Thursday, January 05, 2006

Auntie Alexandra Arrives for a Papermaking Adventure

The boys help set up for their papermaking adventures with Aunt Alexandra. She came down from Portland just to help the kids make paper. It was such a cool day. The kids had so much fun! Does she ROCK or what?!!

Everyone put paper and fibers to soak overnight in a pot. This was fun looking around the house for stuff. We let the kids put everything in even stuff that wouldn't work just so they could see how and what works or not and why.

Here Alexandra is helping Melissa. They have blended the soaked fiber with warm water to create a slurry. Melissa is getting ready to dip the screen into the pulpy water.

Melissa is using a turkey baster to pick up a new slurry in another color. You squirt the pulp onto your screened paper to add other color to the paper. Alternatively you can add things like scrapes of paper or fiber and glitter. You are really only limited my your imagination (and I think you need to use something fiberous or really small like glitter for it to work).

Mom is getting to give it a try too! Once the water has drained off your pulpy screen you carefully turn it over onto your press.
The press is readied for paper making by laying down a sheet of something like a Handy Wipe. These are also used in between sheets of paper to keep them from sticking to one another. Push down with your hands to squeeze any additional water out.

Gently lift the screen, leaving the wet paper behind. Lay a Handy Wipe on top to be ready for the next sheet of paper.
Auntie Alexandra adds the top to the press. Noah is intently checking it out. Later he told Andy he knew how to build the screens and presses and wanted to set up his own papermaking stuff.

Luka stands on the paper press to get every last drop of extra water out of the paper.
The paper looks so beautiful on my kitchen window. We placed the damp sheets there to dry. It helps them dry flat. Note the empty sock wire in the right of the picture hanging on the valance frame? It is empty which means I need to get started on another pair of socks soon!

It is time to clean up. Will they move onto cleaning up the rest of my house? Alas, no! It is left to me to do that.
Melissa sleeps!
It was fun but exhausting work for a five year old.
Thank you Aunt Alexandra!! You rock our world!

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