Friday, April 06, 2018

Making paper pulp for the first time

Welcome to my first multiple photo effort... I uploaded six (6) photos from my first effort to make paper pulp out of newspapers.  The only way I can see them is at the end of the post... so this is a brief description of what I wanted to share.

Photo  - 1 -  is the box of shredded newspapers I created for my paper mache projects so I grabbed it for this first effort.  I guess I need to say that is what is left in my box of shreds.  I barely used any of it for this soaking... and I was amazed at how much pulp it made!

In photo  - 2 -  You can see the blended mush, called pulp, in the pan I have dedicated for craft use.  You can also see how the black from the paper gets on everything... at least everything plastic!  In the pan is the plastic art knife I grabbed to use as a mixing spoon.  In photo  - 3 -  you can see what it did to the end of my blender.  I'm not sure yet if I have to dedicate this blender to paper pulping or if I can still use it for other crafts, like mixing plaster.

I was so surprised to see how much it made that I didn't know what to create with it.  I finally decided to make and dry molded squares in my silicone mold for crafts only, planning to store it dry and use smaller amounts when I get to the making paper sheets part of this craft.  You can see the molds in photo  - 4 -  and a couple of squares that came out of their places the way I hoped they would.

There was so much water still in the pulp after I strained as much as I could out of it, in sections.  Then I turned it over on more newspapers to drain water from the molded shapes.  I had some left over so I did the same thing with sections on a small metal pan I had, turning it over to drain more also.  You can see in photo  - 5 -  that I decided to squeeze the sections of pulp with my hands and MORE water was discovered!  So, I decided to squeeze out one of the square molds, too.  You can see that half of the empty mold was filled with water from one cube in photo  - 6 - ... up in the corner.

In the videos I watched on YouTube, they used white paper scraps... I can see why!!   :-)  I hope to find some use for recycling newspapers, so I may try to mix the different kinds of paper in the future.  For now, I have to squeeze out as much of the water as I can to make the right shapes I need... some to dry and store, some to dry and try as crafting supplies.

I also learned a bit about how much water really comes out of this pulping process.  A lot more than any video shows!  haha... I wonder why!   I am now going to collect a lot of sponges and old rags and paper shaping materials for the future. 

I have wanted to try this for so long, at least now I am learning the way it works and finding a path to the way I want to make it.

Maybe some day I will figure out why I can't post photos from the writing screen, like I use to do.  That will be a major improvement.

Until next time,
Deborah Martin