I like to think of myself as a responsible citizen, and do my best to reduce, re-use and recycle on a daily basis, including all the junk mail, and opened envelopes, but have recently begun to consider them as a more personal resource. I bought a paper making deckle and mould from a local craft shop, and picked up a second hand blender from a boot sale and set about making my own paper for printing on from all the stuff I put out for domestic recycling. I had made paper once before and enjoyed the process, but never really pursued it further than an experiment, so this time the aim was to make paper that I would could (and want to) print on. I made three batches during a weekend, using different mixes and got some very thin smooth grey sheets, some thicker digestive biscuit coloured sheets, and some textured whiter sheets:
I have tried to get an accurate image of the digestive biscuit paper (not an elegant name, but apt) which was made from a few credit card offers, a parish newsletter, a bit of cardboard and a brown envelope or two. These were torn and shredded and left to soak in a bucket of water overnight, and then blended to pulp in batches. I didn’t photograph the process this time as it is a very wet process, so will enlist one of my children to official Lestaret photographer for the next batch. (That’ll cost me!)
A day to dry, and a day in the press, and I have a very tidy batch of handmade paper all ready to print on. And to think I used to hate junk mail – I am now actively collecting it, and even get excited when something particularly promising drops through the letterbox (even if it is a flyer for a greasy kebab shop!)
And I have printed on some of it, but I’ll save that for another post!