My First Sheet of Handmade Paper

So, with all the rain here, and now with the truck being broken which means until the road mud dries up some I can’t go out anywhere, I’m doing some of the other things on my creative bucket list.  I need a break from writing/editing/formatting from time to time, and *shakes head* housework is not on that list.

Yes, I do the domestic stuff when I need to, or more likely, when I absolutely must. Besides, I’ve done enough of that while confined in this house due to the relentless rainy weather. And I seem to make messes as fast as I clean it.  Today the mess is compounded by my project. As it turns out, making paper is quite messy.

Handmade Paper

Handmade paper is high on the list of things I *want* to do. After today’s trial, it appears I’ll need to do it a lot more often to become proficient.

Those little wasps make papermaking look so easy.

The other day I collected some mulberry leaves, chopped them up and put them in a large pot to cook.

Day one and the leaves were still completely unchanged by the heating and stirring.

Day two and ditto.

Day three and I gave up and threw it into the blender.

That might have been a mistake, but I’m not sure yet because I haven’t tried the pounding it into a pulp method yet.

The first mistake I KNOW was a mistake is the improper use of my improvised deckle.

Improvised deckle for making homemade paper.
Improvised deckle for making homemade paper.

The next mistake was not having a good place to turn out the wet sheet so it could press until it dried. I turned it out onto a folded sheet and covered with the other half of the sheet. That wasn’t easy to manipulate when I tried to peel it off.

So my first sheet of handmade paper was, in most ways of looking at it, a complete failure. I even wasted two of my ginseng leaves that I wanted to press into the surface of it.

But from a learning perspective, it was a useful experiment. Now I know to do some things differently next time. Hopefully the NEXT photo you see of my handiwork, it looks a lot better than the one below!

My first sheet of handmade paper. It's okay to laugh. I'm laughing with you.
My first sheet of handmade paper. It’s okay to laugh. I’m laughing with you.

 


About Wild Ozark
Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some of the herbs to make earth pigments and watercolor paints. We also grow native clay that I use for making my Fairy Swing Mushrooms. And then there are the trees. We grow lots of trees. My husband uses some for his woodworking and some for our Burnt Kettle Shagbark Hickory Syrup, but for the most part they stand around creating good air, shade, & habitat for the ginseng nursery.
Click HERE to sign up for our newsletter

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. You can find my art on display and for sale at the Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas. It's a tiny little town and a bit off the path to anywhere at all, but a wonderful ride out to a most beautiful part of our state. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making arts & crafty things, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

4 thoughts on “My First Sheet of Handmade Paper

  1. On the other hand, you can use it to make a nice handmade card. I think the green is rather interesting.

    1. Thanks, Nancy, lol. That thought crossed my mind. The green is a nice green and I liked that part of it. The second sheet turned out better, but I’ve still not mastered the art, lol. Now I need to collect more plant materials and then I’ll try it again. My initial reason for doing this is to make custom covers for my naturalist journals, another work in progress. But I have to get better than this, ha.

  2. I was going to say your paper, its rather green, but its very earthy pretty :O).
    I stumbled onto your blog while at The Ozark house blog.

    My husband and I are currently looking for property in NW AR . Actually Madison County and Carroll County is where we have concentrated our search. I am originally from AR.

    I am a plant/garden/ medicinal herb/ seed/ enthusiast. I love growing things! Which is not the easiest thing to do in Texas a lot of the time! Nice to have found your blog :O). I have put in my blog reader.

    1. LOL, Texan, it IS rather green, I know. My first attempts in the end turned out to be pitiful failures and I wasted my ginseng leaves on them. Both of them have curled up so bad with the humidity here right now I don’t think they’re salvageable. However, there is a bundle of ragweed in the creek retting and getting ready to become the next experiment.

      Oh my husband will love another Texan moving to the neighborhood 😉 Welcome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.