Oooh another bank holiday, we are being spoiled. So I had plenty of time today to break out another kit. I like kits. They may not be the cheapest way to experience a new craft but you get everything you need in one package to try something new – and instructions to boot.
This week I had a go at silk paper making.
I’ve read instructions online that sounded really complicated and had lots of chemicals. But this kit just called for the fibres, water, silicone sheet and an iron.
The fibres – silk thrower’s waste and silk cocoon strippings – are both ‘gum-in’ meaning they just needed water and heat adding to bond them.
I used lots of newspaper to protect my ironing board, laid a silicone sheet on top and then started pulling the fibres apart – I used the cocoon strippings. I laid them in one direction first and then for the next layer I laid them at right angles.
I sprayed them with water, popped the second sheet on top and then used a hot iron for a few seconds to bond the fibres. After that I flipped over the ‘sandwich’ and peeled off the top layer, added more water, replaced the sheet and ironed it again.
For the first sheet I used just two layers – the resulting paper was thin and delicate. Whilst it was still wet I moulded it over a glass. Call back tomorrow to see how it turned out.
For the next piece I used four layers and the paper was a lot thicker – I have plans for this piece too so you’ll just have to wait and see what I do.
I also had a go with the throwster’s waste – these fibres were a lot harder to handle. I used a thin layer again and this time added some silver flake. I haven’t decided what to do with the resultant paper yet so if you have any ideas please let me know.
Have you ever made your own paper? I’d love to see photos if you have.