Monday, April 12, 2010

Sir Pulp A Lot

There is a great satisfaction to pulping paper, the fact that your piece is 100% recycled materials made with your own hands. I pulp paper by boiling small squares of torn paper for several hours, cool, then shred with a hand mixer or paint mixer attachment.

For the last several years I have used Cellulose Fiber Insulation which is easier and if you consider the cost of energy, water and time probably cheaper in the long run.

But still, pulping your paper is fun and resourceful.

In the spring of 2007 I knew that I would need quite a bit of clay in order to create everything on my list so I resorted to doing it on a large scale. We have a large fire pit in our back yard and most evenings during the weekends you can find us sitting around a roaring fire enjoying some good conversation, drinks and watching the bats swoop around the night sky.

To pulp large amounts of paper I used a large galvanized steel wash tub filled with torn paper and water. The tub was positioned over the fire using three large pieces of angle iron. The fire was stoked up and the paper was allowed to boil and simmer throughout the night.

The next morning I used a paint mixer attachment powered by an electric drill to shred the paper into a yummy oatmeal looking consistency.

The shredded paper was then transferred to some large screens that were acquired from someone’s curbside trash. The excess water was squeezed out by hand and the pulp was spread thin on the screens and allowed to dry for several days.

The pulp was constantly turned to make sure it was completely dry then placed in large trash bags for storage.

This friendly toad seemed to enjoy sunning himself on top of the drying pulp.

Making your own pulp is an enjoyable experience and one that I think everybody should try at least once as it gives you an appreciation for the technique and sense of accomplishment.

1 comment:

Dave the Dead said...

I agree...very satisfying and very "real". There is a sense of accomplishment that goes along with the experience.


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