Paper-making 101

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On Monday, September 20, the Western New York Library Resources Council and the Buffalo Museum of Science presented a fantastic paper-making class.  Led by Ron Gaczewski, Preservation Officer at the University at Buffalo Libraries, participants learned about the history of paper, and practiced paper-making using the mold and deckle technique.

First, students created their own mold and deckle out of picture frames and wire mesh.  Both frames are the exact same size, with mesh stapled to one of the frames; this serves as the mold.  The empty frame is the deckle and holds the paper pulp onto the mold.

Next, paper pulp is crushed with water in a blender.  The pulp is then added to a bin of water.  The mold and deckle are held together [mold on the bottom] and inserted into the pulpy water.  After removing from the bin, the deckle is removed and the mold is turned out paper side down on an absorbent mat.  Excess water is removed and the mold is pealed away, revealing the piece of paper.

By the end of the class, students experimented with dye and other additions to the paper pulp.  Tempera paint, fabric dye, and even the spice tumeric were used to tint the pulp.  Texture was achieved using thread, tea, coffee, and moss.  More images and description of the class can be viewed at  WNYLRC’s blog, here.

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