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!