Imagine my delight when I got a call from the docent group at the Tucson Art Museum requesting that I do a studio tour/workshop for them! After some deliberation we decided on a workshop to make paste paper. Paste paper is a decorative paper, and I think of it as one big sophisticated step up from finger painting. Or maybe it’s finger painting for adults. The results are spectacular, as you’ll see below.
The process itself is pretty simple, although preparation for making the paper takes a lot of time. And when doing it as a workshop, there’s even more preparation. In this case, the challenge was to get everything organized for the group so that when they arrived, after introductions and a few demonstrations, they could get right into the fun of making the paper.
Here’s a photo essay of the morning. Many thanks to Val Bembenek for taking most of the photographs.
These tables show the set-up for 6 of the docents. Gerri and Val are in the background, awaiting the arrival of the rest of the group.
Getting started, dampened paper on the left foreground, first application of color, center
Adding color and texture
Applying color with a brush
Off to a great start–what to do next?
Concentrating while having fun
One of my jobs while the paste paper making is going on is to whisk away the wet, completed paste paper to make room for the participant to make another. No time wasting allowed around here! Here I am carefully laying out the wet papers
Kind of like finger painting but with much more sophisticated results. Jashio really got into the process!
Into production mode. At this point everyone is excited and hard at work making as much paste paper as possible!
An assortment of wet paper, drying
As the paper dries, it curls. Here’s part of the big pile of dry but curled paper. The docents have gone home, with the promise of receiving the flattened paper in a few days
Another use for heavy art books. Under each book is a stack of damp paste paper. Each sheet is interleaved with wax paper. The wax paper keeps the damp paint from sticking to the paper below.
After a day, I take the damp wax paper out, replace it with dry paper towels and put the weights back on. This is done several times a day until the paper is completely dry. Here is an array of the flattened paste paper, ready to go home to it’s creator. Isn’t it beautiful?