Sunday, May 10, 2009

Special Mother's Day Gift - Papermaking

Kids love to get their hands into the pulp and mom's love to get handmade gifts from their kids. So, in a well meaning marriage of the two ideas, each of the students in my daughter's 4th grade class made a handmade paper book for Mother's Day.

Each year I go into my kids' classrooms and make paper with the students. Therefore, some have been lucky enough to have the experience several times but for others it was a first. It doesn't seem to matter: first time or xth time, they always have fun. These pictures were taken before and after the whole group (22, I think) came in to work so they certainly don't show the excitement and BIG energy that was in the room but it gives you an idea of how I set up each of the four stations. You also get to see my daughter and her buddies, Sarah and Julia, at work.

Each station is a large black vat with a smaller dishpan size vat inside. The smaller vat holds the pulp while the larger vat catches spills and holds the mould and deckle (when not in use) and a sponge. This set up significantly cuts down on mess. I had four stations for this group.

The girls are pulling a sheet of blue paper with confetti paper/glitter inclusions. You can't seem to have an elementary school art project without glitter!

As you can see, we used boards as our drying method. While the boards are a bit awkward to carry to/from school, I most definitely prefer this route. The kids can also press objects into the wet pulp and add interesting textures to the sheet.

After the paper was dry, I went back into the classroom to help the kids bind their books. The title page of each book is "I love you because..." Some books had only a couple of pages and some have as many as eight. From what I saw, all the books were great and the moms will be pleased.

I'm finding that the main challenge for me, now that I don't have a dedicated papermaking space, is the preparation. My papermaking equipment is disorganized and buried in the basement. Having to look for what I need, borrow what I'm missing and lug it upstairs for transport is becoming a bigger job than I like. Since my youngest will be in her last year of elementary school next year, my hope is to get a small grant (rather than this freebie, cool-papermaking-mom thing!) and really go out with a bang completing a bigger papermaking installation project. That should be a great culmination of almost 10 years of paper projects at the school.

And to all Moms out there: Happy Mother's Day. I hope you enjoyed a great day with your family!



Kathy L said...

I am sure that each Mom who receives one of these precious books will treasure it forever. What a wonderful gift for MOm. And you are pretty wonderful yourself for all that time you give, not to mention all the other stuff!


Janet said...

This has been the best papermaking project you've done with Sara. Not only did she get the joy of creating her masterpiece, I've received a priceless gift from her of all the reasons she loves me as her mom. Thank you for putting those thoughts and memories into a beautiful momento! Janet

Joanne Huffman said...

Very cool project.

Simon - Papermaking and Bookbinding said...

What a great idea. Simon.

Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

Aw shucks! :)

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