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Applied Arts Workshop: Papermaking October 25, 2009

Posted by claralieu in Applied Arts, book arts.
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We had a great turnout for the free Applied Arts Workshop in Papermaking this afternoon.  Book Arts Program Director Katherine McCanless Ruffin led the workshop in the newly renovated Papermaking Studio,  instructing papermaking techniques and processes.

Papermaking Workshop

Katherine McCanless Ruffin explains and demonstrates the process.

Papermaking is apparently very wet and messy; workshop participants were instructed in advance to wear rain boots, while plastic aprons were handed out at the workshop.  Papermaking is divided up into 4 essential steps: 1) fiber preparation, 2) sheet forming, 3)couching/pressing and 4) drying.  Participants were able to do everything from running their hands through giant plastic bins of paper pulp to pressing their paper onto dampened felts to couch and press the paper.

Papermaking Workshop

One of my favorite anecdotes from the workshop was the papermaking phrase “kissing off”.  When you form the sheet with the wet pulp, if the sheet is uneven and you need to redo the sheet, you “kiss off” the wet pulp back into the bin of pulp.  It’s amazing how quickly and evenly the sheet would fall right back into the bin.

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