My sampling has led me to paper. I started by plying some paper yarn I made when I did City and Guild. It was too weak to knit or crochet, which is why I plyed it together. I tried to knit it, but it still snapped, so I crocheted it very carefully.
Crocheted paper yarn
I think this is too stressful to do anything with, though it was fun. Previously, I made some cord from strips of plastic bags, which I knitted.
Knitted machine made plastic bag cord
I’m trying to create the feeling of bone, which is full of holes if you see it in close-up. In fact the structure is visible to the eye.
My next thought was to create a mesh, which I could dip into paper pulp. So out came the papermaking supplies. I soaked some old paper pulp in water and then dunked some chenille threads wrapped around a frame.
Results of chenille mesh
Going clockwise from the top left are the original mesh, the chenille dunked in paper pulp, the dried paper and a close-up.
I wasn’t that keen on the chenille, but it was to hand and I quite like the result. While the chenille dried I used some vanishing muslin to make a net with white thread and once it was dissolved I laid it out and using the turkey baster squirted pulp onto the threads
Before and after
Look at those gorgeous textures. It’s on top of a piece of handmade paper.
My next experiment was using wire. I wrapped a piece of wire I’d picked up in the street round my frame and dunked it in pulp.
Paper pulp on wire
I love this, the texture and the delicious rusty colour. There are definitely some possibilities here, but I need to find some wire that will rust.
When all that was done I did some paper making with the rest of my pulp. I included some snowy glitter to look a bit like fish scales.
This paper was made with pulp I’d dried out from a previous paper making session, which is why it has a rather blobby appearance as the pulp only dissolved partially. I stuck the blender in later to make a smoother consistency.
I also experimented with soluble paper and puff paint.
Puff paint and soluble paper
Clockwise from top left – paper drawn on with puff paint and free machine stitching, dissolved, heated to puff the paint and a close-up. I was a bit impatient and scorched the paper. It’s qite fun, but a bit fiddly and hard to control.
My next experiment will be with paper clay I think, but I’m beginning to think that sooner or later I need to make something.