Have you ever wondered how "they" make some of the common things we use every day? Or, have you ever wondered what you would do if "they" ever stopped making them? I know, my kids think I'm weird on that point, too. But, you never know when the apocalypse is coming and, I've learned how to make and do some interesting things by wondering about this. For instance, I can bake my own bread using sourdough as the leavening. I can, in theory, make my own cheese (well, I've made yogurt cheese before--and the yogurt!) And, I can make children's clothing that looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. I can even knit things that sort of fit, as long as it's a scarf (don't ask how my first sweater fit.) Well, along these lines, our blog about making books last week got me to thinking of paper.
Now that we'd kind of know how to make our own books, I thought, what about the paper? How would we make our own paper? The first thing I did was look up papermaking (make sure it's one word) in our library catalog.
There were some interesting titles:
Trash to treasure papermaking, by Arnold E. Grummer
Book making and papermaking, by Deborah Hufford (there's even one for kids!)
Papermaking techniques book, by John Plowman
Step by step papermaking, by David Watson
The paper maker's companion, by Helen Hiebert
This list took us back to a publication date of 2000, and there were several older titles as well. A pretty respectable list for our library system, I thought. These will keep me busy for a while. I'll start with Trash to treasure paper making because that one will show me how to make recycled paper. That way, if the apocalypse never comes, I can at least be green. And, maybe being green will actually help with the apocalypse thing too...
Then, I expanded my search to Link + and hit the mother-lode of papermaking books! There were 174 "most relevant" titles! Some of the first few of these were:
Arnold Grummer's complete book of papermaking, by Arnold E. Grummer
300 papermaking recipes, by Mary Reimer
The encyclopedia of papermaking & bookbinding, by Heidi Reimer-Epp
The ergonomics of hand papermaking, by Peter Thomas
Papermaking for the first time, by Rhonda Rainey
Wow! Imagine recipes for paper--three hundred of them. I had thought some of the instructions I had seen in Trash to treasure papermaking looked kind of like recipes, and now here are so many I probably won't ever use them all! I'm also intrigued by The ergonomics of hand papermaking. I'm not sure how this will affect my papermaking, but I'd better find out before I hurt something by not doing it properly!
Now that I have all this great information from the libraries to draw from, I think I need to figure out what kind of paper to make first. I mean, there seem to be many kinds of papers to make, and I have seen some of them. Some are so beautiful, you'd want to hang them somewhere, like art. Then, there are the papers in which you would wrap a very special gift. But, I think I'd like to start with some paper I can write on, preferably in as light a color as I can make it if I can't actually get white...you just never know about that apocalypse and when it might be coming.
If you have ever wondered whether it would be a good idea to make some common everyday thing like paper, leave us a comment and let us know about it. As you can see, we kind of like to be prepared.
Until next time, stay crafty, apocalypse or not ~ Kaye & Malia