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Re: [BKARTS] Paste Paper Follow-Up

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Hi, paste paper aficionados -

I asked a question sometime ago about paste paper-making for which I didn't get an answer. Can anyone enlighten me?

My paste/acrylic mix seems to have little slubs in it, which seem to be from the paste. I'm using tapioca paste, which artists here in the Dominican Republic seem to prefer for papiermache. Tapioca is available in the supermarkets here as a powder, probably ground root, rather than as processed beads, which I understand is the form available in the U.S. for cooking the pudding. I may be able to get a purer powder, starch only, but I'm not sure where. (Wheat and corn flour and cornstarch are also available - would those be better?)

When I handle the paste I get from cooking and straining the yuca, it's a translucent jelly, slippery when cold and nicely sticky when room-temperature. It seems to keep remarkably well, without moulding, in the fridge. But it does seem to have little slubby hard particles, more so in the mixture with acrylic. It penetrates newspaper very well, which may be why people like it for papiermache.

Do I need to strain it finer to get rid of the tiny lumps? Cook it more? Is it just not a fine enough grind? Or should paste paper have a kind of sandy texture (after it's dry), as mine does?


Judy Kerman
Santo Domingo

Judith B. Kerman
Professor of Humanities
Saginaw Valley State University

During the Winter 2002 semester, I am in
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on
Fulbright. However, I will check my email regularly at kerman@svsu.edu and at jbkerman@hotmail.com

For photos and comments about my trip, go to http://www.unibe.edu.do/kerman/postcards

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