Making Handmade Paper with a Deckle Box (Part 2)

Making handmade paper with a deckle box

Pull out your papermaking vat and prep your fiber—it’s time to make some handmade paper sheets using your brand new deckle box! If you’re just tuning in, check out our tutorial on how to make your own deckle box.

The deckle box can be used to make test sheets, adjust sheet weight, or create unique sheets of handmade paper. While these things can also be achieved with a conventional western mould and deckle, the deckle box allows for a certain level of flexibility, since you can modify a small amount of fiber without contaminating an entire vat. Sometimes you’re one sheet away from completing a project and need the final sheet to be just so—a deckle box is a great way to control all of your variables without committing to a total vat set-up.

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How to Make a Deckle Box for Hand Papermaking (Part 1)

deckle box for making handmade paper

Hand papermaking conventionally relies on three elements: vat, fiber, screen (click over to the basic handmade paper tutorial if you’re not familiar with the process).

A deckle box combines the vat and screen elements into a single piece of equipment, and holds enough water and pulp for a single sheet—no vat required! This alternative temporarily builds up the walls of your mould and deckle.

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A Map for Hand Papermaking

handpapermakingmapLet’s face it, professional hand papermaking equipment can be expensive. And, it can be tricky to easily find your local papermaking workshops, makers, and educators if you’re new to the scene.

So, in an effort to connect, grow, and promote hand papermaking, and with the assistance of light roast coffee, I’ve compiled a map via Google Maps.

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A New Naginata Beater, in Cleveland!

Naginata Beater - Hand Papermaking Equipment - David Reina“A New Naginata, in Cleveland” is a guest article by Aimee Lee, interdisciplinary artist, Fulbright fellow, and author of Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking. Aimee recently oversaw the creation and arrival of a stainless-steel naginata beater, built by David Reina Designs, to The Morgan Conservatory. A naginata beater is similar to a hollander beater, but generally used in Eastern style hand papermaking to process long fibers such as kozo. The difference is that a naginata has long, thin, rotating blades that tease the fibers apart. The resulting paper sheet is remarkably even. One of the few naginatas in the United States, this piece of papermaking equipment is a game changer!

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The Oracle Hollander Beater – Papermaking Equipment by Lee McDonald

Oracle Hollander Beater - Lee Scott McDonald - Papermaking Equipment

Sometimes, it’s hard finding equipment for a hand papermaking studio. Beaters, vacuum tables, paper presses, dryers…not an easy shopping list!

But have no fear, Lee Scott McDonald is here! And he happens to build professional paper studio equipment.

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Make a Mould and Deckle for Handmade Paper – Cheap, Quick & Dirty

tutorial & instructions - making a mould and deckle for handmade paper

Make handmade paper on the cheap! You may have seen our tutorial on making blender paper from junk mail and scrap papers. Well, here’s instructions on how to make a mould and deckle — it’s an essential piece of equipment for the hand papermaking process. Of course, you can also purchase a professional mould; peruse our list of papermaking suppliers.

This mould & deckle is not exactly beautiful — actually, it’s ugly — but it sure does the job when you’re on a budget!

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