Paper Making the First

When we got back the boys’ house, the Scarab began prepping the screens while Cap’n Raspberry read inside and pretended he was too good for us and our diy arts and crafts projects. All I’m saying is, when the revolution comes, what is the Cap’n planning on using to write on?

washing a screen for paper making

I shredded paper and dropped it into a big tub, which I filled with water, to start the paper soaking. The Scarab got pretty into our San Francisco Chronicle and found objects soup and fondled bits and pieces of soggy paper for a while under the guise of doing something productive and paper manufacture related.

shredding paper for paper making

I created a work area, wisely outside in case the blender got frisky.

blending paper for paper making

The Scarab was in charge of blending, while I was in charge of beer drinking. I think both sides accomplished their duties very well, and we regrouped for the next stage: making paper!

spreading pulp onto a screen for paper making

Our pulp was looking a little thick, but we continued gamely on. When I made paper before, I remember pouring and spreading it across the screen, whereas the Scarab’s recommended method was dipping a screen into a vat of pulped paper and then pulling it out. Sadly, our vat was small and our screens were large, so my method it was…

…only my method didn’t appear to be working. The pulp was clumpy and thick. It stuck to us just fine, in big lumps, and it coagulated on the screen, looking rather revolting. We reblended and tried again, with the same level of success.

Peaches came over, and we tried pressing the pulp in between two boards while she jumped up and down on them.

paper pulp on a tee shirt

The paper stuck to the two boards, effectively gluing them together, so we tried again, only layering the paper pulp in a tee shirt to prevent it from sticking. The Scarab jumped up and down futilely for some time, looking like a slave dancing in the grapes.

paper pulp on the sliding door

The Scarab got grumpy and tossed some paper pulp at their sliding door, where it stuck admirably. He also tried writing on it, without success.

paper pulp on my pants

I started laughing, and was spooged with paper pulp.

After a brief conference, we decided to leave the paper fragments soaking overnight, in the hopes of relaxing the fibers more so that we could make an even slurry. We also decided to cut down the screen, so that we could try the dipping it in the tub method.

Will the Scarab and meloukhia succeed in paper manufacture? Only time will tell!

[paper making]