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Re: Handmade paper

<<I'm trying to make paper with embedded flowers or leaves, but I just
can't seem to get it to look like the handmade paper I've seen at the stores.
Two problems in particular are 1) I can't get the flower petals to
actually become embedded in the paper (they only stay on the surface and
eventually fall off after the sheet is dried)>>

The flower petals or other non-pulp objects have to be layered into the paper
-- if you look closely at the papers sold in stores, you'll see a thin layer
of pulp over the flowers themselves.  The best way to do this (though not the
most time- or cost-efficient way, if that's a concern) is to use a
modified-Japanese technique, mixing in a formation aid such as torroro to
change the viscosity of the pulp (easier in this country to use okra), and
then build up thin little layers in succession on pellon over the mould.
 Somewhere in the middle of the layering process is where you embed the
flower petals.

Someone else posted about couching onto a flat surface, and I would second
that -- I use sheets of masonite (the smooth side obviously), or if you can,
couch onto glass for an ultra-slick surface.

Someone also posted about boiling the flower petals -- yes, the lignins need
to be removed, but you need to cook them with a caustic agent, such as soda
ash, in order to do that... but you'll lose most of your color.

Martha Hart

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