Have you ever made your own paper? It's easy, and a great way to create a unique piece of fiber that can be used as a component of your fabric art, or as a stand-alone piece.
|'Unwritten Passage' by Paula Guhin
You probably have most, if not all, of the tools and supplies you need already, including bits of thread trash, ribbons and fibers, colorants, a frame (an embroidery hoop and organza will suffice), and pulp fodder (like junk mail, egg cartons, and phone book pages).
I was reminded of papermaking as I was reading the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors®. It had just come in from the printer, and I eagerly paged through to see how everything looked. (Believe it or not, we actually forget what the magazines look like after they go to press; then we get a pleasant surprise when they arrive in-house. It's like seeing an old friend.)
Anyway, I spotted Paula Guhin's "Unwritten Passage" wall hanging, with its wonderfully intermingled fibers and did a double take. Was it paper, or textile art? Both!
In her article "Personalized Papermaking: How to add custom colors, texture, and more to your paper," Paula gives directions for her basic process. But what really intrigued me were her tips for making the paper unique.
Here are some of her suggestions:
- Add scents and texture with herbs and spices, such as dried dill, rosemary, and saffron.
- Try tea leaves, instant tea or coffee, or coffee grounds.
- Put in some confetti, glitter, small pieces of thread waste, or dryer lint.
- Embed dried leaves, flower petals, and thread waste (or gauze) between thin layers of wet pulp.
Once you have your papers, you can use them for journal pages, book covers, collage materials, and more. You can dye the paper, paint it, and draw on it, sew it, cut it, or weave with it.
|'Autumnal Accord' by Paula Guhin.
In other words, handmade paper is one more fabric art medium for you to explore and have fun with.
Cloth Paper Scissors is full of mixed-media fiber art ideas like this one. If you haven't explored our sister publication lately, you should give it a try.
P.S. Have you ever made paper? What are your tips? What is the most unusual "additive" you've ever used, and how did it turn out? Leave a comment below.