Handmade paper grants a particular kind of creative freedom for the artist—by creating your own sheets of paper, you’re able to go beyond the surface of paper as a substrate and create unique works made completely of handmade papers. These unique sheets might serve as the basis for other works on paper, or become art works all on their own.
Once you’ve made a deckle box and mastered the basic technique, you’re ready to embark on a project that incorporates your new equipment. You’re in luck, we have artistic ideas on how to use that trusty deckle box. With a few types of pulp and some inclusion materials, you’re well on your way to creating a new series of work!
If you missed the first two installments of our deckle box series, make sure to check them out (Part 1 & Part 2).
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.
While the internet is full of eye-catching papermaking videos and illustrative blog posts, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin. One great way to switch up your research routine is to turn to the classic standby–a good old fashioned book!
Making paper by hand at home can be a pretty simple process. It’s also a fantastic way to use up your old receipts, scrap papers, junk mail, and copy paper that you were about to throw in the recycling bin, and instead create a thing of glorious handmade beauty.
Sheet formation is a moment of magic. As just one of many steps in the process hand papermaking, savor this little glimpse (not quite a tutorial) into this delightfully tactile technology. Maybe you’ll even try it yourself.
In Western style sheet formation, making paper most likely involves a vat full of pulp and water. The slurry is first agitated to evenly disperse the fibers. The frames you see are called a mould and deckle. The mould has a screen, and the deckle on top forms the edges of the paper sheet. The mould catches the fibers while letting the water drain through, thus forming a very wet sheet of paper.