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Re: [teacherartexchange] Handmade Paper from Plants - Lesson File on IAD


From: Sidnie Miller (smiller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 01 2005 - 15:15:52 PDT

How long do you boil the plants??? Is wood ash just literally ashes from the fireplace???

>>> 09/01/05 3:05 PM >>>
I have done both ways with plants. We boiled a variety of plants to find out
what works and what doesn't - they all made paper, they just varied in
strength. You end up with a huge variety of colors and textures. Boiling the
plants breaks down the fibers and excess plant parts. I would not recommend
using your blender unless you know what type of fibers the plants contain.
Iris leaves are long and strong - they make great paper but would probably
destroy your blender. If you just shred plants they end up as a decorative
embellishment. I didn't use any additives of any kind, since our goal was to
see what happened with the plants. I know you can buy expensive dyes to
change your paper color - I use Rit fabric dye and end up with dark vibrant
colors. One trick I learned is to do papermaking with younger students, or
if you don't want to mess with the blender - have students bring in paper
products that readily dissolve into pulp, such as egg cartons.

>> Hi All,
>> Judy , this lesson about papermaking with plant fibers really caught my
>> interest because I was going to make handmade paper with my kids this
>> fall but I have not ever added plants. I have added dried leaves but not
>> plants. I was wondering why it is necessary to cook the plants. Why
>> wouldn't it work if you cut up the plants really well, maybe with a paper
>> cutter and added some to paper pulp in the blender?

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