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Arts & Activities - Page 34

by Paula Guhin papERMakINg pOINTERS If a work is too thin in spots, press in another layer of pulp while the piece is still wet. Wet colors seem a bit darker. You can expect the colors to lighten after the piece dries. do NOT pour leftover pulp down your sink—it will clog the drain! Irregular edges on finished works are not only acceptable, but can be desirable. > > aking paper can be good for the planet, as well as an adventure for your students. If you make the pulp from paper you recycle, the costs for this activity are low and it is ver y eco-friendly. To begin, I showed my middle-school students several examples of handmade paper in which outdoor scenes had been developed using an additive technique. Batches of different-colored fibers had been bonded together to form single sheets depicting landscapes. First, the students sketched out their ideas on scratch paper. The medium of pulp demands simplicity, so I gently discouraged the use of fine details. PREPARING THE PULP We wanted 10 colors to work with, so Autumn landscape. Underwater scene. M I needed 10 square plastic tubs! I found several good kitchen blenders at thrift shops that cost very little. Over the years, our school had accumulated some colored construction paper that had become brittle with age. The kids enjoyed tearing it up into small pieces, each no larger than an inch square. (We kept the colors separate, of course.) Another source was small, colored tissuepaper scraps. We soaked the torn paper in tubs filled with water overnight. The next day we used at least two cups of water in a kitchen blender with one cup of small, pre-soaked paper in the desired color of sky or foreground. To commence assembling a work, a student stood over a tub and poured watery pulp directly from the blender through a 9" x 12" screen. We had taped the edges of the window screens to 34 make them more rigid, sturdy and easier to hold. A word to the wise: Sliding the screen gently back and forth in the water in the tub evens the thickness and makes for a flatter finished product. However, younger students may find that technique challenging. Any unwanted pulp in that color was added to that same tub for our reuse. I stressed to the students we october 2012 • 80 YEARS x www.ar tsandactivities.com

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