Several years ago I thought it would be fun to make my own paper. I searched for instructions, found more than I’d ever have time to read, and decided to just jump in – wing it. The results may illustrate that choice but I like them anyway.
People suggested buying special pulp paper to make paper pulp. What? No. Never. I collected old advertising circulars and tore them into pieces instead.
The next steps would be to soak the paper, then compress it to get the water out. Numerous websites offered paper-making whatsits for sale. They were usually made of pressing parts and screens, with water collection containers attached. Buy those? No. Never. So, I found an old barbecue grill screen – the kind that has small holes because it’s made for a portable grill – and part of an old book shelf instead.
I filled a large bowl with water and dumped the paper in, to let sit for a day. But then I thought of how fluffy and tiny dryer lint is when it collects on the dryer filter screen. Hmmm…would it work well with the pieces of paper? There was one way to find out: I added a giant clump of dryer lint (including the usual oddities, like hair and cat fur) to the water and mixed it with the paper.
The next day, I drained off the excess water and removed the gloppy paper. Then I put the screen on top of the bowl, plopped a handful of wet paper pieces and dryer lint on top of the screen, placed the piece of shelving on top of the pile of paper, and pressed the water out. I had to repeat this step several times but eventually I was able to gently remove a sheet of soggy paper from the screen. The paper was bumpy, holey, and a bit hairy. Perfect.
I let it dry, scanned it, and uploaded the image to my Shop on Redbubble for printing on several products.
Handmade paper! It’s one of my favorite pieces: colorful, messy, and fun to explore.
(Note: According to RB, dates are not final and may be subject to change)
Redbubble’s 16th birthday is approaching and, to celebrate that, they’re having a site-wide sale.
They’ve changed a lot over those sixteen years, in mostly good – sometimes excellent! – ways. But, like other teenagers, their recent decisions can baffle and disappoint observers.
However: I’ve been there since the beginning and plan to stick with them, making adjustments as I’m able.
One adjustment was a big one. I decided to “re-brand” my Shop (and me). How? New avatar, new header, and a clear-out of posted work that doesn’t fit with Redbubble’s new customer base or their new business plans. I’ve made changes in this WordPress site, too.
While I have no plans to attempt making fan art or more age-skewed pieces, I am going to focus on digital and traditional collage work, the bright colors/textures I love, and custom-made paper fonts.
If you have a Redbubble Shop and don’t usually read their financial reports you may want to take a look at this one because the topics discussed represent substantive changes:
“Pitch”is a digital/traditional collage comprised of several closeup and macro photographs, and scans of painted cut paper letters. It’s the first of my new ELEMENTS OF MUSIC series.
If you look closely you can see portions of my chromatic pitch pipe (circa 1968).
Creating this image was pure joy for me. I loved working with these colors and shapes, and enjoyed shooting the photos. It’s been a long time since I’ve done macro or closeup work so there was a short re-learning curve. Making the letters for the word pitch fun, too, because I cut them before painting them with tempera sticks. What a happy mess! But the letters look exactly the way I imagined them: not quite perfect. Pitch can be affected by many factors (like temperature and humidity) and is frequently less than “perfect.” That’s one of the challenges in creating music and I wanted to include it in this visual exploration of pitch.
I used Photoshop Elements and Pixelmator Pro to create, blend, paint, and edit the 17 in-process layers that eventually formed the finished piece.