions
Papermaking activity instructions can be downloaded at www.denisefleming.com/pages/papermaking#crafts.

PDF HELP

PDFs are viewable in Adobe Reader 6.0 and later.

VIEW IN BROWSER

If you can't see the pdf in your browser, you may need to install the Adobe Reader plugin. For further help, see Adobe's explanation: help.adobe.com.


DOWNLOAD/SAVE

To download the pdf, right click (Windows) or ⌘-click (Mac) the pdf thumbnail and choose "download linked file" or save the pdf if you are able to view it in your browser. To view the downloaded pdf, use the built in pdf viewer or download Adobe Reader:
Get Adobe Reader

If you are unable to view the pdf on your mobile device, you may need to download the Adobe Reader app:
Get Adobe Reader


Click the red oval again to close PDF Help.